Is it possible to install Zotero in Chromebook now that it runs Linux apps?

Hello, I have been reading that there is no standalone version of Zotero and that there are no plans to develop one ( insert sad face here...). But, now that Chromebooks are able to run Linux apps, is it possible to run the Linux version of Zotero? , if so, how can I do it?

Thank you
  • The download links for the Linux app are available at:

    You would need to download the Linux app tarball and install it on your Chromebook using whatever method they provide to install Linux apps.
  • Thank you for your reply. I appreciate the intention, but I would like to ask you for a more detailed explanation on how to do it once I have download the .tar.bz2.

    I am not familiar with Linux, and this is my first Chromebook.

    Once again, thank you,

  • Here is a detailed walkthrough, but I’ve never worked with ChromeOS so really can’t provide more help
  • now it works fine with standalone app, to use with google doc you need to do some port forwarding from chromeos to crostini
  • Hi jackyko1991, are you saying I don't need to go through Linux?
  • You need to install the Linux version of Zotero using the method linked above.
  • Hi! found this forum posting while googling around. Does anyone have a beginners friendly instructional guide to this?
    Does Zotero work with chromebooks or is this speculation on how it should work?
  • Zotero works on ChromeOS. Enable Linux app installation as described at the link above, then install the Zotero Linux app from
  • The ChromeBook needs to have Crostini support for it to work though. I haven't been able to find an authoritative list of chromebooks that support crostini, but if you google for your specific chromebook and crostini, you should be able to find out if it does.

    If you're going to install from the main zotero downloads, you may have to install additional packages to get it running; as far as I can tell, you'll need the following packages available:


    but you'll likely have most of these installed already.
  • I just successfully installed Zotero on my Chromebox. With a standard (and fully updated) Crostini, I just followed the Linux Install instructions:

    Including running the "set_launcher_icon" script (requires sudo). The only thing missing from the instructions that you have to do in Crostini is:

    sudo cp /opt/zotero/zotero.desktop /usr/share/applications/.

    A few seconds after doing that the Zotero launcher icon appears in the "Linux Apps" folder in the application drawer.

  • Oops, I missed one last step. You have to edit the desktop file in:


    And change the "Exec" command to the following:

    Exec=/opt/zotero/zotero -url %U

    The default "bash" command doesn't work.
  • If you have an x86 chromebook, there are also debs available. I have only put the official binaries in a Deb packages, so you're getting the same files.
  • I tried the Deb packages, they don't work for me. I get a window, with the menu, but no content.
  • Strange. And if you run /usr/lib/zotero/zotero ? The files in /usr/lib/zotero are just the tarball unpacked.
  • Hmm, the strangeness grows larger. I don't see anything like what you describe. The only package available is called "zotero-standalone". Which installs into /user/share/zotero-standalone with the exception of a couple files: /usr/bin/zotero (shell script that launches xlrunner or firefox), /usr/share/applications/zotero.desktop, and a couple others of lesser importance. The install from apt has significantly fewer files than the downloaded tarball from Zotero.
  • edited March 23, 2020
    Those are ancient and unmaintained. As far as I know, are the only up-to-date deb packages available.

    You should probably uninstall the zotero-standalone package. Certainly do so before installing the debs from if you choose to do so.

    EDIT: but if the tarball download works for you there's no overriding reason to install deb packages. They're there for convenience but offer no other benefits -- it's just the Zotero binaries as I download them from their site in a thin deb shell, with apt-based updates. It will make sure the desktop files and such are properly installed and put zotero in the path.
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