December 12, 2013 - mikeyD

How-To: Setting Up Google’s Chromecast Under Linux

chromecast3
Finally received my Google Chromecast media steamer.  What a nifty little device for 35 dollars.  Simple easy installation right?  Of course!  But…not supported for Linux you say?  Bah…We’ll see about that.

Setup: Method 1, Using a Desktop/Laptop

First, unbox your newly found gadget, attach the power cable (USB can work but is not recommended), and connect it to a free HDMI port on your TV.  Head on over to https://cast.google.com/chromecast/setup to get started.  But wait…that is an .exe Windows file?  Why doesn’t Google love me too you say?

The proper landing page to get this rolling on a desktop is the manual installation page located here.  Here you can find installation instructions for the Chomebook Pixel which is about as close as you can get.  Basically, the sets boil down to:

  • Navigating to www.google.com/chromecast/setup, from a chrome browser, not Firefox or any other browser.
  • Add the Cast extension for Chrome.
  • Once you’ve added the Cast extension, setup will automatically start in a new tab.
  • If setup doesn’t automatically begin, or if you want to run setup later, click on the Cast extension button in your browser and select Options. On the Options page, click on Add Chromecast.

Setup: Method 2, Using a Smartphone

If for some reason you have some trouble with Method 1, another easy method is using your mobile phone.  Again, from the Chrome browser only, navigate to the default URL given by your Chromecast (www.google.com/chromecase/setup).  You should get a nice splash screen and the setup will commence in which you must connect to the Chromcast’s personal Wi-Fi network to attach the device to your network.

After this, simply add the Chomecast Chrome extension.  Be sure to visit the Chromecast Google Play page for the main application, which will also prompt you to install applications that support Chromecast.  Several of these at the moment do, including Netflix, Pandora, HBO Go, and more.  A refreshed list can be found here.  Simply open the application and hit the small TV icon on the app at the top to start screencasting.

Thoughts

The chromecast is one nice device.  I can see the value here for those that use primarly DRM content and Google Play services.  Plex support is only through Plex Pass membership at the moment, but the team has plans to open this fully soon.  In the mean time, Avia get can you up and running with little fuss.

In the end, the Roku + Plex, is hard to beat.  With only missing one major contender, native Youtube support (Plex contains a sudo “application” channel), just about everything is there.  The structured environment allows easy creation of applications that can pull video even from shows as the web feed of the Daily show via Plex, and more.  Channels are well structure as well, with no need to yank out your smartphone or laptop to cast videos.

But for those looking for a great “2nd Screen” experience with an existing device, it is a nice little cheap gadget.  I do feel bad for those expecting it to be exactly like the Roku, complete with a small remote and independent usage from another device.  Time will tell as to what applications the device gets over time.  My hope is this time around, the “Nexus Q version 2″ fares quite a bit better than its predecessor.

-mikeyd

Whether it be contributing an article online, engaging with the community, or diving head first into unknown waters, Linux is the focal point of my computing hobbies.

How-To chromecast / Google / installing chromecast linux / Plex / Roku /

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