Install Ubuntu 14.04 on Chromebook

I am always looking for different ways that I can extend the capability of my Chromebook. It’s not that I don’t like Chrome OS, but sometimes I need to launch a C compiler or run  java apps when I am away from home. I might even get in the mood to play Minecraft during a long car ride. Luckily, there is an easy answer to all of this. Install Linux on your Chromebook. This might sound very hard and technical, but it’s not. All of the hard work has been done by a script that automates the process. All you have to do is download the script and run it with your configurations.

To do this, you will need to make sure that you have developer mode enabled on your Chromebook. Check my tutorial if you have not done this yet. We are going to be using the popular script called crouton to install Ubuntu on your Chromebook. This will not erase any data, and will allow you to switch back and forth between Chrome OS and Ubuntu.



What You Will Need:

Step 1: Crouton

On your Chromebook, download the crouton file. Then open up terminal by typing in CRTL + ALT + T. Inside of terminal type in the following:


sudo sh ~/Downloads/crouton -r trusty -t xfce

Trusty is the version of Ubuntu I am going to download. Of course, you can replace this with any version version of Ubuntu that you desire. Xfce is the desktop environment that I am choosing to use. Again, you are free to choose whatever environment that you desire.

Optional: Crouton Integration

In the Chrome Web store, there’s an extension called crouton integration. Once installed, it will allow you to open up Ubuntu in its own window within Chrome OS. Therefore you could treat it just like any other fullscreen app. The advantage to this is that you can still use all the controls (such as volume and brightness) from Chrome OS inside of Ubuntu. You would also have access to all of your Chrome apps while running Ubuntu. After you download the plugin, install your chroot with the xiwi target:

sudo sh ~/Downloads/crouton -r trusty -t xfce,xiwi

If you already have Crouton installed, you can update it with the integration using the following command:

sudo sh -e ~/Downloads/crouton -u -t xiwi -r trusty

Step 2: Setting up Ubuntu

After the installation is complete, you can boot into the graphics by typing in:

sudo startxfce4

Replace xfce4 with the desktop environment that you chose. Alternatively, if you just want to enter the chroot without the graphics type in:

sudo enter-chroot -n trusty


Again, replace trusty with the Ubuntu distribution that you choose.

Finally, don’t forget to perform an update on all the packages once your are inside of Ubuntu:

sudo apt-get update

sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

To install the software center, enter:

sudo apt-get install software-center

And that’s it, how to install Ubuntu 14.04 on Chromebook. If you have any questions or comments feel free to leave them below.

63 thoughts on “Install Ubuntu 14.04 on Chromebook

  1. hi! sorry to bother… but the “shell” command isnt working. It says “shell” is an unknown command. Is there anything else I could put in?

  2. I have already set-up my ubuntu, but I wish to use it in the chrome tab.
    Do I have to erase all the previous Ubuntu and then run xiwi?
    Is there a way to just update it?

    1. I’ve never could update by normal ways. About using crouton in a tab you need to uninstall the crouton already installed and re-install it with the extension using commands shell and then sudo sh ~/Downloads/crouton -r trusty -t xfce,xiwi

  3. I want help from you guys I downloaded Ubuntu then infollowed delve guild to download league of legend after I finish downloading it and stat the update it failed and I don’t know what to do I watch all the YouTube guild and didn’t work I need your help thank you very much

  4. I would like to know if there is a way that I can utilize crouton but instead of run a gui desktop environment, is there a way I can make it boot into a program, just one program? Essential I would like it to work like the xbmc option in crouton but would like to run a much newer version – Kodi, which is supported. Thanks

    1. It should be as simple as changing a one thing in the command line.

      sudo sh -e ~/Downloads/crouton -r wily -t unity,xfce.kde

      Or for Xenial

      sudo sh -e ~/Downloads/crouton -r xenial -t unity,xfce,kde

    1. What was the source that you downloaded the file from? That might be the issue. Or, if you haven’t already, it might be that you aren’t in Developer Mode.
      If it’s just the file that isn’t working, then here is a link for the download from Lifehacker:

  5. I went this route: sudo enter-chroot -n trusty and entered chroot without graphics but now want to boot the graphics… how do I do this?

  6. I installed the software center above (the one that reads “sudo apt-get install software-center”). Is there anything else I’m supposed to do after that…?

  7. I can’t seem to log back into unbutu – have tried sudo start xfce and also alt + ctrl+ fwd then refresh – just get a blank screen – what am i doing wrong?

    1. does it look like

      sudo startxfce4

      honestly, I got distracted and didn’t realize, that I actually for got to type the 4 …. it through me off a bit, cuz I couldn’t figure out why it wasn’t working,, lol.. the screen kept turning black on me..

    2. I’ve got a Toshiba model, and for me the ctrl+alt+fwd/back isn’t enough.

      For me it works with ctrl+alt+shift+fwd/back

  8. I did this with xfce4, it’s ubuntu 12.4…… not many programs work for it anymore; it’s too old of a version…

  9. I’ve been having a few minor problems, one of which is the inability to switch from Ubuntu to chrome. I’ve tried:
    -ctrl + alt + F1 (the back arrow)
    -ctrl + alt + LEFT ARROW (arrow keys, bottom right of keyboard)
    -ctrl + F1
    -ctrl + LEFT ARROW
    Can someone please help?

    1. UPDATE: Get to Chrome by clicking top right of the screen and click Log Out. Takes you right back to chrome.
      However, Trusty is super old, so I took a few minutes to install Xenial, the newest version. I used the same desktop environment, so when I use “sudo startxfce4” it opens Trusty! How can I make Linux launch in Xenial instead of Trusty?

      1. I keep figuring things out for myself… but how do I disable the crouton extention so that xenial will launch like I never installed it?

        1. We’re good! Well, mostly… I installed Unity with the help of a video near the bottom of this comment section. Although… Where is my web browser?!

          By the way, thank you Martin Bager! I can seamlessly switch with the commands mentioned!

  10. whenever I try to use Ubuntu after I turn on my computerm after switching it from chrome it won’t accept my username and password ev though they are correct any suggestion (it is in developer mode) I have a hp chrombook 14

  11. whenever I try to use Ubuntu it wouldn’t accept my username and password by (it’s in developer mode) I have acer chromebook 14

  12. i tried the first step command and it immediately says it cannot open. i also tried the optional part and the extension is no longer listed?

    1. did you enable dev mode and did you type shell if you type shell in your chromebook and it says command not found if that is the case then you need to enable dev mode to do this use esc+refresh+power button
      then you will see this scary screen ignore it and press ctr+d and press what ever it says now it should say os verification is off wait for the system to reboot and there you go you can install linux or ubuntu now

  13. dave being my chromebooks have reached their end of life how is this ubuntu for an os and removing chrome? is this os secure from hackers and does it get regular updates or will i have to install security and look for regular updates? my chrome books are now just setting around because they do not get updates and security updates. i will not use them without having the security. thanks

  14. when I do the “sudo startxfce4” command, an error pops up saying “UID 1000 not found in trusty” how do I fix that?

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