How to Dual Boot Chrome OS and XFCE Linux- ARM Chromebook

This Post will describe the process for installing XFCE Ubuntu 12.04 on your Samsung ARM Chromebook.

Things you will need.

  • Samsung ARM Chromebook in Developer mode (I will explain how to do this)
  • Crouton Download it Here (You will need to download this after you put your chromebook in developer mode as the process wipes your chromebook)
  • Time
  • A good internet connection (your chromebook will be downloading about 1 GiB of stuff)

First things first, you should know that everything on your chromebook with the exception of things that you have downloaded directly to the chromebook itself, check your downloads folder for stuff, are backed up/ stored on the cloud and will be restored when you log back in after this process is done. This is the beauty of a chromebook, not having to worry about losing your applications or documents regardless of how you lose, break, or damage your chromebook.

Putting your chromebook into Developer mode

Put your chromebook in developer mode- Hold down ESC and the Refresh button and tap the power button. This will take your chromebook into recovery mode.

(example of recovery page)Chrome-recovery-page
At the recovery screen press CTRL+D it will ask you to confirm, just confirm until it starts the recovery process.

This process will take about 15-20 minutes but can last as long as 30 minutes make sure to have the chromebook plugged in.

(example of progress screen)preparing-chromebook-for-developer-mode

After it is finished your chromebook will reboot. From this point whenever you reboot your chromebook you will be warned that you’re in developer mode. This is just a warning to alert you. This screen will display for 30 seconds or to move it along just press CTRL+D. Once it has booted, for the first time, you will be asked to login just as you did when your chromebook was brand new out of the box. Login and let it do its thing until it is logged all the way in. Just close out the Startup Guide that comes up. You should now be looking at your empty desktop.

Make sure to reconnect your chromebook to wifi as the next steps require an internet connection.

Installing XFCE Linux on your chromebook

Download Crouton Download it Here

Once Downloaded hit CTRL+ALT+T to open the native terminal emulator

Once Open type shell and hit enter

You should now have a window that looks like this


Type the following command into the terminal and hit enter. This will install Linux XFCE on your chromebook. This process takes a while so go get something to eat watch an episode of Dr. Who (definitely recommend the second one) and come back later. Make sure to leave your chromebook plugged in

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

After it has installed you will have a few prompts to fill out. The first being some sort of hard drive temperature monitor setting, just use whatever is selected and hit enter all the way through it. Next it will prompt you for you name, username, and password for the account. I would suggest using the same username and password combination that you use for your chromebook account so that you don’t forget. i.e. if your email is and your password is fullhouse then you would use bobsagget without the @gmail portion and fullhouse as your password.

Once it is done type the following command to start the linux side of your laptop.

sudo startxfce4


The screen will go black and then you will see the Linux Desktop.

Happy Tinkering.

Also to Switch back and forth between Chrome OS and Linux use CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+(backwards and forwards keys next to escape)

Let me know if you liked my tutorial in the comment’s section down below. Also let me know if you run into any issues so that I can help you resolve them.

Make sure to hit that like and follow button on your way out!

23 thoughts on “How to Dual Boot Chrome OS and XFCE Linux- ARM Chromebook

  1. how about installing different Linux Destro such as Pear OS? Can I use the same code? And do I have to plug an USB in to install it as the way I install Windows. Kinda confussed !

  2. when im running xfce4 and I go into the Chrome OS the terminal in chrome is still up. When I X out of it the linux freezes. Is there a way I can close the terminal without crashing it?

  3. I’ve got the HP Pavillion 14 chromebook and have followed the steps to dual boot into the Unity UI, however I seem to be missing the ability to download and install programs either from the web or the Ubuntu Software Center as it seems to be missing. Any thoughts on what I might have done wrong? It’s using the Intel chip set and not the ARM chip; so I get the feeling there is something I need to add to command strings but I am not sure what those are.

    Thanks for any help and have a great night.

  4. I installed crouton and loved it. However, my kids used my chromebook one day and accidently took it out of developer mode. Unfortunately, that meant that the chromebook went back to its original native state and ubuntu was gone. 😦 is there a way to add crouton and remove the initial screen to take it out of developer mode so that my chromebook isn’t wiped again?

    • Unfortunately I do not believe that there is. I think you best bet is to never turn it off. I never turned mine off just shut the lid and let it go to sleep, then you will not have to deal with that prompt.

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  6. After I switched back to chrome OS, I’m unable to access the ubuntu desktop. when use “ctrl alt F2” it gives me an option to login: den i type “chronos” and then “sudo startxfce4”. it finally displays fatal error. afterwards it returns back to chromeOS

    • Hmm. Did you maintain an internet connection and keep the Chromebook from sleeping? Then only time I experienced this was if I lost connection or it went to sleep during the Linux install.



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  12. thanks a lot, don’t worry about it. I dont care if ubuntu is in english or french, but i need chrome OS in french actually. I want to be sure that it will be possible.

    • I am currently running the Unity UI on my chromebook. If you want I can reinstall XFCE and do a little digging. I am confident i can have it figured out by tomorrow.

      Let me know.

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