Chromebooks are great. Cheap, Light, efficient, safe, easy. But a little limiting if you’re used to a full Linux environment. Thankfully, crouton makes it very easy to run full Debian on a chromebook with a lightweight window manager like i3.
First-off, you have to put your chromebook into Developer Mode and install Crouton. I won’t repeat that here, because you know how links work. Then pop open a crosh (Ctrl+Alt+T) and type
shell to get a full linux shell.
Using crouton, create your chroot
sudo sh -e ~/Downloads/crouton -e -n debian-i3 -r jessie -t x11,extension,keyboard,cli-extra,gtk-extra
-eencrypts the chroot
-n debian-i3is the name of our chroot
-r jessieis our debian release (run
crouton -r listto see all the options)
-t x11,extension,keyboard,cli-extra,gtk-extraincludes the dependencies we’ll need
This may take a while. You’ll be prompted for username and passwords.
Once it’s built, enter your new chroot.
sudo enter-chroot -n debian-i3
Now we can install i3 from the debian repositories and set it to start with the X server.
sudo apt-get install i3 echo "exec i3" > ~/.xinitrc
You’ll also want to configure the keyboard:
setxkbmap -layout gb(use your country code)
Then you can start i3 from within your chroot using:
Or enter your chroot and start i3 all in one go with this (tip: create an alias):
sudo enter-chroot -n debian-i3 xinit
You can swap back and forth between Debian and ChromeOs with
Ctrl+Alt+Shift+Back Arrow and