Thursday, August 8, 2013

Linux on a Samsung Chromebook

In order to develop a cheap (<$300) Arduino programming platform I chose a Samsung Chromebook ($250) as my personal machine to experiment with. My first task was to override the native operating system (Chromium) to install and run an application-based, desktop style, open source operating system. Luckily for me, the Chromium system was developed on a Linux kernel, meaning Google was just asking for developers to dive in and mess around.

HowToGeek's Chris Hoffman makes a very good point about Chromebooks and the Chrome OS.
Chromebooks aren’t “just a browser” — they’re Linux laptops. You can easily install a full Linux desktop alongside Chrome OS and instantly switch between the two with a hotkey — no rebooting necessary.
Interesting... in fact, Chris notes that Google employee Dave Shneider developed a software package he called Crouton that can be installed on the Chromebook and exploits the Chrome OS "chroot" environment. Crouton allows you to run Ubuntu Linux alongside your Chrome OS, as quoted above. To install Crouton and Ubuntu, I followed the following two tutorials exactly, without any issues whatsoever:
However, there is a lot in there that we can skip... so in my next posts, I'm going to break it down easy enough for a middle school student to follow, which is exactly what I hope to do in September.

But before I can make it that simple, I'm going to need to create some step-by-step tutorial videos. So, can you do screen capture in a Chromebook? Yes... but not video. However, I've already hacked my Samsung, so I'm going to try it in Ubuntu.

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