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How to Install Linux on Chromebook? [Step By Step Guide]



Linux on Chromebook

Nowadays Chromebooks are very popular for performing easier tasks like surfing the web and word processing. They are cheap and even a young child can handle it ease. In this article, we will show you how to install and run a Linux environment on your Chromebook. Even though Chrome OS is based on Linux Kernel, you will not have access to so many things. Chrome OS is a closed source property OS and it is locked down to due to several security reasons. After installing the Linux, you can install GIMP, Darktable and much more software on your Chromebook. Read further and know how to install Linux on Chromebook.

Related: How to install Kodi on Chromebook?

How to Install and Run Linux on Chromebook?

Before installing Linux on your Chromebook, you need to backup all your data including login details and locally stored files. This method is limited to Ubuntu Linux. You can install other versions of Linux distributions on Chromebook devices.

Part 1: Enable Developer Mode

First off all, you need to Enable Developer Mode on your Chromebook. Check out our article to learn how to enable Developer Mode on Chromebook.

Developer Mode on Chromebook
Developer Mode on Chromebook

Part 2: Install Ubuntu

There are several ways available to install Ubuntu on Chromebook. But we are using Crouton for its simplicity and the fact that it allows you to run both Chrome OS and Linux OS side by side. Follow these steps to install Ubuntu Linux on Chromebook:

#1: Open your Chrome browser and visit the official Github directory of crouton.

#2: Click the Google link ( located next to Chromium OS Universal Chroot Environment. By clicking the link, the Crouton file will be downloaded in Downloads folder.

#3: Now, press CTRL + ALT + Tkeys simultaneously to open the Chrome OS developer shell in new tab.

#4: Type Shell and press the Enter button.

#5: Now type and run the following command:

sudo sh -e ~/Downloads/crouton -t xfce

#6: Now, the latest version of Crouton installer will be downloaded on your Chromebook.

#7: It will take some time for the downloading process to complete.

#8: After the installation, you need to provide and confirm Password and the encryption passphrase. Make sure to note the command for starting Ubuntu.

Linux on Chromebook
Download Linux on Chromebook

Part 3: Run and Use Ubuntu

#1: After installing the Ubuntu, return to the developer shell interface by pressing CTRL + ALT + T keys simultaneously.

#2: Type Shell and press the Enter key.

#3: Now type the following command and press the Enter Key.

sudo startxfce4

#4: Enter your encryption passphrase and password.

#5: That’s it. Now you can see Linux OS running on your Chromebook. As we mentioned earlier, with Crouton, you can switch between Linux OS and Chrome OS with ease. Use the shortcuts CTRL + ALT + SHIFT + BACK and CTRL + ALT + SHIFT + FORWARD to switch between the two operating systems.

Linux on Chromebook
Linux on Chromebook

How to remove Linux OS from Chromebook?

Enabling developer mode will remove all the security features associated with your Chromebook. If you find uncomfortable with the Ubuntu, follow these simple steps to remove Linux OS from your Chromebook. The process will erase all the details including your local files. So back up all the important details that you need. You can also delete Linux apps on your Chromebook using the Terminal.

#1: Restart your Chromebook.

#2: Press Spacebar key when you the screen displaying OS verification is OFF.

#3: Press Enter key when you prompt to turn OS verification on.

#4: The process will uninstall the Crouton on your Chromebook and your device will reboot to get back to the original state.

You can also remove Linux environment from your Chromebook by running the following commands without any error:

Type cd /usr/local/chroots and press enter key
Type sudo delete-chroot * and press enter key
Type rm -rf /usr/local/bin and press enter key

Related: How to disable developer mode on Chromebook?

Final Thoughts

This is how you have to install/uninstall Linux on your Chromebook. The article is just like dual booting the Chromebook without rebooting it. Make sure to backup your media files before installing Ubuntu Linux. We hope the article is really easy to follow and helped you to install Linux/Ubuntu on Chromebook.

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