How to install Ubuntu Linux on any Chromebook model without replacing Chrome OS (Crouton)

I have a 2014 HP Chromebook G4 and it will not be supported by official Linux (Crostini), so I decided to use Crouton to install Ubuntu.
I thought some of you might be interested in this, so this article provides step-by-step instructions for installing Ubuntu on any Chrombook model using Crouton. There are also some adjustments / prompts and instructions for deleting it.CrotonOr Chromium OS general Chroot environment, regardless of Chromebook model or architecture, you can easily install Ubuntu or Debian in the chroot environment of Chromebook. With Crouton, you can continue to use the Chrome operating system, but you can easily switch between Ubuntu and Chrome operating systems when needed.
Compared with the Crostini solution for Chrome OS provided by Google, Crouton has wider device compatibility and direct access to the hardware. Moreover, compared to virtualization, Crouton has zero speed loss due to its local operation.
On the other hand, Crosstini is an official project and does not need to enable developer mode (this is required to use Crouton to be able to install Ubuntu or Debian on a Chromebook). Since your Chromebook runs in verified mode, this also means that Crostini is more secure.

Install Ubuntu on Chromebook using Crouton

It ’s not safe to switch your Chromebook to developer mode! Crouton supports encryption, but as the Crouton Wiki page mentioned, “Encryption is only as strong as the passphrase quality.” Before continuing:

  • Back up data. Google will back up your passwords, browser extensions, etc., but you may want to back up files saved in the “Downloads” folder.
  • You may need to create a restore image by installing Chrome OS Chromebook recovery utility extension. You need a 4 GB or larger USB flash drive or SD card.

1. Switch the Chromebook to developer mode.
When using Crouton to install Ubuntu on a Chromebook, you need to switch the Chromebook to developer mode.
Depending on the Chromebook model you are using, enabling developer mode may vary. You can visit the following URL for instructions on switching your Chromebook to developer mode: This page, Click your Chromebook model, and follow the instructions.
From what I can see, these are the descriptions of most models: by holding down ESC with Refresh (F3) Key, then click Power Button. After entering the recovery, press Ctrl + D (This message is not displayed on the screen-you must know this to use it). It will ask you to confirm and re-enter the developer mode. This may take a while!
From now on, every time your Chromebook starts, you need to press Ctrl + D Or wait 30 seconds to continue. Don’t press SPACE Key, because it will reset! 2. Download Crouton.
Go to Crouton GitHub Project page, then click the goo.gl link at the top of the page to download the latest version of Crouton. This one It is a direct link to the latest Crouton download (although it may change). Keep the downloaded file in the Downloads folder 3. Install Ubuntu Crouton installs Ubuntu Chromebook

Now it’s time to install Ubuntu on the Chromebook. To do this, follow these steps to open the crosh shell Ctrl + Alt + T. This should open a terminal-like label. Types of:

shell

Next, install the Crouton executable file:

sudo install -Dt /usr/local/bin -m 755 ~/Downloads/crouton

You can type the following command to view Crouton help text:

sudo crouton

To install Ubuntu 16.04 with Xfce desktop (lightweight desktop environment) and enable encryption, use the following command (don’t run the command before reading everything and how to customize it):

sudo crouton -e -t extension,keyboard,audio,xfce

-e Add encryption and -t Specify the following targets for installation:

  • Extension: Clipboard synchronization and URL handling between Chrome OS and Linux (requires installation Breadcrumb integration Chrome extension)
  • Keyboard: Added support for special keys on Chromebook keyboard
  • Audio: Added support for playing audio through the Chromium OS audio system
  • xfce: Xfce desktop environment
How to install Ubuntu Linux on any Chromebook model without replacing Chrome OS (Crouton)
Xfce desktop running on a Chromebook (via Crouton)

