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Run Chromebook in Ubuntu

The lightdm-chromeos-login project, by dz0ny, installs the ChromiumOS desktop and its Aura window managerwithin Ubuntu. It even lets you login it to a full-blown Chrome desktop straight from the login screen.

Limitations and Possibilities

The ChromiumOS desktop is entirely accessible from within Ubuntu it but it remains separate from Ubuntu. You cannot interchange data between the two.

You can run it from login, and in windowed mode from the terminal. No Chromebook or LiveUSb needed here!

What Works

When you buy a Chromebook one thing you can count on is the OS being ready to work straight away. No fuss, no installs, no waiting. The following features are all working at the time of writing:

  • Google Account login
  • Tablet mode
  • Chrome Sync
  • Simple development for ChromeOS specific plugins/extensions(~/chrome-os/user)
  • Hardware acceleration
  • Adobe Flash & Google Talk Plugins (if Chrome is installed in Ubuntu)
  • Java (if it’s installed in Ubuntu)
  • 64bit Support
  • Network support (from ubuntu and not native)

What you can’t do

  • Importing images from camera, USB, etc
  • Battery information
  • Guest login
  • Various system controls/hardware functions
  • Auto-updating

Download ChromeOS in Ubuntu (64bit Only)

As lightdm-login-chromeos is still in development the inexperienced or stable-system dependant should steer clear of installing this. Suffice to say, it has locked up my computer a few times.

The “app” is provided  as a .deb installer for Ubuntu 12.04 or 12.10 64bit only. Installing it in 32bit Ubuntu will work, but ChromeOS won’t run.

Download ‘LightDM Login ChromeOS’ (.deb)

When the package has finished downloading simply double-click on it to begin installation via the Ubuntu Software Center. During installation Ubuntu will warn you that the package is of ‘bad quality’ – it’s safe to ignore this (even Google’s Chrome browser installer gets this warning).

As the package installs it will download a canary build of the Chromium OS browser and its Aura window manager. These are fetched very quickly. On the time of this writing there isn't a ppa available.

Running ChromiumOS in Ubuntu

Now ChromiumOS is installed it’s time to run it. The first step is to open a terminal and run

  • chromeos

to launch the OS in a windowed mode. When you do that first, you can check if it is working OK.

The first time you have to setup ChromiumOSand then you start in the ChromiumOS desktop. You Chromium browser data will sync in the background. Google Drive will begin syncing the first time you open Files > Google Drive.

For further information, or to report bugs/contribute, see the projects’ wiki page:

LightDM Login ChromeOS wikipage on GitHub