Full Linux desktop on Chromebook - SNOW BARA NA-J 0453 / Samsung XE303C12-ad1br
I own a Chromebook for let's say 3 years now? At the time I was doing a specialization course in another city, and each weekend I was taking the Underground train, things ware complicated in my area, and I was so afraid (of being stolen) to carry with me my expensive Mac Book Pro. So I decided to buy a really cheap Notebook. I found out that a Chromebook ware enough for what I needed at the time. Deal done for R$ 650,00.
Here is what I bought. The first Chromebook model sold in Brazil.
Happens that I gave up of that course, and my Chromebook ends up being pretty convenient for daily usage, as well for when I travel. It's serves for basic usage as it does for some quick work, although for it, we need to install stuff like Team-viewer, RDP Client, access some remote environment like Eclipse Che and so on. Remember that it's web focused.
The utility though, can be extended from "pure web applications" to traditional Linux apps, like Gimp, Inkscape ... and sure, full command-line stuff.
Here is how do it.
1 - Enable developer mode
With the Chromebook powered and on, reboot it in recovery mode pressing:
ctrl + esc + reload + power
Once rebooted, it will beep and warn you that there is no OS present and bla bla bla...
press ctrl + d, enable the developer mode, follow instructions there (pressing enter to confirm).
This will erase all your disk, and do the stuff.
2- Download Crouton
Go to https://github.com/dnschneid/crouton and download it to your Downloads folder
3 - To install a full Linux
I'm installing it here full, with user interface, and xiwi to be able to run it in a chrome tab or windows, instead of having to switch to one or other environment. Sure, depending on your usage, you might want just the command line basic stuff. Check out Crouton on github, read the alternatives there.
Ctrl+Alt+T -> to open crosh (Chrome OS developer shell), like a terminal in a tab.
shell -> to enter the standard Linux shell
And than run the installation itself
sudo sh ~/Downloads/crouton -r xenial -t xfce,xiwi
This will install a full Linux with xfce interface.
Almost at the end it will ask you a name for a user and password.
4 - Install the Chromium OS 'crouton integration' extension
So, this xiwi is basically a tunnel, that instead of sending the image from X11 direclty to screen, send's it to be "captured" by something else. This "something else" is this extension. Imagine a VNC, or Team-viewer. It listen's, and when have "stream" available, it connects to it.
Press ctrl + alt + t will open crosh tab, from where you enter the shell, and start the graphical interface. I find useful "pin the tab" after it, and leave it.
Here is when the extension comes in action, you might see in the console some attempts to connect, and then, the user interface will poup-up (in full screen by default). To leave full-screen, press F11 or the dedicated key on your keyboard.
Well, it's just a window. You can just minimize, or even close the window (the desktop will still running, you than just reconnect from the icon of the extension in the Chrome browser).
To really close the Desktop running, shut it down, or logoff from it.
As you may know, I`m a programmer, I work most in web projects, but not only. This area is a mess! Each day you have to recycle what you know in many ways. The thing is, a knowledge that change so often can`t afford wait to be translated to Portuguese for instance, at that time, the known will be already deprecated. English to me is a functional requirement. I can`t imagine my daily life without it. I have been studding English for serious since 2009. In this section you can see what I`m working on. Have fun as I do.