Do you need Skype on your Chromebook? Do you miss not having access to games through Steam? Are you pining to use VLC Media Player? Then start using Linux on your Chromebook. Installing a traditional Linux environment on your Chromebook is a quick and easy way to unlock your machine’s true potential and improve its functionality.
Chromebooks have been getting a lot of news coverage recently – their market share has been expanding rapidly and many onlookers now predict they are set to become one of the best-selling gadgets of 2014. They are not perfect for everyone though, their inherent online functionality frustrates some users, the ongoing Google vs Microsoft war means no native Skype app, and the media player isn’t well-endowed with features.
Luckily, because the Chrome OS is a Linux-based operating system, users can install an alternative Linux environment and get a fully-fledged Linux desktop on their Chromebooks. Before you start please be aware that if you have a ARM-based machine, several Linux apps (including Skype) will not work, as they are only designed to run on Intel architecture.
The method below only works for the newer Haswell-based Chromebook models. It is not advisable to use ChrUbuntu if you have an ARM-based machine, though the developer does offer a solution for ARM-based devices. However, the performance on these models is poor as a result of the slower processor speeds and limited RAM. If you have an ARM-based machine, you will see better results by using the Crouton method as described further down the page.