5 Steps to Install Linux on ChromeBook

Desktop Icons:

In order to create icons on the desktop (for the software that may not have already created one): Open the Menu button (for LXDE, in the lower left corner, a stylized bird); Find the software entry; Right-click on the package; Left-Click “Add to desktop”.


One of the “problems” with Linux is that there seems to be a shortage of nice fonts to use. You can install the mscorefonts-installer (” sudo apt-get install ttf-mscorefonts-installer”) and it will add several of the common fonts from Windows. Also, in Synaptic, just search for “ttf fonts.” Be sure to check the description of each to assure that they are for your preferred language.

Even More Software:

To see more of the huge number of free program for Linux, just open the Synaptic program (installed above) and browse (you will need to enter your password before using the program.) Examples of graphics software that may interest you: Gimp, Krita, Inkscape. My choice of sound editor is Audacity. Gnome-screenshot is included but Gnome desktop but LXDE does not include it. In the “search” box in Synaptic, you can enter either the name or the type of the software. Alternatively, do a Google search for “linux software xxxxx” where xxxxx is the type of software (e.g., photo editor).


If you update the ChromeOS on the ChromeBook and then Crouton fails to open, instead, you start getting errors  like below:

/usr/bin/xinit: giving up
/usr/bin/xinit: unable to connect to X server: Connection refused
/usr/bin/xinit: server error
Not unmounting /mnt/stateful_partition/crouton/chroots/trusty as another instance is using it.

To fix the problem, download a fresh copy of Crouton here. Then (in the CROSH shell), issue the command:

sudo sh ~/Downloads/crouton -u -n trusty  (Change “trusty” to your current version of Ubuntu)

Then, reboot the ChromeBook and it should work properly.


Please respect to the Crouton team for providing this for us. Read more on their README.md file at the bottom of the page here. They also have a WIKI page (here) that is updated from time to time with additional tips on using Crouton.

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127 Responses to 5 Steps to Install Linux on ChromeBook

  1. Bill says:


    I have an Acer C7 and installed the lxde desktop. Problem: No sound device found. Is there a fix?

  2. Nikita says:

    When I install Ubuntu, where are my files stored? In downloads folder? or elsewhere? Can I access them even after I uninstall Ubuntu?

    • Ray says:

      In Ubuntu, you can save the files almost any place you want. By default, they will share the downloads folder with the ChromeOS. When / if you delete the Crouton Environment, the files will remain. They can be used in ChromeOS as long as you saved them in a folder that ChromeOS allows you to use.

  3. Karel Michielsen says:

    Hi Ray, I initially tried to upgrade to 14.04 LTSvia the promt I got in Unbuntu, after down loading 900 Mb it left me with a blank/dark screen.Somehow managed to turn computer off and the rebooted back into Chrome. Then thought I’d go back to your site and follow instructions, which I did but it comes up with

    Be aware that dev mode is inherently insecure, even if you have a strong
    password in your chroot! Anyone can simply switch VTs and gain root access
    unless you’ve permanently assigned a Chromium OS root password. Encrypted
    chroots require you to set a Chromium OS root password, but are still only as
    secure as the passphrases you assign to them.

    after hitting “enter”
    How do I get it to do it’s thing.
    thanks, Karel

    • Karel Michielsen says:

      played around some more
      entered sudo sh -e ~/Downloads/crouton -u -r trusty -t audio, etc.
      this started but hung up part of the way through, tried a few more times, sane result
      then I tried;
      sudo sh -e ~/Downloads/crouton -u -n trusty
      this hung up once, restarted it and it finished the installation succesfully.
      started with sudo startlxde
      The only app I’ve got is Chrome which works fine (even have sound, which I didn’t have before) but there is no Thunderbird or any of the other apps I had, can you tell me how to go about getting applications. Also if possible how to recover my saved emails from my Unity Thunderbird.
      Thanks, Karel

      • Ray says:

        With Linux, you get full computer programs (called packages in Linux). Check the bottom of the guide (above) for a list of the packages that I like and how to install them.
        I stopped using TB for mail a LONG time ago. I much prefer to use the cloud-based GMail. However, you can use the above guide for installing any available package. Whether your mail will still be available is doubtful. If TB was storing the data locally, it is probably gone now – if you did not MANUALLY back up the data. That is what is so good about GMail. All the mail is kept in the cloud and can be accessed via phone, tablet, or computer. Google takes care of the backups and it is all free. With a computer, you access it via a browser. In iOS or Android, use the app.

    • Ray says:

      That is a standard warning that everyone gets.

    • Mac says:

      maybe illigal but i must ask :), the linux under crouton uses the drivers from the chrome os, thus meaning crouton its a some kind of a virtual box, is it possible to install other Unix OS, lets say MAC OS X :), it will be illigal but rly cool, can you try this or it is “undoable”

      • Ray says:

        Other versions of Linux are possible but I am not the developer so I don’t know much about it. You could visit the Crouton Wiki (link at the bottom of the article).

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