Installing Linux on your Chromebook can significantly expand its capabilities, allowing you to run Linux applications alongside your Chrome apps. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to do it.
Enabling Developer Mode on Your Chromebook
Before you can install Linux, you need to enable Developer Mode on your Chromebook:
1. Turn off your Chromebook.
2. Press and hold the `ESC` + `Refresh` keys, then press the `Power` button. This will bring you to the Recovery Mode.
3. Press `CTRL` + `D` to enable Developer Mode.
4. Press `Enter` to confirm. Your Chromebook will reboot and reset to factory settings, so make sure you’ve backed up any important data.
Downloading and Installing Crouton
Crouton is a script that allows you to install Linux distributions on your Chromebook. Here’s how to download and install it:
1. Download Crouton from the official GitHub page.
2. Open the Chrome browser and press `CTRL` + `ALT` + `T` to open the Crosh shell.
3. Type `shell` and press `Enter` to open a full bash shell.
4. Type `sudo sh ~/Downloads/crouton -e -t xfce` and press `Enter` to start the installation process. This command installs the Xfce desktop environment, but you can replace `xfce` with `unity` for Ubuntu Unity, or `kde` for Kubuntu.
Setting Up Linux
After the installation is complete, you can start Linux with the following command: `sudo startxfce4`. This will launch the Xfce desktop environment. The first time you launch Linux, you’ll be asked to set a username and password.
Switching Between Chrome OS and Linux
You can switch between Chrome OS and Linux without rebooting. Use `CTRL` + `ALT` + `SHIFT` + `Back` and `CTRL` + `ALT` + `SHIFT` + `Forward` to switch back and forth.
Do I need to enable Developer Mode to install Linux on a Chromebook?**
Yes, you need to enable Developer Mode on your Chromebook before you can install Linux.
What is Crouton?
Crouton is a script that allows you to install Linux distributions on your Chromebook.
How can I switch between Chrome OS and Linux?
You can switch between Chrome OS and Linux using the `CTRL` + `ALT` + `SHIFT` + `Back` and `CTRL` + `ALT` + `SHIFT` + `Forward` key combinations.
Will installing Linux on my Chromebook erase my data?
Enabling Developer Mode, which is a necessary step to install Linux, will reset your Chromebook to factory settings and erase all local data. Make sure to back up any important data before proceeding.
Josh Goldman, Managing Editor, is a laptop expert who has been writing about and evaluating them since built-in Wi-Fi was an optional feature. He also covers practically anything that is connected to a computer, such as keyboards, mouse, USB-C docks, and PC gaming devices. He also writes on cameras, such as action cameras and drones. And, while he doesn’t consider himself a gamer, he devotes much too much time to them.