Monday, July 20, 2015

Ubuntu Linux on my Chromebook without X11

I have been very happy with using Chrome OS on my Toshiba Chromebook 2 but after often reading how easy it is to install Ubuntu I decided to give it a try. I used crouton (which runs Ubuntu along side Chrome OS) and decided to not install X11 to save space - important with just 16GB internal storage. I used:

sudo sh ~/Downloads/crouton -t cl-extra

After installing Ubuntu I had about 10.5 GB of free local storage (remember, Chrome OS is also installed). After installing the gnu command line development tools, Ruby 2.1, Java 8, lein for Clojure development and several of my Ruby and Clojure projects I still have 7.5 GB of storage. I still want to install Haskell so I will have less space to work with.

When developing web apps, you can test using the Chrome web browser since crouton runs Ubuntu right along side Chrome OS. For example, I was running a Sinatra app using port 4567 and could just hit the URL http://localhost:4567 on the Chrome browser in Chrome OS. Easy. I thought that I might have to start a ssh tunnell beyween the two Linux environments, but that was not required.

Opening several terminal windows using ctrl-alt t and then starting a shell in each with:    


shell
sudo enter-chroot

I really like Chrome OS but also having Ubuntu available for local development is great! My Toshiba Chromebook 2 has 4GM of RAM and the processor is fast enough. If you like console development using emacs or vi, then this is a good setup. My Chromebook as a 1080p resolution screen so there is a lot of screen real estate for multiple console windows and a web browser.

2 comments:

Fascinating Captain said...

I tried crouton when I brought my Toshiba chromebook a couple of months ago but really wanted a way to use Linux exclusively. There is now a way to do it see my post http://www.fascinatingcaptain.com/chromebook/install-ubuntu-on-the-toshiba-chromebook-2-in-5-steps/

Mark Watson, author and consultant said...

Thanks for that writeup.