I purchased a toshiba cd35-b3340 chromebook. nice (13" IPS) but slow. google octane of about 7500, about half of the HP Chromebook 14.

I would like to try to boot a full linux distro now (ubuntu). first upgraded chromeos to the latest version. then esc-reload-power and then ctrl-d allowed me to switch to developer mode. (it powerwashed successfully.) on bootup, I now get "Os verification off (space to reenable it)." all good.

here I insert ubuntu 15.10 on a usb stick and reboot. the message I am getting is "chrome is missing or damaged. please insert..." and then "the device you inserted does not contain chrome os." the device is the usb installation stick for ubuntu.

it is right about here that internet instructions about ubuntu on chromebooks get a bit mushy. what exactly does one do here?



You can install Ubuntu on a chromebook using crouton. First you will need to install it first from github and download the latest version.

Open the new terminal in Chromebook * (Alt+Ctrl+t)

Type this command to open shell:


Now we are going to install Ubuntu. There are several desktop environments available including KDE Plasma, Unity and Xfce. Unity can be quite heavy for Chromebook hardware and xfce is way too plain for my taste, so I am going to install KDE Plasma.

sudo sh ~/Downloads/crouton -t kde

(Substitute KDE, with xfce, or unity if you want ) Example:

sudo sh ~/Downloads/crouton -t xfce

For encryption use:

sudo sh -e ~/Downloads/crouton -t kde

(This is not necessary)

If you are installing it on a Chromebook with touchscreen then also add the ‘touch’ parameter:

sudo sh -e ~/Downloads/crouton -t touch,kde

(Needed for touch activation)

Now you are downloading this may take awhile... Once the install is finished Crouton will ask you to enter the user-name and UNIX password.


Now you can start Plasma by running the following command in shell:

sudo startkde

The install will be bare-minimum and won’t come with the applications that are packed by distributions. So updates are needed.

sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade

To go back to Chrome OS, and keep KDE running, use this key combination Alt+Ctrl+Shift+Back. To come back to Kubuntu from Chrome OS, use this combination. Alt+Ctrl+Shift+Forward.

When you log out of KDE, it exits you from Chroot and you will have to again run the sudo startkde command to start Plasma or the desktop that you have installed.

Note: This will NOT work on education or company chromebooks!


I would like to try to boot a full linux distro now (ubuntu).

You should have chosen to install via chrx.org which will install Ubuntu, Ubuntu Flavors, Gallium OS or Fedora in a separate partition with it's own kernel for you and without the need of creating any media instead of using crouton.


thank you, DnrDevil. +1.

Further Installation Notes:

all the installation is done from within a booted chromebook, not on startup (i.e., how one would usually boot a usb stick and install). the ctrl-alt-t is invoked inside the chrome browser.

gnome is probably not heavier but lighter than kde, and so I did -t gnome . there is an article on heaviness:

Ubuntu Flavors Comparison: Ubuntu 15.10 vs Kubuntu 15.10 vs Ubuntu GNOME 15.10

crouton installs well, but it took about 2 days (sitting on a direct internet pipe at ucla), probably because it consults archive.ubuntu.com as its main download site. at the end, the chrome terminal in the browser does not work all that well well, because there is a line at the end (where your cursor should be) that is not shown in the window itself. so, one basically types in the blind. if the chrome terminal app was better, it would obviate about half of my need to work with ubuntu in the first place. I just need a great shell, emacs, and ssh. I did install chrome "secure shell", but for some reason, it does not work. it just is grayed out on the chromebook. it works on osx chrome.

at the end of the linux install, the crosh terminal is still in chromeos. so, apt-get will not work (even though the chrome crouton used it). however, apt-get does work after startgnome.

as to version,

gnome-session --version

tells me it installed 3.2.1. dates back to about 2011.

the default software collection is indeed modest. for example, the gnome terminal is not installed by default. (uxterm is.) emacs24 is not available, but emacs23 is. (neither is emacs24-nox or emacs-nox.)

the alt-ctrl-shift backarrow and forwardarrow instant shift between chromeos and ubuntu is amazing.

I may edit this post again to reflect more details.


OK, so DnrDevil is right, but if you wanted to install Ubuntu onto a USB drive, instead of

sudo sh ~/Downloads/crouton -t unity

or whatever environment you choose, trying to install it onto a flash drive doesn't work. If I were to enter this command,

sudo sh ~/USB/crouton -t unity,

this is it's answer,

sh: 0: Can't open /home/chronos/user/USB/crouton

you must apparently download an ISO file and burn it to the USB drive, and there isn't a single USB/CD ISO burner for ChromeOS, at least not that I have seen.

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