crouton script, from SD card

Updated some of the instructions below

So, I’ve just been shown how to install the XFCE chroot environment onto an SD card.. (I will include instructions for internal and external). These instructions supercede all previous ones, as a lot of fixes are incorperated by the Crouton developer, and are no longer needed.

So now, you can run ChromeOS, a full Ubuntu with an XFCE desktop, literally at the same time, switch between them with a key stroke, and not use up any of the internal storage of your Chromebook…

These instructions are written for the ARM Chromebook – they will work for other devices BUT be very careful and figure out the name of your SD card using “sudo fdisk -l” before following anything below – anywhere you see “/dev/mmcblk1″ you should substitute for your SD card name.

First up, if you’re like me, you’ll want to remove your original chroot, and start again with the SD.

So first command:
sudo delete-chroot precise

sudo delete-chroot precise

Making an EXT4 Partition on your SD Card

(ignore this whole section it you want to install internally, I’ll give you a shout when it’s time to join back in!)

This assumes you want to use the whole SD. If you have another computer, instead of using your Chromebook – this can be replaced with “insert SD in computer, make EXT4 partition with gparted”…But this is written with the assumption you’ll be using an ARM chromebook for all steps.

Get into a shell

This is destructive to your SD card, kiss its content goodbye (or back it up)

First, we’ll just check the name of our SD card:
sudo fdisk -l

sudo fdisk -l

On the ARM chromebook it’s /dev/mmcblk1

Next wee’ll unmount any partitions mounted on the SD
sudo umount /dev/mmcblk1*

sudo umount /dev/mmcblk1*

Next we’re going to create a new partition table on the SD card.
sudo parted /dev/mmcblk1

sudo parted /dev/mmcblk1

This will take you into the ‘parted’ application, where we can create the new table.. Execute the following line and then click enter
mktable msdos

mktable msdos

Type “yes” when asked and hit return. Then type “quit” and click enter.

Reboot the chromebook to clear the mount points and stuff… (Do it, seriously)

Get back into a shell

Now we’re going to create a linux partition onto the SD card
sudo fdisk /dev/mmcblk1

sudo fdisk /dev/mmcblk1

This will take you into the ‘fdisk’ application.

Type the following in order:
n p 1 8192


If you now execute:
sudo fdisk -l

sudo fdisk -l

you will see your new partition (notice that it’s the name of the drive with “p1″ added to the end, this will be different on the non-arm devices….), but now we need to put a file system onto it..

Execute the following command to install an ext4 filesystem:
sudo mke2fs -t ext4 /dev/mmcblk1p1

sudo mke2fs -t ext4 /dev/mmcblk1p1

Eject your card

Re-insert it

Done…. Your card now has a working ext4 filesystem and we’re ready to install crouton onto it..

OK, at this point, you have a working SD Card

OR if you’re installing internally, **this is where you join back in with the instructions***

We’re back to the basics of crouton now…

First, download the script (for the most up to date download, go here: – at the top of the page, you will see a link like……. I’m not posting it here as it changes regularly, and these instructions need to stay up to date…)

Make sure before you download it that you delete any previous versions of the script that you might have (just in case you use an old one)..

Back in a shell, once the script is downloaded, execute:

sudo sh -e ~/Downloads/crouton -t xfce -p /media/removable/External\ Drive

sudo sh -e ~/Downloads/crouton -t xfce -p /media/removable/External\ Drive

(careful with this location – if you’re familiar with linux use your “tab” key to complete the location, it’s easier and always accurate…)

sudo sh -e ~/Downloads/crouton -t xfce

sudo sh -e ~/Downloads/crouton -t xfce

Wait for the process to complete..Answer any prompts (like your name, and password)

Now, to launch into your new desktop, the commands are:


With SD card inserted, open a crosh window -> ctrl+alt+t
Enter the shell by typing “shell”
cd /media/removable/External\ Drive/bin sudo bash startxfce4 -c /media/removable/External\ Drive/chroots/

cd /media/removable/External\ Drive/bin
sudo bash startxfce4 -c /media/removable/External\ Drive/chroots/

sudo startxfce4

sudo startxfce4

Then to switch between the two desktops, just use the following key combo:

CTRL + ALT + SHIFT + “Back”


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