Kindle on ChromeOS

Updated 20-Sep-2023

Dealing with a Kindle (and ebook collection) on ChromeOS requires a different set of tactics than the more straightforeward use of Calibre (unless using it in Crostini is a choice).

Functionality Required for Kindle on ChromeOS

The basic functionality required includes:

  • Uploading to Kindle device;
  • Downloading from Kindle device;
  • Converting files from epub to mobi (to get epubs into the Kindel) and azw to epub, plus some cracking software, to get azw to epub (ebooks bought off the Amazon Kindle store)

Calibre on Debian (ChromeOS with Linux Container Crostini)

Below includes various work-around options, but the functionality and ease of operation (the kludgy interface notwithstanding) of Calbre makes that the go-to option.

Note that the instructions for installing Calibre on Linux on the Calibre website are garbage. Just used the standard Debian install command and agree to install dependences.

sudo apt-get install calibre

Note that as of 25-aug-2019, the usb interface is still not yet available to the Linux Container VMs in Crostini. However it appears there was work being done on it, according to the Chromium bugtracker, but that issue was closed when the usb worked on crossvm for Android (only) and not the Linux vm. This recent issue may be one that enables what is needed. Hard to tell at this point.

Uploading to the Kindle Device from ChromeOS

Uploading from ChromeOS to a Kindle device is done in one of two ways:

  • Plug in Kindle over USB and copy a *.mobi file in it to the Kindle /documents/ directory using the ChromeOS File Manager
  • Install the Kindle Android app and an Android File Manager app. Once this is done, right-clicking on a *.mobi file will include the option of sharing/sending, and then select the Send to Kindle option.

Downloading from a Kindle device with ChromeOS

  • The simplest approach is to do so with a file manager (ChromeOS or Android) over USB. This is generally a good approach, just copy the new books into the /content directory.
  • Unfortunately sometimes there are several files rather than a single one, in which case downloading from the Amazon store Manage my Content and Devices section. Clicking on the three dots next to any given ebook (not including samples) includes the option Download and Transfer via USB.