Zhu Yong

$ echo "Be Persistent, Be Patient" >> ~/.life

Jan 22, 2014 - 3 minute read - Comments - chromebook ubuntu crouton

Turn C720 Into Development Machine: Step By Step Guide

From Google Analytic report of my blog, I saw there are two visitors, one from Germany and the other from US. Both of them viewed my blog post about setup C720 development environment. But in that post, I didn’t record down step by step how to setup the development environment. Since people are interested in this topic, I think I should write a formal and detail post about this. So, here come this step by step guide of turn your C720 as development machine by install Ubuntu using crouton.

The reason I choose crouton over chrubuntu is because of the super convenient way to switch between ChromeOS and Ubuntu with Ctrl + Alt + Shift + Back keys. There is no need to reboot machine to switch between the OSs.

Step 1: Enable Developer Mode

Enable the developer mode will wipe all your data, so backup any important data before enable developer mode.

To enable developer mode:

  • Press Esc + Refresh (F3) keys then press Power button
  • Press Ctrl + D, ignore the warning/error message on screen.
  • Press Ctrl + D again, you entered the developer mode.

After enable developer mode, evertime you cold start your computer, you need to press Ctr + D or just wait for 30 second.

Step 2: Install Ubuntu 13.10 Using crouton

crouton is a powerful script that will do all the download and installation job for you. Download latest version of crouton from http://goo.gl/fd3zc. For details of crouton usage, refer to it’s github repo.

I use crouton to install Ubuntu 13.10, and I choose xfce4 as the windows manager. Below are the steps I prerformed:

  • Download crouton
  • Open shell by Ctrl + Alt + T, then type shell
  • Run sudo sh -e ~/Downloads/crouton -r saucy -t xfce. This will start the downloading and installation process for Ubuntu 13.10
  • Wait untill the installation done.
  • Run sudo startxfce4 to start the Xfce
  • Anytime you want to switch between ChromeOs and Ubuntu, just use Ctrl + Alt + Shift + Back or Ctrl + Alt + Shift + Forward
  • log out xfce will end the xfce session

Step 3: Install Development Tools

There is no much to talk about this step, it’s the same as install development tools in Ubuntu. Just run sudo apt-get update, sudo apt-get install to install whatever tools you needed.

For me, I installed git, vim, build_essential, cmake, golang1.2, llvm3.4, the_silver_searcher as well as ruby and necessory packages for Octopress.

If you followed all the steps above, your C720 will become a nice Linux development machine. I haven’t tried to run any IDE like eclipse or android studio, I think my 2GB RAM may not sufficient for RAM hunger tools like that. If you have the 4GB version of C720, I think there is no problem to run those IDEs.

Step 4: Key Map Modification (Optional)

If you are like me, always use CapLock as Ctrl, you can follow the instruction in my another post to map the search key to ctrl.

Next, I will write another post to talk about development on C720 using cloud based development environment. If you are interested, please stay tuned.