How to install FreeCAD on a Chromebook

In this guide, we'll walk you through the process of installing FreeCAD on your Chromebook. FreeCAD is a powerful, open-source parametric 3D modeling software that's particularly useful for product design, mechanical engineering, and architecture. By following these steps, you'll be able to harness the full potential of this robust CAD tool on your Chromebook.


Before we begin, ensure that your Chromebook supports Linux apps (Crostini). If you're unsure, you can check our list of Chromebooks with Linux Apps support.

Step-by-Step Installation Guide

Please follow along with the video tutorial below, which provides a visual guide to complement these written instructions:

Here are the commands you'll need to run in your terminal to install FreeCAD:

1) sudo apt update
2) sudo apt install flatpak
3) sudo flatpak remote-add --if-not-exists flathub
4) sudo flatpak install flathub org.freecadweb.FreeCAD
5) sudo chown root:root /usr/bin/bwrap && sudo chmod u+s /usr/bin/bwrap

Understanding the Installation Process

Let's break down what each command does:

  1. Updates your package lists to ensure you're installing the latest versions.
  2. Installs Flatpak, a utility for software deployment and package management for Linux.
  3. Adds the Flathub repository to your system, which hosts a large collection of Flatpak apps.
  4. Installs FreeCAD from the Flathub repository.
  5. Adjusts permissions for the bwrap (bubblewrap) utility, which is used by Flatpak for containerization.

For more detailed information about the commands used in this tutorial, you can refer to this Google Doc.

About Flatpak and FreeCAD

Flatpak is a next-generation technology for building and distributing desktop applications on Linux. It provides a sandbox environment in which users can run applications in isolation from the rest of the system. This approach offers improved security and allows for easier installation of up-to-date applications on a variety of Linux distributions.

FreeCAD is a feature-rich, open-source parametric 3D modeler. It's designed for mechanical engineering and product design but is also useful in other engineering fields, such as architecture or finite element analysis. You can find more information about FreeCAD on its official website.

For more details about the Flatpak version of FreeCAD, visit the Flathub FreeCAD page.

Troubleshooting Tips

If you encounter any issues during the installation process, here are a few things to try:

  • Ensure your Chromebook's software is up to date.
  • If a command fails, try running it again. Sometimes temporary network issues can cause failures.
  • If you're low on storage space, try clearing some room before installation.
  • If you're still having trouble, don't hesitate to reach out for help in the comments section of the YouTube video.


By following these steps, you should now have FreeCAD installed on your Chromebook. This powerful CAD software opens up a world of possibilities for 3D modeling right from your Chromebook. Whether you're a student, hobbyist, or professional, FreeCAD provides the tools you need for complex design work.

If you're in the market for a new Chromebook, be sure to check out our Chromebook comparison and Buyers Guide. For notifications about major Chromebook sales, you can join our mailing list.

Happy designing with FreeCAD on your Chromebook!