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Running Crouton on Google Chromebook Pixel

posted 6 Oct 2015, 16:39 by Andrew at Lycom
One great thing about the Chromebook, is the Crouton application / script.

Here's what I did to run a Linux distro in top of my Chromebook - without touching the Chromium OS itself.


First, find out how to get into developer mode. My documentation was to be found here, so:

To invoke Recovery mode, you hold down the ESC and Refresh (F3) keys and press the Power button.

To enter Dev-mode, you first invoke Recovery, and at the Recovery screen press Ctrl-D (there's no prompt - you have to know to do it). It will ask you to confirm, then reboot into dev-mode.

Next, I followed the Crouton readme, downloaded the script itself into /Downloads. I (almost) followed the easy way

The easy way (assuming you want an Ubuntu LTS with Xfce)

  1. Download crouton
  2. Open a shell (Ctrl+Alt+T, type shell and hit enter) and run sudo sh ~/Downloads/crouton -t xfce
  3. Wait patiently and answer the prompts like a good person.
  4. Done! You can jump straight to your Xfce session by running sudo enter-chroot startxfce4or, as a special shortcut, sudo startxfce4
  5. Cycle through Chromium OS and your running graphical chroots using Ctrl+Alt+Shift+Back and Ctrl+Alt+Shift+Forward.
  6. Exit the chroot by logging out of Xfce.

except I used:

sudo sh ~/Downloads/crouton -t xfce,xfce-desktop,gtk-extra,extension,xiwi

which also added the integration with the Crouton integration extension for Chrome. Then a 

sudo startxfce4

started me into Ubuntu with the XFCE window manager, in full screen but I could return to the Chrome OS and also choose to see Ubuntu running it its own window.

You can add new 'targets' (features basically) to an existing chroot by using the -u switch:

sudo sh ~/Downloads/crouton -t xfce,xfce-desktop,gtk-extra,extension,xiwi -u

I could then configure the Ubuntu system, add packages with Synaptic, and so on. And performance was fast - GIMP with additional plugins and filters loads in a few seconds.

And if it all goes wrong:

sudo delete-chroot precise

will completely wipe it so you can begin the install again, where 'precise' was the name of my default chroot (ubuntu).