In order to install Ubuntu, you'll need to put your Chromebook into developer mode and use the command line to download the installation files. This tutorial will show you how.
The first task is to put your Chromebook into developer mode, which in most cases is achieved by flicking a physical switch. Depending on the model of your Chromebook, you may need to change a BIOS setting, too, as we describe in the main text.
To ensure no-one can tamper with your Chromebook without your knowledge, this warning screen appears every time your system starts up in developer mode. Press Ctrl-D to dismiss it and carry on booting – or wait 30 seconds for it to disappear.
Entering developer mode wipes your settings, so you’ll be invited to set up Chrome OS as if from scratch. Use this dialog to connect to a wireless network, but don’t log in – press Ctrl-Alt-Forward Arrow to switch to the command line.
The default user name is “chronos”, and the command to download ChrUbuntu is “wget http://goo.gl/tnyga”. You can launch the script with “sudo bash tnyga”. You’ll need to run this twice: once to partition your disk, then again to install Ubuntu.
Ubuntu runs perfectly happily on x86 Chromebook hardware – from the operating system’s point of view, it’s just a regular laptop. You may want to reconfigure some keyboard settings, though, since Chromebooks don’t have a Windows key.
If you want to update your Chromebook to Ubuntu 12.10, simply change one setting in the update manager: by default only LTS releases are offered, but the latest OS will become available if you change this to “any new version”.