How to Install Linux on a Chromebook (Guide)

Chromebooks are meant to be easy to use, and that’s where Chrome OS excels. However, Chrome OS is not functional compared to other operating systems such as Linux. So, if you’re someone who likes to tinker around, you may have wondered if you can install another operating system like Ubuntu on your Chromebook. Well, Here’s how to install Linux on a Chromebook:

Install Ubuntu on Chromebook with Crouton

To install Ubuntu on a Chromebook, you will first need to download Crouton. Crouton – Acronym for “Chromium OS Universal Chroot Environment””- It is a set of scripts that allow easy installation of Linux systems such as Ubuntu and Debian. We will use Crouton to install Ubuntu on our Chromebook. Follow the steps below:

1. First, what you need to do Enable Developer Mode on Chrome OS. you can check our detailed article at the same.

2. After enabling Developer Mode on your Chromebook, download Put Crouton on your Chromebook. It will be saved in the “Downloads” directory.

3. On your Chromebook “Ctrl + Alt + T” to start the Crosh Terminal. Type here “shell” and shoot To enter.

4. You will now have access to a command line and with the help of this command line we will install Ubuntu on our Chromebook. In terminal type “sudo sh ~/Downloads/crouton -e -t lxde“.

install lxde with croutons

note: Unfortunately, as of this writing, Ubuntu’s XFCE and Unity Desktop Environments don’t work properly on Chromebooks, so I recommend using LXDE for now.

5. Once this is done you will have to wait. Crouton downloads Ubuntu for you and installs on your Chromebook. This step usually takes some time, so be patient.

Installing the Ubuntu Chromebook

6. When the installation is finished, simply type “.sudo startlxde” with start linux desktop. will be asked for encryption password You created it while installing Ubuntu, just key it in and you’re ready to go.


Go Back to Chrome OS from Linux

If you want to switch back to Chrome OS from Ubuntu, Sign out of Ubuntu you will be taken back to Chrome OS normally and immediately.

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You can restart Linux like this: open terminal (Ctrl + Alt + T)and typing “sudo startlxde“.

you should be able to Switch between Linux and Chrome OSinstantly, using Ctrl + Alt + Shift + Forwardand Ctrl + Alt + Shift + Back (on ARM Chromebooks)and Ctrl + Alt + Nextand Ctrl + Alt + Backfollowed by Ctrl + Alt + Refresh (On Intel Chromebooks), but unfortunately, that didn’t work for me on LXDE on my Asus Chromebook Flip.

Linux on Chromebook: The Experience

Ubuntu runs very well on a Chromebook. However, since XFCE and Unity Desktop Environments are not working yet, you had to use LXDE, a Desktop Environment that many people dislike. The only issue I’ve noticed with LXDE is that if you have a touch-enabled Chromebook like the Asus Chromebook Flip, touch doesn’t work very predictably in LXDE and the UI is a bit too small. However, at least the latter can be fixed for Linux by adjusting the screen resolution.

Linux LXDE Chromebook

Overall, though, the experience is very smooth and everything works as expected. So, if you’re wondering if it’s worth the effort, in a way, it is.

SEE ALSO: How to Get Play Store on Chromebook via Developer Channel?

Install Linux on Chromebook to Unlock Its Potential

You can use this method to easily install Linux/Ubuntu on a Chromebook and unlock its true power. When running Linux on a Chromebook, you can use apt-get to install Linux apps the same way you would install them on a regular Linux computer. However, if you are using an ARM Chromebook, some apps may not work properly for you. Apps have a much better chance of running on a Chromebook with an Intel processor.

As always, we’d like to hear your thoughts on installing Linux on a Chromebook and your experience using Linux on a Chromebook. Also, if you know of any other (preferably easier) method for installing Linux on Chromebooks, let us know in the comments section below.