Crouton to the rescue

Chromebooks can now run Linux in a Chrome OS window

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This is cool: Chromebook users can now run their favorite Linux distribution within a window right on their Chrome OS desktop. Google’s own happiness evangelist François Beaufort revealed with a Google+ post Tuesday that Chromebook oners who have set their device in developer mode can download special Crouton Chrome extension to run Linux without being forced to switch back and forth between the two operating systems.

Screenshot 2014-12-29 at 11.09.09 AM

Running Linux on a Chromebook is not a new thing. Chrome OS is based on the Linux kernel, and there are a number of ways to run both Chrome OS and Linux on the device. My colleague Kevin Tofel highlighted three ways of accessing Linux (and other operating systems as well) a while back, and he even recorded a video of using Crouton to run Chrome OS and Linux simultaneously, which you can watch below. However, the new Crouton Chrome extension makes it possible for the first time to run Linux in a window.

8 Responses to “Chromebooks can now run Linux in a Chrome OS window”

  1. HELP!!!! I am completely lost, I have a chrome something or other and I need to run R and Rstudio but I have no idea of how to open a chrome os window much less while another winow is running some other programme?

    • Yes–there can be problems, due to the lock-down. I’ve been running ChrUbuntu (native Ubuntu–not a chroot) for two years. It’s worked fairly well until now and I’ve updated Ubuntu many times using apt-get. After the last update, it failed to boot. Given the lock-down, there’s no way to fix this problem with a “Live” Ubuntu boot (USB DVD or Flash stick). The only option for recovering my data was to remove the hard disk drive and mount it on another Linux machine. Guess I’ll try the Crouton method.