I just got a Chromebook (Toshiba Chromebook 2) and, of course, instantly used crouton to install Ubuntu 14.04. Unfortunately, the Toshiba is not currently capable of true dual boot or USB boot (to my knowledge, please correct me if you know something!). Now I want to use multiple user accounts on the Ubuntu side (e.g., so my kid can have a user profile).

But while I can create a user account, I cannot switch to it. Logging out goes back to Chrome OS. And trying to switch accounts seemingly does nothing.

Anyone know if this is possible?

3 Answers 3


Press Ctrl+Alt+F8. If this doesn't work, try this:

  1. First, go to your terminal and type:

    gksudo gedit  ~/.bashrc
  2. Scroll down to the bottom, and add a line to the bottom.

  3. In that line, type (without the brackets):

    alias switch='su (name of your kid's profile)'
  4. Save that and go to your terminal and type:

    . ~/.bashrc
  5. Now go to your system settings and navigate to Keyboard -> Shortcuts -> Custom Shortcuts.

  6. Press the plus icon.

  7. Type in the name field "switch accounts", and in the command field "switch".

  8. Click to the far right of the field where it says "switch accounts" and press Ctrl+Shift+/.

  9. Now whenever you press that you should switch accounts to your kid's account.

You can also do the same on your kid's account to switch back to your profile.

  • Thank you for the answer, but unfortunately, that does not work. I noticed that when I create the kid profile, it creates the /home/kidname folder and populates it only with six hidden files (taken from /etc/skel'): .Xauthority; .bash_logout; .bashrc; .profile; and .xscreensaver. I have tried creating a new user two ways: (1) sudo adduser kidname; and (2) in System Settings>User Accounts>plus button. In both instances, a kidname` folder is created in '/home/`, but I cannot switch to it. Also, I want to make clear that this is on a Chromebook running Ubuntu 14.04 using crouton.
    – Rsync
    Jun 6, 2015 at 16:37
  • Also, not sure this is relevant, but in System Settings>User Accounts, the user that is not selected changes from a little person silhouette to a little devil silhouette. And I can't make any changes (the lock won't unlock). To do so, I need to open System Settings using gksu.
    – Rsync
    Jun 6, 2015 at 16:42
  • @MBWD, So both solutions don't work? Its unlikely, but it could be that the problem comes from having both OSs running at the same time. Try running gksudo adduser testname
    – ShpeeLord
    Jun 7, 2015 at 0:31
  • @MBWD Try running what I said before; gksudo adduser testname, then run sudo passwd testname. You will be prompted to enter your password, then after that, enter the new password for the new account "testname". Unfortunately you have to have at least one character in your password. After you have done all this, try switching accounts by going to your menu which has all the functions; shutdown, log off, switch users, and try to switch accounts from there. If if comes up with a black screen with a blinking underscore, wait a bit, and if it doesn't load after 20 seconds, press Ctrl+Alt+F7.
    – ShpeeLord
    Jun 7, 2015 at 1:04
  • Thanks @ShpeeLord -- but no go. I can add the user and create a password. But when I go to the system menu (upper right corner in Ubuntu) and try to switch accounts, I get the same result: nothing.
    – Rsync
    Jun 7, 2015 at 3:38

I resolved the problem by switching from Crouton to Coreboot.

Here is a link to John Lewis' coreboot solution using Sea Bios.

Here is a link to the googleplus coreboot on Chromebook community.


Creating a new user on a Chromebook running crouton:

This may be done as:

Add a new user, directory, and shell:

sudo useradd -m -d /home/newusername -s /bin/bash newusername

Set a password:

sudo passwd newusername

Unlock the user

sudo usermod -U newusername

switch to the new user

su newusername

Edit /etc/sudoer
Comment out the line newusername ALL=(ALL:ALL) ALL with a hash # This is to prevent the new user from having sudo privileges.

You could also set privileges on each new users home directory to prevent other users from viewing the contents.

Hope this helps :-)

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