Copy and Paste “Crouton Linux on Chromebook” Commands

We have several targets available already with crouton: Unity, KDE, XFCE, e17, gnome, cinnamon, LXDE, X11, CLI-extra, core and XBMC so far, with directions to put in Awesome from X11 and even KXStudio from KDE as explained in the Wiki (Intel-only for KXStudio).



Also, each can have the Chrome browser automatically install if it is listed first in the -t parameter, such as

-t chrome, xfce

Here I’m going to list a number of commands you can copy and paste that will produce new chroots with Chrome into named directories — if people find this helpful I can perhaps copy this into the Wiki.

On Intel machines, replace “chrome” with “chrome-beta”
(no quotes) if you want to try the latest version out, or with “chrome-dev” (no quotes) for the bleeding edge. (Will not install onto ARM processors since builds for those do not yet exist for ARM.)

The -r parameter specifies which distro version of Linux you want.

sh -e ~/Downloads/crouton -r list

to list the recognized releases. For instance, Ubuntu has precise, quantal, raring and saucy, and Debian has squeeze, wheezy and woody along with earlier versions at the time of this post.

The examples below use “artful”, but feel free to replace that with any others you wish to experiment with!


sudo sh -e ~/Downloads/crouton -t chrome,xfce -n xfce -r artful

Start with either sudo enter-chroot xfce or sudo startxfce4


sudo sh -e ~/Downloads/crouton -t chrome,unity -n unity -r artful

Start with either sudo start-chroot unity or sudo startunity


sudo sh -e ~/Downloads/crouton -t chrome,kde -n kde -r artful

Start with either sudo enter-chroot kde or sudo startkde


sudo sh -e ~/Downloads/crouton -t chrome,gnome -n gnome -r artful

Start with either sudo enter-chroot gnome or sudo startgnome


sudo sh -e ~/Downloads/crouton -t chrome,cinnamon -n cinnamon -r artful

Start with either sudo enter-chroot cinnamon or sudo startcinnamon
(Not available for some machines and distos – I believe I heard raring is the one that works.)

XBMC (doesn’t require browser):

sudo sh -e ~/Downloads/crouton -t xbmc -n xbmc -r artful

Start with either sudo enter-chroot xbmc or sudo startxbmc


sudo sh -e ~/Downloads/crouton -t chrome,e17 -n e17 -r artful

Start with either sudo enter-chroot e17 or sudo starte17


sudo sh -e ~/Downloads/crouton -t chrome,lxde -n lxde -r artful

Start with either sudo enter-chroot lxde or sudo startlxde

Base installs: (for Awesome, for instance — see Wiki https://github.com/dnschneid/crouton/wiki)

sudo sh -e ~/Downloads/crouton -t X11 -n xinit -r artful

Start with sudo start-chroot xinit

Command-line only:

sudo sh -e ~/Downloads/crouton -t cli-extra -n cli -r artful


sudo sh -e ~/Downloads/crouton -t core -n core -r artful

Start with sudo start-chroot

You can start as many cli instances as you like.

Append the above commands with -u at the end to update to the latest crouton which you have downloaded to your ~/Downloads folder (delete the old one before downloading it!)  http://goo.gl/fd3zc

(Originally posted at Crouton Community at Google Plus.)

Addendum to readme: Downloading bootstrap files over and over again is a waste of time

Saving and Using Bootstrap Files

The instructions on saving the bootstrap files appear to be incomplete, as they seem to only grab the “precise” release version of the files.

It seems this command allows you to get bootstrap files of any release you desire stored in your ~/Downloads folder — IF you include the releasename…

sudo sh -e ~/Downloads/crouton -d -f ~/Downloads/myreleasenamebootstrap.tar.bz2 -r releasename

substituting “releasename” above with raring, precise, quantal, etc.

Then use it like this:

sudo sh -e ~/Downloads/crouton -f ~/Downloads/myreleasenamebootstrap.tar.bz2 -t desktopname -n foldername

with “desktopname” being kde, unity, gnome, etc.

For updating, just leave out the -f ~/Downloads/myreleasenamebootstrap.tar.bz2 and simply update the folder name.

sudo sh -e ~/Downloads/crouton -n foldername -u

According to dnschneid, “Actually, when you update a chroot it skips the bootstrap stage entirely, as it’s not necessary. The -f parameter is simply ignored, and new versions of crouton can all use the same bootstrap file, no matter how old.”

Dennis Lockhart also shared this tidbit of an approach:

“I have also installed several targets in a single release, it saves some disk space plus you can still start and run as many as you like. For instance for a raring chroot enter:

sudo sh -e ~/Downloads/crouton -r raring -t chrome-beta,cli-extra,gtk-extra,cinnamon,gnome,kde,unity,xbmc,xfce

and it will install all the targets in a chroot named ‘raring’ by default.
Then you can start them with the start* scripts, (I.E.):

sudo startgnome -n raring

Also, with the new target naming conventions in crouton, you can update all of them at once without specifying any targets on the command line, just download the latest version of crouton and then, in my example,  issue:

sudo sh -e ~/Downloads/crouton -n raring -u

It’s easy to add targets to an existing chroot too just by using the ‘-u’ option. For example in your KDE chroot you could add gnome & xbmc by entering:

sudo sh -e ~/Downloads/crouton -t gnome,xbmc -n kde -u

And with the ‘edit-chroot’ command ‘s ‘-m’ option you can rename them too.

Pretty slick….”

I’ll say! I have gotten it to work myself … and it rocks! It is such a cool technique!

I originally posted this over at Google+ in the Crouton Community, but I’m sharing it here on my blog as well for you non-G+ers (yet!)

2 responses to “Copy and Paste “Crouton Linux on Chromebook” Commands”

  1. Terry,

    Have you ever tried to install firefox / 32-bit JAVA, such that you could run WebEX from a Chromebook chroot?? I’ve tried doing so with trusty/unity installed on my Dell Chromebook 11 via crouton, but I can’t get it to work. . I can’t get FireFox to recognize 32-bit JAVA, etc. . . there are several websites /forums that address this issue, but none seem to work for me. .

    Let me know if you’ve ever done this and got it to work on an intel-based chromebook.

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