I have a few problems and questions. First of all I am using a brandnew Chromebook Acer R11 and used this guide to install Ubuntu next to Chrome OS: http://chromebookblog.de/ubuntu-auf-dem-chromebook-installieren/

It was very easy to install Ubuntu with Unity and to boot Ubuntu for the very first time but at that point, the problems started.

1: There were no apps and programms preinstalled. No AppCenter, nothing. 2: A few shortcuts do not work. For example I have to log out on Ubuntu to come back to the Chrome OS because the shortcuts for switching from Ubuntu to Chrome OS and backwards do not work. 3: There is no way to start the bash shell and this is of course the main struggle and problem. The standard shortcuts for starting the bash do not work. I tried to change the shortcut or find some link or icon to start the bash but no effect. I then tried to start the shell manually over bin/bash.cpp but no effect. No shell opened up.

I think something went really wrong. Is there any way to fix this problems? Unfortunatly I did not find any similar problems here or at stack overflow. Is there a better guide, would it be the best to start the process again, or is there still hope to fix everything?

Thank you for your time and help. If you need more information, I will be happy to follow your instructions.

Greetings Andre

  • I recently struggled with Dell Chromebooks running Crouton. They were quite unstable and frequently crashed. I would highly recommend installing Ubuntu as its own OS if you want to use Ubuntu on a Chromebook. A task I recently did for 11 Chromebooks in our university lab.
    – Rewarp
    May 13, 2016 at 20:42
  • There is also Debian available with Crouton. My 14.04 Xfce (lighter and maybe better for a Chromebook) works fine, but mine is Asus.
    – jbrock
    May 15, 2016 at 14:59

2 Answers 2


The problems you have mentioned are currently existing problems with ubuntu on Crouton. I have tried ubuntu with gnome/xfce with 14.04. And I use the following workarounds,

Keyboard shortcuts : Do not work.

Brightness up/down : brightness up or brightness down in the terminal when running Ubuntu. Volume change buttons were working.

Terminal: open everytime with the menu. The keyboard short cut does not work. Details here about key mappings and customization

Additonal programs Installed them separately. Checked the repository listing and corrected version name if wrong. Also added some additional PPA's here (be careful !)


First updated the package list: sudo apt-get update

Tried gnome terminal.

sudo apt-get install gnome-terminal

1.) LibreOffice

sudo apt install libreoffice


sudo apt install libreoffice-gnome

2.) Restricted applications

sudo apt-get install ubuntu-restricted-extras

3.) Software center

sudo apt-get install software-center

However, i run it by issuing gksu software-center in the terminal.

4.) Updated the distribution kernel.

sudo apt-get dist-upgrade After distribution upgrade check the existing sources.list file again.

5.) File-roller for working with compressed files.

apt-get install file-roller

6.) Logout to go to back to chrome.

This is painful but still I keep using crouton based Ubuntu installation since its stable for me ( HP Chromebook 14)


I have done the exact same thing on my Acer R11, but did not have those issues.

From what it sounds like, crouton did not configure Ubuntu correctly. So, you can do one of 3 things. The first 2 are preferred.

  1. Update Chroot Using Crouton

    Referencing this great little cheat sheet, you can just run the following:

    sudo sh ~/Downloads/crouton -u -n <chrootname> [-t <new targets>]

    This will check for updates to the chroot and apply them, optionally with new targets.

    To see what targets you might need, run sh ~/Downloads/crouton -t <help | list>.

  1. Update Internally Using startcli

    If you installed cli-extra, startcli will launch a new VT right into the chroot.

    That's from the crouton "homepage" (GitHub).

    Essentially, it opens something like xterm in the background without X, and shows you the output (and accepts your input) through crosh. It also states that you may need to install the cli-extra target (see method 1)

    Using startcli, you can run all of the updates you need - apt update, apt upgrade, etc.

    You can even upgrade your Ubuntu release from in your chroot! (in your case, this may fix stuff, or completely break things, depending what you upgrade from and to, and how your chroot is configured.)

  1. Start Over

    Yep. I said it.

    Do your best to back up anything you managed to do in your chroot, and use sudo delete-chroot <chroot name>. Once it is deleted, just reinstall and try again.

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