Introduction: How to Install a Linux OS on Your Chromebook

Hello, everyone. My name is Insector. No, really. That's my honest Linux username. Don't mock. Anyway, I have seen some good Instructables on how to install Linux on your Chromebook, but each one was missing something helpful. So, since I have high ambitions, I decided that my first Instructable would be on how to install Linux on your Chromebook, if the title or earlier parts of this introduction didn't give that away. So, without further ado, let's get to it.

Step 1: Opening Your ChromeOS Developer Shell

Before you do anything, you will have to put your Chromebook into Developer Mode *cue pretentious music*. Don't worry, because this is incredibly simple. Simply press and hold the esc and refresh keys, and tap the power button. After it turns off and reboots (this should happen near instantly), you will be met by a screen saying something along the lines of, "ChromeOS is missing or damaged." Don't fret, your computer is fine. When you get this screen, press ctrl+d. You will then be greeted with a screen saying something like, "To turn OS Verification off press enter." At this point, press enter. Eventually your computer will reboot, and you will be asked to go through the initial setup process. After you do this, say hello to Developer Mode.

Now it is time to open Crosh. Simply press ctrl+alt+t. Crosh will open and greet you. Now, type in shell and press enter. You should now see the words chronos@localhost / $. Congratulations, you have reached the shell.


From now on, whenever you turn your Chromebook on, a warning screen will pop up. Just press ctrl+d.

Step 2: Getting Crouton on Your Chromebook

* Edit: It has come to my attention that most people will need to get Scribe from the Chrome Web Store in order for this to work. *

You are now ready to install Crouton. No, this is not a little piece of deliciously stale bread. Crouton is an extension thingamajig that was developed by a Google employee, and it is the reason that we can use Linux on our Chromebooks. Just click this link: crouton. After you click on it, Crouton should automatically download. You are now ready for the next step.

Step 3: Find Your Target

Now it is time to choose a desktop environment. This is simple; just type:

sh ~/Downloads/crouton -t help

This will give a list of desktops, among other things. Just choose one and remember it; you are going to need this. Personally, I like KDE.

Step 4: Choose Your Distro

It is now time to choose the Linux distro that you want to use. Type:

sh ~/Downloads/crouton -r list

You will be greeted by a list of Linux releases that you can choose. I was given the choice between a bunch of the Debian distros, a bunch of Ubuntu distros, or Kali. Choose the distro that you want, and remember it. Personally, I'm partial to Debian Wheezy, but I know a lot of people prefer the Ubuntu distros.

Step 5: Install Your Distro and Desktop

The time has come; you are finally installing Linux. Type in:

sh ~/Downloads/crouton -r (distro) -t (desktop) -n (distro)

where (distro) is replaced by the distro that you want and (desktop) is replaced by the desktop you want. For example, if I wanted Debian Wheezy with the KDE desktop, I would type:

sh ~/Downloads/crouton -r wheezy -t kde -n wheezy

Your Chromebook will now start printing out hundreds of lines of code and it will take about an hour to complete. Sit back and watch those pretty lines fly by.

Step 6: Username and Password

After a long time of anxious waiting, you will finally be asked to give a username and password. After doing this, you should be provided with some tips and the startup command, which should look like:

sudo start(distro)

Step 7: You Did It!

Congratulations. You now have Linux on your Chromebook. Your training is now complete. Go forth and Linux your heart out. Remember though, you must be in your shell to run the start command. I showed you how to do that earlier.

Thank you for being patient with me on this my first Instructable. Hopefully, it won't be my last. See you guys!