I have a Chromebook, more specifically an Acer Chromebook CB3-131.

I have created a bootable USB drive containing Ubtuntu Desktop on my Mac. I want to boot from this USB drive on my Chromebook. I do not want to install Ubuntu Desktop on the Chromebook permanently, I just want to "try it out" until the computer is shut down.

How can I do this?

3 Answers 3


It's not possible to boot from external devices on a Chromebook as they use a firmware NOT a BIOS. It is possible to install it in a "chroot", where you use a directory as your filesystem and run it alongside ChromeOS. This is probably the easiest as it doesn't require you to partition or otherwise modify your Chromebook.

It IS possible to run SeaBIOS on at least some Chromebooks which make it function more like a standard laptop however that installation process isn't as simple as chrooting and offers minimal benefits if you just want a Linux environment to mess around with.

the setup process is relatively simple and you should be able to find a guide through a quick Google search.

  • That's bad news. You seem knowledgeable on this topic. Do you have any guide to recommend for the chroot method?
    – user266875
    Jan 17, 2018 at 22:22
  • I don't see what's clunky about installing SeaBIOS with mrchromebox.tech/#fwscript
    – LiveWireBT
    Jan 17, 2018 at 23:54
  • You can follow this guide @user266875https://www.linux.com/learn/how-easily-install-ubuntu-chromebook-crouton Jan 18, 2018 at 8:38

Edit: You can use the regular Ubuntu USB that you have already made and select "Try Ubuntu without installing"

You'll need to go into develop mode in order to do this. The instructions are here: fascinatingcaptain.com/blog/dual-boot-chrome-os-and-linux

  • How do I set the Acer Chromebook to boot from USB? I have googled around and haven't found any solid guide.
    – user266875
    Jan 17, 2018 at 22:14
  • You can do it by entering developer mode. Here are instructions on how to do it: fascinatingcaptain.com/blog/dual-boot-chrome-os-and-linux Keep in mind that this is risky and that it will wipe all of your user info and data before you begin but it's the only way possible if you are sure about doing this. You can also just use the regular Ubuntu USB you have and select "Try Ubuntu without installing". Jan 17, 2018 at 22:26

Well im not sure you can just "test" it out without installing it. You can partition your HD and install Ubuntu on there and boot to there so you have both OS'.

Instead I recommend if you have a Mac, just download a VM (oracle Virtual box is good ), install the Unbutu iso in the Virtual Machine and test it out.

If you like it and want to use it all the time, then install it on your chrome book.

  • There really is an option when booting Ubuntu Desktop from USB that is "try it out". You can imagine instead that I want to run any other live linux distro like Knoppix or Tails. How do I do that?
    – user266875
    Jan 17, 2018 at 22:13

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .