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How to convert a generic Chromebook to Linux OS

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  1. How to convert a generic Chromebook to Linux OS, How to convert a generic Chromebook to Linux OS: step 1, image 1 of 2 How to convert a generic Chromebook to Linux OS, How to convert a generic Chromebook to Linux OS: step 1, image 2 of 2
    • You will need a couple of decent sized USB sticks. I used 16gb sandisk cruzer sticks. One for your desired live linux image and one for taking a backup of your original chromeos supporting image. The second one is optional since you only need that if you ever want to go back to your chromeos image.

    • I did it just in case I bricked my laptop. Turned out to be unnecessary since the script worked perfectly. You can probably skip taking the chromeos flash backup since it probably won't be needed for yours either.

    • Download amd64 lubuntu LTS image or whatever flavor you desire of linux. Burn it on one of your USB sticks with software suitable for creating bootable USB sticks. Download:

    • Note that you may use a second computer to perform the above step. I was able to do it with my crouton chroot on my existing Pavilion chromebook. I use and recommend Etcher software for this step: Linux - Mac - Windows creating bootable images on USB keys - SD cards the easy way. or...

    • You can burn to any USB device with this technique: you can try with the "chromebook recovery utility" from the web store. It basically does a dd of any image with a .bin extension, rename your downloaded linux iso to add the .bin extension, then on the tool choose "use a local image" by clicking the gear icon at the top right.

    • You are now ready to "unscroogle" your chromebook. Remember those silly ads? I actually loved my chromebook for five very productive years. If it was not unsupported, I would continue to use as is too.

  2. How to convert a generic Chromebook to Linux OS, Turn off write protect of system on chromebook hardware: step 2, image 1 of 1
  3. How to convert a generic Chromebook to Linux OS, Important information for RW_LEGACY option.: step 3, image 1 of 1
    • Some chromebooks can support the RW_LEGACY option but many older ones can't. If yours can it is possible to dual boot the machine and retain your chromeOS functionality and have a discretely bootable linux system as well.

    • You most likely will need more storage to support this kind of setup. Since this is advanced usage, I won't cover that sort of thing here. Since google in their wisdom will stop supporting your hardware/software after only five years you probably don't care about dual booting anyway do you?

  4. How to convert a generic Chromebook to Linux OS, Get ready!: step 4, image 1 of 3 How to convert a generic Chromebook to Linux OS, Get ready!: step 4, image 2 of 3 How to convert a generic Chromebook to Linux OS, Get ready!: step 4, image 3 of 3
    • Press [ Ctrl ] [ Alt ] [ T ] to get to the crosh shell prompt on the chromebook (See first image). Note: these first 3 shell images were captured via cloudready which is a chromeos workalike not an actual chromebook but are identical for our purposes here.

    • Use the "shell" command to get to the shell prompt. Just type "shell" into the prompt and press enter (see second shell screen image).

    • Type the following (or cut and paste into a single command line... see third shell screen image). I include the full command in the next bullet point...

    • cd; curl -LO && sudo bash

    • Press enter on above command line when you are ready to start converting your chromebook to a fully functional general purpose personal computer.

  5. How to convert a generic Chromebook to Linux OS, All chromebooks go to heaven!: step 5, image 1 of 1
    • You should get that menu (see graphic) with appropriate device data for your particular Chromebook. Select option 3 to flash a full UEFI capable rom onto your system. Note this is the end of your chromebook effectively once you pass the clearly identified "point of no return".

    • Note: Some chromebook architectures are unsupported (notably ARM cpu systems). You may get a error message if your system is unsupported.

    • You can either perform the chromeos rom backup or not as the option presents itself (your choice). You will need that extra USB stick if you choose to backup the original rom. Do you feel lucky punk? Sorry :D

    • Once it is finished it will prompt you to power off and restart the device. At that point you can insert your new linux boot/install USB stick. From there you simply install like you would on any typical laptop.

    • I opted to go the full UEFI route on mine but it is optional. Follow the instructions under the FAQs ( The fifth question there is answered with how to proceed to setup your UEFI boot option files correctly.

  6. How to convert a generic Chromebook to Linux OS, Wrap up... or... The king is dead long live the king!: step 6, image 1 of 1
    • I have installed cairo-dock and now my hardware is off the leash. I now have the poor man's friend... the free-open-source- software macintosh work-alike.


To reassemble your device, follow these instructions in reverse order.

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Chromebook Cowboys Member of Chromebook Cowboys


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Thank you very much for the detailed information. I have successfully converted my ASUS C302C chromebook to Linux laptop.

Yu-Ten Lee - Reply

A better and safer way to install Linux on Chromebooks exists :)

Cameron - Reply

Thanks for the useful input Cameron. I added a follow up note to the heading here. Now I am going shopping for a more modern used chromebook.

tcagle53 -

hello, thank you for sharing

i want to ask for lenovo chromebook slim 3, can it install linux?, cause when i reboot and start to mode developer not found properly

Ahmad Rimba - Reply

Did you read "Note2" in the above introduction? If not and if your device is supported by "breath" that may be a viable approach. It is a fairly complicated process that I have not tried so beware if it is out of your comfort zone.

tcagle53 -

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