You can see all available targets (not only the desktop environment, but also a list of predefined packages, for example touch For touch screen gesture support, etc.), the method is to run:

crouton -t help

Crouton can also install e17, Gnome, KDE, LXDE and Unity desktop. In addition, you can use commas to separate multiple targets.
You can also install xiwi The goal is to allow Ubuntu to run in the Chrome OS tab or window (not accelerated). This needs to be installed Breadcrumb integration Chrome extension. This screenshot can be found at the top of the article.
Although Crouton will install Ubuntu 16.04 by default, you can specify other Ubuntu versions (older versions, such as 14.04- trustyOr newer version, such as Ubuntu 18.04- bionic), Or even Debian or Kali Linux. To change the installed Ubuntu (or Debian / Kali) version, please append -r To the installation command. For example, to install Ubuntu 18.04 Bionic Beaver instead of 16.04 Xenial Xerus, the command to install Ubuntu on a Chromebook will become:

sudo crouton -e -r bionic -t extension,keyboard,audio,xfce

You can use the following command to view all available Ubuntu, Debian and Kali versions that can be installed on your Chromebook:

crouton -r list

Although some versions are not officially supported, they may work. This includes Ubuntu 18.04 Bionic Beaver!

How to use Crouton to use Ubuntu installed on a Chromebook

To start Ubuntu on Chromebook (with Xfce desktop environment), press Ctrl + Alt + T Open a crosh shell and type:

shell
sudo startxfce4

You will be prompted to enter the password, encrypt the password, and then Ubuntu will start.
The command to start it differs depending on the desktop environment you installed, and it is displayed after the installation is complete. Therefore, if you have installed KDE, please use sudo startkdeand many more. Switch between Chrome OS and Ubuntu Ctrl + Alt + Shift + Back with Ctrl + Alt + Shift + Forward. This way, you can switch between Ubuntu and Chrome operating systems without having to exit Ubuntu. To log out of Ubuntu, log out from the menu on the top panel.

Make some adjustments to the new Ubuntu (Xfce) desktop running on a Chromebook

1. By default, no graphical tools are installed to find and install new applications. You can install the Ubuntu / Gnome software application by opening a terminal on the Ubuntu desktop running Chrome OS and then typing the following command:

sudo apt install gnome-software

Normally, you can now start the “Software” application from the application menu (System-> Software). However, launching the Software application from the menu does not allow you to install any packages, and displays an error about not installing any packages, and I cannot find any solution. But there is a workaround available. You can start it like this instead of launching the Gnome / Ubuntu software from the menu:

  • In Ubuntu 16.04 Xenial Xerus (default Crouton Ubuntu version):
gksu gnome-software
  • In Ubuntu 18.04 Bionic Beaver (and later), gksu is not available, so use the following command to start it:
sudo -H gnome-software

If you still cannot install the application using the “Software” application, please log out (and ensure that saving the current session on the Xfce logout screen is not enabled), and then try again. Or try using the following command to kill any gnome software instance running in the background killall gnome-softwareAnd try installing some software again.
You will only be able to install regular (DEB) packages using Gnome software. Installing the snapshot package doesn’t seem to work properly, or at least I can’t find a way to make it work. Installing the snapshot package will not use any installation method you can try-use Ubuntu software or from the command line.
2. You may want to add third-party PPA repositories, which can be found in many online guides to install various software that is not directly available in Ubuntu. However, when using Crouton to install Ubuntu on a Chromebook, this command does not work by default.
To enable the add-apt-repository command, you need to install a file called software-properties-common. Open a terminal on the Ubuntu desktop, and then use the following command to install:

sudo apt install software-properties-common

3. Xfce’s default Crouton settings may be a bit … ugly. To resolve this issue, go to applications menu -> Settings -> Settings Manager And change:

  • Appearance -> Icon Label: Change the icon theme to elementary Xfce darker
  • Window Manager -> Style Label: Change theme to Greybird

This is how the window borders and icons look after the changes:Crouton Xfce theme adjustment

You can also try other themes to see your favorite themes or install more themes.

How to uninstall Ubuntu from Chromebook (installed with Crouton)

If you want to completely delete Crouton, you can restart your Chromebook and press SPACE Turn on operating system verification at boot time. This will reset the Chromebook / Chrome OS.
If you have created a backup using the Chromebook Recovery Utility, you can also restore the original Chrome OS installation.
If you only want to delete the chroot created when installing Ubuntu using Crouton, please exit Ubuntu (by logging out) and press in Chrome OS Ctrl + Alt + TAnd then enter:

shell

Next, use the following command to remove Ubuntu:

sudo delete-chroot 

Replace Use the Ubuntu version code. By default xenial. If you have installed Ubuntu 18.04 Bionic Beaver, its codename is bionic
If you don’t know the Ubuntu version / chroot name, you can use the following command to get a list of installed chroot names:

sudo edit-chroot -a

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