In this tutorial, I show you step-by-step how to install Linux on Chromebook.  This Linux-on-Chromebook install method uses a free Linux app called “chrx” to quickly and easily install Linux on your Chromebook.

This install method uses the “chrx” program to quickly and easily install Linux on Chromebook.  The best way to do this is by using GalliumOS, which is a very specific (and free, of course) version of Ubuntu Linux that runs extremely well on Chromebooks.

(So.. why the name ‘Gallium’?  It relates to the fact that the Linux version of Chrome is called Chromium.  Gallium and Chromium are both elements in the periodic table ..”the more you know”.)

Why does GalliumOS run well on Chromebook?

  • Gallium OS was optimized to run well particularly on Google Chromebook
  • The Gallium operating system has only what you need – no bloatware or clutter
  • The user interface of GalliumOS is lightweight, which means better performance for you.

Due to the Chromebook’s relatively low-powered hardware, the full-fledged Ubuntu version of Linux with the Unity desktop enviornment is totally possible, but not recommended.  This is why the Gallium OS was created: to allow users to easily install Linux on Chromebook.  Here’s how to replace Chrome OS with Linux on your Chrome book:




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How to Install Linux on Chromebook

  1. Boot Chromebook into Developer Mode by pressing Esc + F2 + Power.  More specifically, we recommend you hold down the first two keys, then press the Power button once.
  2. When the Chromebook reboots, it’ll display a “Warning” message.  Don’t worry!  This is totally normal.  Press Ctrl + D to launch Developer Mode

    Chromebook Developer Mode

    Chromebook Developer Mode

  3. After Chrome OS launches in Developer mode, sign in to your WiFi network.  You do not have to sign in to your Google account!
  4. Press Ctrl + F2 to launch a command prompt window
  5. Type “sudo curl -O && sh go“into the command line and hit Enter on the Chromebook’s keyboard
  6. Your Chromebook will present you with instructions.  Follow the instructions to set up your new Linux OS!
  7. If necessary, Reboot.  After that, repeat Steps 2 through 5 above until you’re setting up your new Linux on Chromebook OS.
  8. Pro Tip: When the chrx Linux installer asks you how much space you’d like to save for Linux, choose at least 1 GB LESS than the default amount.  I chose the default amount – and the result was that my Chrome OS installation was left with almost no usable space in which to operate.  This is fine if you’re just going to ditch Chrome OS and use Linux permanently, but why not hold back an extra gig for Chrome OS so you can have dual-boot between Chrome OS and Linux while still maintaining full functionality and ample “breathing room” as far as operating disk space goes.

    Install Linux on Chromebook

    Here’s a Toshiba Chromebook running Linux (GalliumOS)

Wrap Up

This was pretty easy for me to do compared to other Linux installation methods – particularly for a device that has Chrome OS installed on it!  So, I hope  it’s easy for you too.

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After you install Linux on your Chromebook, we recommend you install Kodi on Chromebook Linux.

Installing Kodi on Chromebook is simply a matter of booting the Chromebook into Linux (aka Gallium OS), then follow the “Install Kodi on Linux” guide!  Kodi will then appear as a shortcut in the Gallium OS start menu, or launch Kodi from command line by typing “kodi” and hitting Enter ;).