Install Linux onto your Chromebook. Dual-boot alongside ChromeOS for maximum flexibility.

works on Most Chromebook models. See chromebooks.
installs Several Linux distributions. See operating systems and recommendations.


Version 3.0.2 See changelog.


Installing Linux via chrx onto a new (or freshly recovered) Chromebook is a two-phase process:

If you reinstall later, or switch to a another distribution, chrx will skip directly to phase two.


  1. Enable Developer Mode
    • (for most models, press ESC+F3(Refresh)+Power)
  2. Boot ChromeOS and open Terminal
    • Press CTRL+D at the white "ChromeOS is missing or damaged" (or "OS verification is OFF") screen
    • Configure Wi-Fi and log in (Guest account is fine)
    • Open ChromeOS Terminal by pressing CTRL+ALT+T, and entering shell at the prompt
  3. Update firmware, if necessary -- see chromebooks
    • required for Bay Trail, Braswell, and Apollo Lake models
    • recommended for Broadwell, Skylake, and Kaby Lake models
    • optional for Haswell models
  4. Download and run chrx
    • curl | sudo tar xzfC - /usr/local && chrx
    • Several options are available to customize your installation
    • This new command line is required for ChromeOS M82 and newer. It also works on older ChromeOS versions.
  5. Follow on-screen instructions to allocate storage space for Linux
    • chrx will suggest dedicating as much space as possible to Linux, and as little as necessary for ChromeOS. Choose your allocation ratio according to your personal requirements and preferences!
  6. Repeat steps 2 and 4 to install and configure your new system


chrx can accept several command-line options:

Usage: chrx [ option ... ]

   -d DISTRIBUTION OS-specific distribution to install [galliumos]
                     galliumos, ubuntu, lubuntu, xubuntu, kubuntu, edubuntu,
   -e ENVIRONMENT  distribution-specific environment [desktop]
                     galliumos: desktop
                     ubuntu etc: desktop, minimal, standard, server
                     fedora: desktop, workstation, kde, xfce, lxde, mate,
                       cinnamon, sugar
   -r RELEASE      distribution release number or name [latest]
                     galliumos: latest, 3.0, bismuth, 2.0, xenon, nightly
                     ubuntu etc: latest, lts, dev, 16.04, 16.10, xenial, etc
                     fedora: latest, 23, 24, 25
   -a ARCH         processor architecture (i386, amd64) [amd64]
   -m MIRROR       distribution-specific download mirror [primary]
   -t TARGETDISK   target disk (/dev/mmcblk1, /dev/sdb, etc) []
   -p PACKAGE      additional packages to install, may repeat []
                     kodi, minecraft, steam, etc, see for more
                     (not yet supported on fedora)
   -H HOSTNAME     hostname for new system [chrx]
   -U USERNAME     username of first created user [chrx]
   -L LOCALE       locale for new system [en_US.UTF-8]
   -Z TIMEZONE     timezone for new system, Eggert convention [America/New_York]
                     America/San_Francisco, Europe/Amsterdam, Etc/UTC, etc
   -n              disable success/failure notifications
   -s              skip all customization, install stock OS only
   -y              run non-interactively, take defaults and do not confirm
   -v              increase output verbosity
   -h              show this help

Default values are shown in brackets, e.g.: [default].

If TARGETDISK is not specified, chrx will select the internal SSD.


chrx can install additional software packages after installing your new operating system, using the -p PACKAGE option.

You can install any package in the Ubuntu repositories via this method, plus a few non-Ubuntu packages for which chrx has special handling, and some aliases for convenience:

To install multiple packages from the chrx command line, you can repeat the -p PACKAGE option as many times as you need, or you can quote the argument, e.g.: -p "gimp blender inkscape".


GalliumOS Desktop (latest), verbosely:

chrx -v

GalliumOS Desktop (latest), plus packages:

chrx -p "minecraft steam kodi"

Lubuntu Desktop (latest):

chrx -d lubuntu

Ubuntu Standard, version 16.04, system name hal, first user dave, including some administrative tools:

chrx -d ubuntu -e standard -r 16.04 -H hal -U dave -p admin-misc



status CPU family notes
Intel Haswell Firmware update available (RW_LEGACY)
Intel Broadwell Firmware update recommended (RW_LEGACY)
Intel Skylake Firmware update recommended (RW_LEGACY)
Intel Kaby Lake Firmware update recommended (RW_LEGACY)
Intel Bay Trail Firmware update required (RW_LEGACY)
Intel Braswell Firmware update required (RW_LEGACY)
Intel Apollo Lake Firmware update required (RW_LEGACY)
Intel Sandy/Ivy Bridge Requires SeaBIOS with Legacy Boot capability
Intel Pineview Requires SeaBIOS with Legacy Boot capability
ARM ARM support is very unlikely

