Although it’s been possible to run Linux on a Chromebook for sometime, it wasn’t exactly easy and required quite a bit of work and technical knowledge. Fortunately, there’s now an extension for Chrome OS that allows you to run either Ubuntu or Debian in a window using nothing but a console command. This isn’t exactly the kind of feature that the average user would ever need, but it could add more functionality to cheap web browsing laptops.
This is cool: Chromebook users can now run their favorite Linux distribution within a window right on their Chrome OS desktop. Google’s own happiness evangelist François Beaufort revealed with a Google+ post Tuesday that Chromebook oners who have set their device in developer mode can download special Crouton Chrome extension to run Linux without being forced to switch back and forth between the two operating systems. Running Linux on a Chromebook is not a new thing. Chrome OS is based on the Linux kernel, and there are a number of ways to run both Chrome OS and Linux on the device. My colleague Kevin Tofel highlighted three ways of accessing Linux (and other operating systems as well) a while back, and he even recorded a video of using Crouton to run Chrome OS and Linux simultaneously, which you can watch below. However, the new Crouton Chrome extension makes it possible for the first time to run Linux in a window.