How to Replace Chrome os with Linux

Although ChromeOS has the Linux kernel, it’s not open source in the real sense. Even many simple Linux commands don’t work in its CUI.  If you want to experience a true linux based tablet, look at this Raspad tablet 3 a linux-beast indeed.

Luckily, there is a way to replace ChromeOS with Linux. Such that you can switch to Linux OS as long you want and also get back to ChromeOS when needed.

But before we get into the process of how to get this done, knowing that there is more than one way to do this task may benefit you. And which way we’ll be covering here.

  1. Dual-booting Linux with Chrome OS
  2. Pull out ChromeOS completely and install Linux.
  3. Using crouton script-Install Linux side-by-side with the ChromeOS. 

Here we’ll be pursuing the third method that is installing Linux side-by-side on the Chrome OS. 

You can have the advantage of flying to OS(s) with just shortcut keys, and both the OS(s) will share the same local storage. Such that, if you’ve downloaded a file using Ubuntu, then you can get the file in the same directory even after switching to ChromeOS.

The only downside with crouton is that it only supports ubuntu-based flavors, that’s means you cannot use Linux Mint, Debian, Kali Linux with this method.

Installing a Linux distro on Chrome 

This method can work with both intel/ARM-based processors. And make sure your device has a minimum of 2GB of storage for this.

Step.1 Get into Developer Mode

It’s going to be a bit of a lengthy process. Let’s break it down into sub-steps.

Chromebooks, by default, doesn’t let us make changes that are required, and what we want here to access the crouton script to install the Linux. Therefore, we use the developer Mode, which is the only possible way to arrange changes without being restricted by Google.

Keep in mind that accessing the developer mode will wipe out all of your data, put a factory reset on your laptop/tablet, and it can break your laptop’s warranty. So Make sure you’ve backed up everything, it includes your files, accounts, caches, or whatever

Step.1.1 switches off your system

Developer mode on chrome os

Reboot the laptop or tablet into Recovery Mode. To do this, switch off your laptop by pressing the power button and once the device has been shut down. 

Use the shortcut keys to access the recovery mode. The keys are; Press the power button while pressing the ESC and the Refresh key (F2 often) at the same time.

Step.1.2 Turn OS verification Off

Turn OS verification Off

You will see this screen asking you to “insert a recovery USB stick or SD card.” At this stage, use the CTRL+D to continue.

OS verification Off on chrome os

The next screen will be prompted asking for the verification to turn OS verification OFF. Hit Enter to continue.

Step.1.3 Press Ctrl+D to continue

final step for os verification

Once you see the message saying that the “OS verification has been turned off,” press the Ctrl+D to continue the process. For this instance, your device will get into the developer mode phase.

  • Make sure you don’t follow the on-screen steps that will lead you to turn off the developer mode again. Otherwise, you will get back to stage one with a factory reset.

Also, don’t get afraid if this beeps loudly.

beep noise in chrome os

However, the next screen will show you a scary message from google. Ignore that for a while and wait until the screen loads. 

After the loading is finished, the system will be opened as usual. But this time, it’s in the developer mode. You can say it’s like a rooted mobile.


At this point, half the process has been completed. The only thing left is to install Linux by using Crouton.

To move on further, you will need first to download the crouton script via this link. And note the name of the directory where it’s going to save on your local storage so you can call it later using the shell command.

Step.2 Install Crouton Script.

Install Crouton Script

To install crouton on your ChromeOS, use the CUI that can be accessed by pressing the Ctrl+Alt+T keys at once, and type your first command Shell and hit enter. 

The Shell command will empower the CUI as, by default, it does not support the majority of commands we usually write. Even the CD command wouldn’t work without entering the shell command. 

Paste this command sudo install -Dt /usr/local/bin -m 755 ~/Downloads/crouton, make sure you target the right path, which is going to be the directory where the crouton file has been stored. 

Step.3 Installing Linux Distro

Installing Linux Distro

As of now, the crouton has been installed on our ChromeOS. So we can now download a Linux distro. 

To do this, enter this command sudo crouton -t xfce. It takes a little while to be processed while you can see the changes that have been made on the screen. 

At last, it’ll ask you to give it a new username and password.

set password for distro

The installing Linux process has been completed. From now, your device is running two OSs side-by-side. And you can switch between them anytime with just keyboard shortcut keys.

Important points.

The command t- xfce refers to the Xfce flavor, which is great for lightweight devices.

However, It’s not necessary to only install Xfce flavor if you’ve something other than this on your mind. You can install that. 

Here is the list of commands for installing different flavors. And for the touch screen, check out the relevant Linux distros that support touch. For example, the sudo crouton -t touch,xfce is for touch screen.

  • sudo crouton -t unity
  • sudo crouton -t lxde.
  • sudo crouton -t gnome.
  • sudo crouton -t xfce.

As a rule, says, the unity flavor consumes a bit more storage and doesn’t work smoothly on low-end devices. Hence, suitable for devices with 64-to-128 storage.

Gnome is neither put too much load nor super lightweight. Suitable for 32-to-64 Storage.

Xfce and Lxde both are recommended to go with the devices having storage under 32GB.

Since we’re using crouton for installing Linux, that’s why you have to be line by line with crouton support for choosing a Linux distro. 

The command sudo Ctouton -t list will list out all the supportive distro that you can be installed using crouton. Take a glance at all of them, and later pick one from the list.

Step.4 Switching between OSs, chromeOS to Linux

Switching between OSs, chromeOS to Linux

Press the keys Shift+ALT+CTRL+Reverse to get back to the ChromeOS again, similarly to access the Linux OS, press the same keys such as; Shift+ALT+CTRL+Forward to access.

Don’t get pissed off if you see something goes wrong while switching. Just press the same keys over and over and it will get resolved.

Optional steps

Update Linux after finishing installation

The expert’s recommendation is that after installing the Linux on a device. Make sure to update it, it takes a few minutes, but in return, you will get the latest packages that are missing by default.

To update Linux, use the sudo apt update command to get the list of packages that needed an update.

Next, write the command sudo apt upgrade to start the updating process. It takes some time to finish off, depending upon the packages. Wait for its completion.

Removing Linux completely?

You may have concerns about removing the Linux for some personal reasons. 

There is not to worry about it, and it’s a minute-process to regret changes back to default. There are two ways to revert changes back to default. 

First, using the developer mode, at the point when it asks for “OS verification off,” the press space bar to continue. 

And the second way to uninstall Linux.

Write these following commands into the terminal.

First, open up the terminal(CUI) by pressing the ALT+CTRL+T.

Write 

cd /usr/local/chroots and press enter

sudo delete-chroot and press enter

sudo rm -rf /usr/local/bin and press enter

This will remove the Ubuntu.

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