If you do not know the CPU in your device, check here:

operating systems

status OS distribution notes
Linux GalliumOS Derived from Xubuntu, developed specifically for compatibility and optimized performance on Chromebook hardware.
Linux Lubuntu A light-weight variant of Ubuntu, with the LXDE desktop environment.
Linux Xubuntu A light-weight variant of Ubuntu, with the Xfce desktop environment.
Linux Kubuntu Ubuntu with the KDE desktop environment.
Linux Edubuntu Full Ubuntu plus application bundles used in educational settings.
Linux Ubuntu The standard full Ubuntu distro.
Linux Fedora New 20161121!
FreeBSD Work in progress!


Chromebooks perform best with lighter-weight operating systems and desktop environments, and they often require updated kernel drivers to support their new and tightly integrated hardware.

Selecting a distribution which meets these needs is therefore an important part of Linux-on-Chromebook happiness. While any updated distro will work for ordinary tasks, there are a few that stand out:

sample measurements

distribution¹ disk space² RAM use³ install time⁴ recommended?
GalliumOS 3.0 3.2GB 320MB 10 mins
GalliumOS 2.0 2.5GB 291MB 9 mins
GalliumOS 1.0 2.8GB 287MB 10 mins
Lubuntu 15.10 2.7GB 227MB 18 mins
Lubuntu 16.04 3.1GB 185MB 19 mins
Xubuntu 15.04 3.0GB 360MB 22 mins
Ubuntu 15.04 3.5GB 440MB 28 mins
Kubuntu 15.10 4.2GB 613MB
Fedora 24 (lxde) 2.9GB 182MB 20 mins
Fedora 24 (cinnamon) 3.8GB 384MB 27 mins
Fedora 24 4.5GB 647MB 27 mins
  1. All distributions were installed with the desktop environment option, except where noted.
  2. Disk space can be reduced by removing unwanted packages. The number shown reflects the default install for the desktop environment.
  3. RAM use is measured after graphical login, connecting to Wi-Fi, and opening one window of the default Terminal program to run /usr/bin/free after a couple minutes for the system to stabilize. The number shown is an average of several tests, and variance is very low (2-3%).
  4. Installation time will vary greatly depending on your Internet connection, but the ratios should be representative.

test suite

"Working" is defined as:

This list might evolve. Your input is welcome!


chrx is a command-line installer which requires requires no physical media or other preparation to install. It allows you to dual-boot, so you can choose Linux or ChromeOS each time you turn on your Chromebook. This is a flexible setup, well-suited for many users, but of course not all.

Consider these alternatives:

notes on security and privacy

Running code from the net is always an act that requires careful thought. chrx can be run directly from the net, and by default will download additional code via the same mechanisms. Any of these downloads could be misdirected or compromised. Downloading over an unsecured network (e.g. public Wi-Fi) raises the likelihood of such malfeasance, but it can never be fully eliminated.

If these are concerns of yours, you can mitigate your risks by auditing all of the code involved, comparing checksums of downloaded packages, and hosting local caches (see advanced usage).

Also, chrx "pings home" on every install to report success or failure. This ping includes no personal information, only data that might be useful for investigating failures.

Log entries created by these pings look like this:

17.x.x.x - - [01/May/2016:07:37:00 +0000] "GET /end_ok HTTP/1.1" 200 0 "-"
  "chrx/2.2.3 hw=PEPPY_C6A-V7C-A2C sw=linux,galliumos-desktop,latest,2.0,amd64" "-"

hw is a hardware ID that corresponds to your model of Chromebook (not a serial number).

sw combines a few of the command-line settings (or defaults) that you used to run chrx.

If this level of information sharing makes you uncomfortable, the behaviour can be disabled with the -n switch.

meta, obligatory

chrx is pronounced "marshmallow".


To Jay Lee for ChrUbuntu, to /r/chrubuntu for assembling links to tons of helpful resources, and to the dozens of people who found answers and solved problems before I even started looking.