How To install Ubuntu On Chromebook? (Step-By-Step Guide)

Install Ubuntu On Chromebook: Chromebooks are not just browsers. They are Linux laptops, so you can easily install an entire Linux desktop with Chrome OS and instantly switch between the two with a hotkey without rebooting. Google has added native support for Linux applications directly in Chrome OS, and this feature is available on many Chromebooks. This post will guide you to install Ubuntu on Chromebook using Crouton.

About Crouton:

Crouton is a set of scripts that allow Ubuntu, Debian and Linux systems to run parallel to the Chrome OS system. Crouton uses the “chroot” environment to simultaneously run both Chrome OS and Ubuntu. Ubuntu runs with Chrome OS so that you can switch between the Chrome OS and your standard Linux desktop environment with a keyboard shortcut. It provides the ability to use both scenarios without needing a restart.

How To Install Ubuntu On Chromebook?

To install Ubuntu on Chromebook, the first thing you need to do is to enable developer mode on your device. Note that this process will powerwash your Chromebook and remove any accounts and local data. Therefore, you need to ensure that you have backed up important data from your Chromebook

How To Enable developer mode:

  • Switch off your Chromebook and reboot it into recovery mode.
  • You need to press and hold the Power button and the Esc and Refresh keys.
  • You will see a message asking you to insert recovery media.
  • To insert recovery media, you can press Ctrl+D.
  • Wait a few minutes, and your Chromebook will boot into Developer mode.

From now on, you’ll see the warning screen every time you boot your Chromebook. To continue booting, you must press Ctrl + D or wait 30 seconds. This warning screen warns you that Chromebook is in developer mode and does not apply the usual security precautions. That’s why Google makes it easy to tell if Chromebook Developer is in a way and does not allow you to disable this warning screen permanently.

Related: How To Install Minecraft for Chromebook 2022?

Steps To Download & Install Crouton to Install Ubuntu for Chromebook:

  • First, you need to download the setup file Crouton on your Chromebook by searching it on the internet and downloading Crouton by following on-screen instructions.
  • Once the Crouton was downloaded on your Chromebook, you need to open the crash terminal by pressing Ctrl+Alt+T in Chrome OS. 
  • To enter Linux shell mode, type shell at the terminal and press Enter. Note that this command only works if developer mode is enabled.
  • To easily install Crouton on your Chromebook, you need to run the following command, which installs Crouton with the Xfce desktop and is encrypted chroot for security.
Install crouton to install ubuntu on chromebook
Install crouton to install ubuntu on chromebook
  • Give command like sudo sh ~/Downloads/crouton -e -t xfce
  • The actual installation process may take some time as the appropriate software is downloaded and installed, which takes about half an hour, but the process often takes automatically. 
  • If you want to install the Ubuntu Unity desktop instead of Xfce, use the -t unity instead of the -t Xfce in the command above.
Install ubuntu on chromebook
Install ubuntu on chromebook
  • Note that Unity does not run smoothly on the limited hardware of most Chromebooks. To view a list of installation types, including non-graphical desktop installations, run the following command:
  • sh -e ~/Downloads/crouton
  • After the installation process, you can run one of the following commands to enter your Crouton session if you have installed Crouton with Xfce.
  • sudo enter-chroot startxfce4
  • sudo startxfce4

Related: How To Play PS4 on Chromebook with HDMI cable?

How to Switch Between Operating Systems Using Keyboard Shortcuts?

Use the following keyboard shortcuts to switch back and forth between Chrome OS and your Linux desktop environment.

  • If you use an ARM Chromebook, press Ctrl+Alt+Shift+Back and Ctrl+Alt+Shift+Forward. 
  • Or, If you use an Intel x86/AMD64 Chromebook, press Ctrl+Alt+Back and Ctrl+Alt+Forward plus Ctrl+Alt+Refresh.
  • If you want to completely exit from the chroot environment, you can use the logout option to log out from the Xfce desktop or unity desktop. To re-enter chroot, you need to run the sudo startxfce4 command above.


Here, we have given the procedure to install Ubuntu on Chromebook with a detailed explanation. I hope this post on Ubuntu for Chromebook will be helpful for you.


1. Why do I need to install Ubuntu on my Chromebook?

Ans: Although based on the Linux kernel, Chrome OS is not Linux. It has a remote terminal, but it does not allow you to do many things. Even many simple Linux commands do not work by default. So it is better to install Ubuntu software on your Chromebook separately.

2. Why install Ubuntu for Chromebook using Crouton?

Ans: Crouton installs Linux in a chroot environment, which will allow you to switch between operating systems without the need to reboot quickly. When you use Crouton to install Ubuntu for Chromebook, you are permitted to share the download directory between Linux and Chrome OS easily.

3. What can I do with Ubuntu?

Ans: If you have Ubuntu on your Chromebook, you can easily install graphical utilities like image, video editor, text editor, development tools, drawing tools, office suites and all the Linux utilities on your Chromebook.

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