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Google Pixelbook - Setup the perfect Ubuntu Unity with crouton

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Sometimes i tend to mess with other stuff than just macs - having bought a Pixelbook lately (i5) and ended up upgrading that to the i7 model i decided it was time to play a bit with crouton - read more here: https://github.com/dnschneid/crouton


Anywhere - here is a small guide for making Ubuntu-unity running great.. i will keep it updated over time.

  1. First make sure that your machine is in Developer mode – if you don’t know how – Google it. 
  2. Open a new shell using CTRL+ALT+T – type "shell" to enter a linux shell 
  3. Download the latest crouton from https://goo.gl/fd3zc 
  4. Navigate to the downloads folder and run: "sudo sh ~/Downloads/crouton -t unity-desktop -n unity" to start downloading/installing Ubuntu-unity

As per the time of writing it will download Ubuntu Xenial - you can easily change "unity-desktop" to another interface.. use "sh ~/Downloads/crouton -t list" to get a list of interfaces.


The "-n" switch defines the "name" of the installation - if not defined it will use the name of the ubuntu distro.. but by giving it a name you can have several distros/interfaces.


Once its done, you can start unity by running "sudo startunity" - however – lets tweak it a bit and install Xiwi – Xiwi allows you to run Ubuntu both full screen or in a Window – however – on the negative side you wont get graphic acceleration 


  1. Start by installing the chrome Xiwi extention – Head over to: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/crouton-integration/gcpneefbbnfalgjniomfjknbcgkbijom - and install it. 
  2. Now type: sudo sh ~/Downloads/crouton -t xiwi -u -n unity 


Like before you can now use "sudo startunity" to start Ubuntu.. Use the fullscreen on the keyboard to switch between full screen and window mode – on some systems you might even get a black screen to begin with – it will work fine in fullscreen if you goto window mode and back again. 


There is plenty of switches for xivi and crouton to play around with - a good page to bookmark is: https://github.com/dnschneid/crouton/wiki/Crouton-Command-Cheat-Sheet




  • Terminal seems to be broken – use xterm to install an alternative terminal emulator such as konsole.. Run "apt-get install konsole" - on a pixelbook the text font in konsole might need a bit of tweaking 

  • Sleeping the chromebook seems to crash Unity 

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