Chromebook - Linux?

Hey guys, I was just wondering is it possible to install a linux operating system onto a chromebook, or will it brick? I thought you guys might know.

Off topic

Also can you upgrade them for example put a 500 gb ssd in them? Are they upgradeable in anyway?

(Sorry for any bad gramma/spelling)


Thanks guys


You can only upgrade some models. I would look at the Acer C710 if you want to do that. There are a few guides on YouTube on how to install Linux onto it.

Acer has a model with a 500gb hd but the battery life on it is lower due to that. I have seen videos of people putting an ssd into their samsung chromebooks but the ssd that is required is smaller(in size) and more expensive than you would want to pay for a £200 laptop.

You can install linux side by side with chrome but it is limited to xbuntu as far as I am aware. I tried to do this once and gave up as the chromebook was being stupid and I gave up.

Yup, it's possible, you can even swap the BIOS to open source code, which is what makes these machines very attractive.

This has been extensively discussed in relation to the C720 on the forum, read through the forum and you'll find exactly what you need.

As long as you don't touch the recovery logic of the chromebooks, you can always easily revert if something goes wrong. But if you're feeling adventurous, you can even swap that for your own custom code, and still debrick it using JTAG headers like with an Android device, as you can backup the code manually first.

First step though is to get a free linux distro on the chromebook, so that you have the tools to get started.

You'll find the link to the howto for Arch on the forum, at least for the C720.

I would definitely recommend using Arch or Gentoo on the chromebooks, don't waste your time with Crubuntu, it sucks and only runs in a chroot.

You can expand the storage. The C720 uses m.2 modules. However, the performance is not entirely as m.2 should be, it's about SATAI SSD speed. That will probably change as the community hacks around further deeper into the system and makes m.2 (PCI-e) SSD speeds available to chromebooks with flashed firmware.

Thanks Zoltan, thats helped a lot, i haven't used linux in awhile so this should be fun, thanks again!!

I have the Acer C710. Found one of the last ones locally for pretty cheap. Even though it was refurbished, it still looks like new. 

Out of the box it worked ok, but the 320GB mechanical HDD and only 2GB of ram definitely held it back a bit. The cool thing about this particular model is you can swap out the storage and ram. Hence, I installed an inexpensive 120GB SSD and doubled the ram to 4GB. In the end, it still cost me less than an entry-level notebook that would have been bogged down with windows and bloatware and also still cost less than the Samsung chromebook which cannot be upgraded at all and is stuck with only 16GB of storage.

I originally had plans to install Linux, but after learning more about and playing around with the chrome OS, I've found it does everything I need it to do, so I haven't bothered with Linux. There are some new features and functions coming down the line for the chrome OS that will make it even more useful. For such a functional low-cost machine, it's probably the best value of any piece of technology I've purchased in a very long time.