Can You Install Linux On A Chromebook


Can You Install Linux on a Chromebook?

As a technology enthusiast, I have always been intrigued by the idea of customizing and personalizing my devices. So when I got my hands on a Chromebook, one of the first questions that popped into my mind was, “Can I install Linux on it?” After doing some research and experimenting, I discovered that the answer is a resounding YES!

A Chromebook, with its lightweight and secure Chrome OS, may initially seem limited in terms of customization options. However, thanks to the open-source nature of Linux, it is possible to breathe new life into your Chromebook and unlock a whole new world of possibilities.

Before diving into the installation process, it’s important to understand why you might want to install Linux on your Chromebook. While Chrome OS is great for web browsing and productivity tasks, Linux offers a wide range of software and tools that are not typically available on Chromebooks. Whether you’re a developer looking to run programming environments, a power user wanting more control over your system, or simply someone who wants to explore a different operating system, installing Linux can greatly expand the capabilities of your Chromebook.

Now, let’s get into the nitty-gritty of how to install Linux on your Chromebook.

1. Enable Developer Mode

The first step in the process is to enable Developer Mode on your Chromebook. Keep in mind that this process will wipe all of your data, so make sure to back up any important files beforehand. To enable Developer Mode, you’ll need to power off your Chromebook and then hold down the Esc and Refresh keys while pressing the Power button. A warning screen will appear, and you’ll need to press Ctrl+D to enable Developer Mode. Your Chromebook will then reboot and wipe all of the local data.

2. Install Linux via Crouton

Once you have enabled Developer Mode, you can proceed with installing Linux using a tool called Crouton. Crouton stands for “Chromium OS Universal Chroot Environment” and allows you to run Linux alongside Chrome OS without fully replacing it. This means you can switch between the two operating systems with a simple keyboard shortcut.

To install Linux via Crouton, you’ll need to open a terminal by pressing Ctrl+Alt+T. In the terminal, enter the following command:

sudo sh ~/Downloads/crouton -r distribution-release -t desktop-environment

Replace distribution-release with the desired Linux distribution and desktop-environment with the desktop environment of your choice. For example, to install Ubuntu with the XFCE desktop environment, the command would be:

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

The installation process may take some time, depending on your internet connection and the chosen distribution. Once the installation is complete, you can enter your Linux environment by opening a terminal and entering:

sudo startxfce4

Replace “xfce4” with the appropriate command for your chosen desktop environment.

3. Enjoy the Freedom of Linux

Now that you have Linux installed on your Chromebook, it’s time to explore the vast world of Linux software and tools. Whether you’re into coding, graphic design, or simply want a different user interface, Linux offers a wide range of options to suit your needs.

One of the great advantages of using Linux on a Chromebook is the ability to access the terminal and execute powerful commands. This opens up a whole new level of customization and control over your system.

Additionally, Linux on a Chromebook gives you access to a vast array of software through package managers, such as apt or dnf, making it easy to install and update applications.


Installing Linux on a Chromebook is not only possible, but it also offers a world of new possibilities and customization options. Whether you’re a developer, power user, or simply curious about exploring different operating systems, Linux can turn your Chromebook into a versatile and powerful machine.

However, it’s important to note that installing Linux on your Chromebook may void your warranty and could potentially lead to compatibility issues or security risks if not done properly. Make sure to follow the installation instructions carefully and be aware of any potential risks.

With Linux on your Chromebook, you can truly make it your own and unleash its full potential!