Google has rolled out a security update to Chromium OS designed to prevent unexpected code running from on a Chromebook. For the most part, that’s a good thing. But it also means that some code that you may want to run may not work anymore… without some small modifications.

Case in point: the developer of the Crouton utility that lets you download and install a GNU/Linux operating system (like Ubuntu or Debian) and run it alongside Chrome OS says the installation steps are a little different now.

The good news is that they’re not very different. So aside from the fact that a bunch of websites with instructions for how it used to work are now incorrect, this isn’t really a big deal — you can still use Crouton on most Chromebooks, Chromeboxes, or other devices running Chrome OS.

Acer Chromebook Tab 10 with Crouton/Ubuntu

So what’s changed? When you’re installing a GNU/Linux distro using Crouton, the line that used to read:

sudo sh ~/Downloads/crouton …

Now reads:

sudo install -Dt /usr/local/bin -m 755 ~/Downloads/crouton

For the most part that’s it… but Crouton developer David Schneider also notes that “the steps for running chroots off of external media have also become more convoluted,” so rather than post a walkthrough here, I’m going to follow his advice and just point you to the official Crouton Github page, which should always offer up-to-date instructions for how to install, edit, and run Linux using Crouton.

I’ve also updated several old Liliputing articles with the new instructions.

A chroot, by the way, is basically a tool that lets you install a guest operating system inside of another OS while sharing some resources. The chroot environment includes its own separate file system, user interface, and set of apps. But it shares a kernel, memory, and other resources with the host operating system.

The result is that you can use Crouton to install an operating system like Ubuntu and flip between it and Chrome OS almost instantly. This lets you run a full-fledged desktop environment on a Chromebook without replacing Google’s operating system, which means you still get Google’s feature and security updates, along with the ability to run Chrome OS apps, Android apps, and even Linux apps if you have a Chromebook that supports those features.

While Google has started rolling out support for running some Linux software in Chrome OS, the feature is still very much a work in progress, which could make Crouton worth using for the foreseeable future.

via Chrome Unboxed

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5 replies on “Installing Linux on a Chromebook with Crouton is (a tiny bit) tougher after security update”

  1. Brad did you get the Ubuntu DPI fixed on your Acer Chromebook Tab? I saw the article picture and thought of the previous article you wrote about it. I have always wanted a Linux tablet.

    1. I returned the tablet to Acer a week or two after the review, so I didn’t really have the chance to keep tinkering with it.

  2. > I’ve also updated several old Liliputing articles with the new instructions.

    Not too many sites would even bother to do this. Awesome!

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