HowTo: Ubuntu on ChromeBook

Ubuntu on ChromeBook

Ubuntu on Chrome

Ubuntu on Chromebook

To read our overall review of the Acer C7 ChromeBook, visit our article ChromeBook Runs Ubuntu (including video).


Update (24 Oct 13)

I no longer recommend this option. A far better option (IMHO) is to use Crouton. Our guide to Crouton can be found here:


This article includes instructions for loading Ubuntu 12.04 on the Acer C7 Chromebook. It also includes instructions for upgrading to the most recent version of Ubuntu (now at 13.04).

BEFORE you begin… You must have enabled “Developer Mode” on your ChromeBook. If you have NOT done this, visit our article here: http://bishoptec.com/2013/01/chromebook-developer-mode/

The entire process is completed using only the ChromeBook and your Internet connection. It will take about an hour to complete.

Phase 1

  1. Power on the ChromeBook & allow it to boot into the Chrome OS desktop but do NOT log in to Chrome.
  2. Sign in to your network (WiFi or wired) but do not log into the Chrome desktop
  3. Enter TERMINAL Mode (AKA “Command” or “Command Line Interface” or “CLI” ) by pressing <ctrl><alt><F2>
  4. At the “LocalHost login:” prompt, type “chronos” (without the quotes) and press <enter>
  5. At the “chronos @ LocalHost $” prompt, type “wget http://goo.gl/tnyga; sudo bash tnyga” (without the quotes) and press <enter>.
  6. The system will respond that “This version of Chrom OS isn’t 64-bit.” Disregard, press <enter> and continue to the next step.
  7. The system will ask the “size in gigabytes you want to reserve for Ubuntu” and gives you the acceptable range. It is your choice but I recommend to reserve 290 GB for Ubuntu (which leaves a bit over 30 GB for the stock Chrome OS) – which you will probably never use again. Enter the number you decide and press <enter>.
  8. Your ChromeBook will reboot and report “Your system is repairing itself.” After about 6-10 minutes, it will reboot and display the “OS verification is OFF” screen. DO NOT press the <ctrl><d> sequence – Instead, allow the ChromeBook to boot into the Chrome OS desktop.

Phase 2 (in this phase, you will repeat steps 2-5 of the previous phase)

  1. Sign in to your network (WiFi or wired) but do not log into the Chrome desktop
  2. Enter TERMINAL Mode (AKA “Command” or “Command Line Interface” or “CLI” ) by pressing <ctrl><alt><F2>
  3. At the “LocalHost login:” prompt, type “chronos” (without the quotes) and press <enter>
  4. At the “chronos @ LocalHost $” prompt, type “wget http://goo.gl/tnyga; sudo bash tnyga” (without the quotes) and press <enter>.
  5. The system will again respond with a dialog, “This version of Chrome OS isn’t 64-bit…” IGNORE the notice. Just press <enter> to continue.
  6. The ChromeBook will begin downloading and installing the Ubuntu files. There are 52 files and each is named with a part of the file name “aa.bz2″ through “bz.bz2″. The entire process will take approximately 25 minutes on a fast Internet connection – longer if your have a slow connection. No interaction is required.
  7. After all the files are downloaded, the system will install them. Do not touch the device until it reboots and you see the dialog described in the next step.
  8. When it is finished installing, it will reboot and present the “OS verification is OFF” warning screen. This screen will display for about 25 seconds. You can skip that delay by pressing <ctrl><d> and the device will immediately boot into Ubuntu. NEVER PRESS “ENTER”! Doing so will erase everything on the device and return you to the ChromeOS – just as it was when you first received the device.

This completes the process of installing Ubuntu.

UPGRADE to current version of Ubuntu:

  1. Sign in to your network so that you will have Internet access.
  2. Click on the Dash Home icon (top of the stack of icons). In the dialog box, type “update” and press enter. Click on the “Update Manager” (or, “Software Updater”) icon.
  3. If the system tries to update the current version, just go ahead and allow it to do so, then proceed to the next step. If you are asked for the password, type “user”.
  4. Click on the SETTINGS button.
  5. On the Software Services (or Software Sources) page, click on the UPDATES tab
  6. At the bottom of the page click on the “Notify me of a new Ubuntu Version” field
  7. Change from “Long-term Support Versions” to “Any New Version”
  8. Click [Close] and [Close] again.

