Introduction: How to Turn a Chromebook Into a Linux Ubuntu Machine!
I got this Samsung Chromebook a while ago. Ever since I got it I wanted to change it to be better. To be able to handle apps that weren't just from the chrome webstore. I finally found the way. Linux Ubuntu is a great way to maximize use of a chromebook, and turn it into so much more.
Turning any Chromebook into an Ubuntu desktop is so easy. It really boils down to 3 things. You have to enable developer mode, download the crouton installer extension on the chrome webstore, input a couple of easy commands into the chrome shell, aka crosh, then you enjoy.
That's just the short version. Let's get into it and change our Chromebooks.
Step 1: First, You Need to Make a Recovery Image of Your Chromebook Encase You Do Anything to Delete Your Chromium OS
To make a recovery image get this app on the Chrome web store. It is called chrome recovery utility. You need an SD card or USB with 4 GBs or more. Use the app and follow the instructions to download a recovery image.
The link to this app is: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/chromebook-recovery-utili/jndclpdbaamdhonoechobihbbiimdgai?hl=en
Step 2: To Start Messing With OS Related Stuff You Need to Put Your Chromebook Into Developer Mode.
! !Developer mode will delete ALL local data, back up your data! !
To put your Chromebook into developer mode is very easy. With most Chromebooks you have to hold esc. and refresh, then tap power. If it doesn't work, look up how to do it on your specific Chromebook. Once you do that you will see a scary red exclamation mark screen. Don't pay attention to that screen just follow the directions to turn OS notifications off. Then you will hear 2 beeps, then it will boot into chrome developer mode.
Step 3: You Need to Get Crouton
Crouton is the file that will house Ubuntu and help it to side load with chrome. Crouton uses a chroot environment to run Chrome and Ubuntu together. Crouton holds all different variations of Ubuntu like Kubuntu (KDE), Xubuntu (XFCE), and others. Look up Ubuntu variations to see what best fits you. I suggest Xfce because it is meant for a Chromebook with 2 GB or more of ram. Also it is moderately simple but Kde is really too simple.
The link for the newest version of crouton is: https://goo.gl/fd3zc
Step 4: You Need to Get the Crouton Integration Extension
You need to get the crouton integration extension on the chrome web store. This extension helps to connect crouton, the file we will be downloading, to your Chromebook. This method is side loading Ubuntu onto a Chromebook. Ubuntu and Chrome will run side by side.
The link if you cant find this extension is: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/crouton-integration/gcpneefbbnfalgjniomfjknbcgkbijom
Step 5: Finally, We Are Going to Start the Process of Using Commands to Start Your Own Ubuntu Desktop
There are not many commands needed to do this. It is fairly easy.
1. To start open Crosh press ctrl-alt-t
2. Then type shell
3. Next, now that you're in the shell type the following command: sudo sh -e ~/Downloads/crouton -t xfce,x11,xiwi
Change the 'xfce' term in the command to whatever version of Ubuntu you chose. Unity does not work on ARM Chromebooks. To check if you have an ARM Chromebook get the Cog app on the Chrome web store.
4. After it downloads, it will ask for a username, and a password. The password is invisible when you type. This log in and password are used for everything in Ubuntu. To start your Ubuntu desktop type the following command in the shell: 'sudo startxfce4' or replace the xfce4 term with whatever version you chose. The command will connect with your crouton extension, then start your own Ubuntu Chromebook.
5 years ago
Interesting, thank you for sharing this.
Reply 5 years ago
yeah, I did it because I wanted a cheap computer to run stuff like steam. Chromebooks obviously don't work. I am trying to get steam now.