What follows will be a series of “How To’s” revolving around using Crouton to run Linux on a Chromebook and the options that that opens up. First I’ll go through a basic Ubuntu 16.04 LTS Xenial setup on a Chromebook that you can build off of based on your needs. These articles are geared toward making use of the limited storage capacity that comes with a Chromebook, there are other articles on the web if you are looking to fully convert your Chromebook (dual boot, replace drive, etc). Here I’ll give a few examples for setting up for development, gaming or just general use. I try to be as thorough as possible so that anybody with basic computing understanding can do it.
The reason for doing this with your Chromebook is it allows you to perform feats otherwise not possible, play Steam games, run old game console emulators, install development tools and even Windows software using Wine.
Once your configuration is complete, the experience is like this. When you turn on your Chromebook (every time now you’re greeted with the ‘beep-beep’ for dev mode, yay) and it will load your Chrome OS and prompt you to login with your Google account. Once your Chrome OS desktop has loaded, you can use it as normal or you can access your Linux desktop by launching it via the terminal (2 command lines). When you’re in your Linux (Ubuntu) desktop environment, you can actively switch back and forth with keyboard shortcuts.
Note: When putting your Chromebook into developer mode, all local storage will be cleared. So anything you have on your Chromebook that is not backed up via the cloud or an external drive will be lost. Settings and installed options connected to your Google account will not be lost but will be restored when you log back in after the reboot.