When the system checks for updates again, if there are new versions, you will be alerted and given an option to install the upgrade. NOTICE: The Upgrade will take at least an hour and if you have a slow connection, even longer. (You will need to download almost 1GB of data.) You will also be required to respond to several dialogs before the upgrade will progress. My advice: accept all options and press “Forward” when given an option.

Switching between Chrome & Ubuntu:

Switching between the two operating systems requires a bit more work. Although the system will – at this first boot – boot into Ubuntu, the next time you reboot, it will return to the Chrome OS (it defaults to Chrome – unless you change it).

To set the default OS to Ubuntu:

  1. Enter TERMINAL Mode (AKA “Command” or “Command Line Interface” or “CLI” ) by pressing <ctrl><alt><F2>
  2. At the “LocalHost login:” prompt, type “chronos” (without the quotes) and press <enter>
  3. At the “chronos @ LocalHost $” prompt, type “sudo cgpt add -i 6 -P 5 -S 1 /dev/sda” (without quotes) and press <enter>  Note: Be VERY careful about each character, case, and spaces. Note that the character after the “add” is a lower case “i” (not a “1″) and the last character is a “1″ and not an “i”. Keep all the characters in the case as shown.

To set the default OS to Chrome:

  1. Enter TERMINAL Mode (AKA “Command” or “Command Line Interface” or “CLI” ) by pressing <ctrl><alt><F2>
  2. At the “LocalHost login:” prompt, type “chronos” (without the quotes) and press <enter>
  3. At the “chronos @ LocalHost $” prompt, type “sudo cgpt add -i 6 -P 0 -S 1 /dev/sda” (without quotes) and press <enter> Note: upper/lower case is important. Also, the character after the upper case P is the number zero.

The wikispaces site has provided a bit of a short cut for switching between the two operating systems. Here is the link to that site: http://cr-48.wikispaces.com/Dual+Boot+Shortcuts 

Create Shortcuts to Easily Switch Between Chrome OS and Ubuntu


After completing these steps you will be able to switch to Ubuntu from Chrome OS by simply entering the command ubuntu in the terminal.

You will be able to switch to Chrome OS from Ubuntu by entering the command chromeos in the terminal.

  1. Install Ubuntu using the instructions here

  2. Boot into Ubuntu and navigate to the Home folder

  3. Press ctrl + h

  4. Double-click the file .bashrc

  5. Scroll to the bottom of the file and add this command: alias chromeos=’sudo cgpt add -i 6 -P 0 -S 0 /dev/sda;sudo reboot’

  6. Save the file and close it

  7. Open a terminal by selecting Applications > Accessories > Terminal and type chromeos

  8. After entering your password (the default password is ‘user’), the computer should reboot into Chrome OS

  9. Log in to Chrome OS and press ctrl + alt + → (→ is the forward arrow where the F2 key would normally be)

  10. Type chronos and press enter

  11. Type sudo vim .profile and press enter (to see a complete list of vim editor commands go here)

  12. Press the letter a to begin ‘insert mode’

  13. Type alias ubuntu=’sudo cgpt add -i 6 -P 5 -S 1 /dev/sda;sudo reboot’

  14. Press esc to return to ‘command mode’

  15. Press shift + z then shift + z again to save the file and return to the terminal

  16. Type exit and press enter

  17. Type chronos to log in again and press enter

  18. Type ubuntu and press enter

  19. The computer should reboot into Ubuntu

User/Password: The Ubuntu system will automatically log in as user “user” with password “user”. It probably will never ask for the user name (“user”) but it may ask for the password, which is “user” (without quotes) unless and until you change it.

How to use Ubuntu: This guide does not pretend to offer any guidance in the operation of Ubuntu Linux. However, it is pretty intuitive and there are many helps on the Internet. If an error presents onscreen, just enter the error into the search box in Google, such as ” Ubuntu ‘how to change password’  ” (without the double-quotes or the spaces just inside them).

Here is a video of the entire process:

This guide was developed with the help of the following sites. We are indebted to each of them.

1. Liputing.com offers their guide but I found it a bit incomplete: http://liliputing.com/2012/11/how-to-install-ubuntu-12-04-on-the-199-acer-c7-chromebook.html

3. Jay Lee is the actual developer but his process is for the CR-48 (instead of the C7): http://chromeos-cr48.blogspot.com/2012/04/chrubuntu-1204-now-with-double-bits.html

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: