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Using a Chromebook in Brown's Computing Environment - Knowledgebase / Desktop Computing and Printing - OIT Service Center

Using a Chromebook in Brown's Computing Environment

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Since Brown has changed the login to use Shibboleth for Google logins, you will need assistance in setting up a personally-owned Chromebook to use your Brown email address as login. Please reach out to the IT Service Center for configuration assistance. OIT recommends that personally owned Chromebooks be set up with a login as a personal address like as your login name. You will still be able to use Brown services with your Chromebook, and will have better access to the device upon graduation or separation from the University.

Using a Chromebook in Brown’s Computing Environment

Using a Chromebook from a vendor like Google or Samsung can be a great way to access web resources in a easy-and-secure manner. However, Chromebooks aren’t well-suited for access to all Brown services, so they may not meet all your needs.

Chromebooks are integrated with the Chrome web browser, so work best for Brown services that are entirely web-based, like:

  • Gmail

  • Workday

  • Self-Service Banner

  • Canvas

Websites that do not need authentication are also well-suited for Chromebooks.

Stand alone applications such as Microsoft Office, and computational or creative editing software packages may not work on a Chromebook.  

Choosing the best login account for your Chromebook

If you set up your Chromebook with a personal Google account like, you will have a wider range of applications available in the Google Play store for you. Due to the way that the Play Store integrates with your Brown Google account, it’s not possible to install all apps if you log in to your Chromebook with your regular Brown address. 

If you set up your Chromebook with your official Brown address, you may also see a “Managed by Brown” notice on your Chromebook. Please note: Brown is not actually managing your entire device.  There are components of your Brown Google account that are handled by the University, and this notice refers to that management.

Helpful Chromebook applications

If you have your Chromebook set up for a personal address, you may want to install is the Microsoft Remote Desktop app. Through this app, additional services such as Brown’s RemoteApp service or Remote Desktop access to a configured Windows server might be available to you. 

Another app, the F5 Access for Android, will allow your web browser to behave as if it is on the Brown network.  The VPN provides secure communications when you are connected to a public network.  

To connect to a Zoom meeting from a Chromebook, the Zoom App is available to help you connect to meetings with audio and video, share your screen, and manage attendees.

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