Crouton with Fedora (chroot)

Update 28th January 2016 #

A new much improved version is now available:

http://nmilosev.svbtle.com/crouton-with-fedora-chroot-2-0


Crouton is a chroot utility for ChromeOS devices which allows you to run a Linux distro alongside ChromeOS. Currently it supports Debian, Ubuntu and Kali linux and there is a fork for Arch Linux and Mageia. Now there is something missing from this sentence, and you probably already know what it is. Yep, I’ve managed to install Fedora alongside my ChromeOS because, hey why not, and because I kinda install Fedora on everything, which you already know if you ever checked my blog. I recently bought a Toshiba Chromebook (used) and I’m really happy with it. It’s fast, it’s pretty, it’s light and it runs Fedora. :)

First some important stuff:

Now, I have to warn you again. Its ugly, its stupid but it works. It may break in the future, but it runs pretty good so far on my machine with no bugs that I can report.

Prerequisites are that your device is in developer mode and that you have around 2GB of disk space.

FINAL WARNING: Use Crouton with Ubuntu, it’s great. This probably isn’t… #

Installation #

How it works:

  1. We unpack some base RPM’s from Fedora 20 Heisenbug repository (yes you read that correctly, last version known to work)
  2. We get yum to run
  3. We get the Fedora 23 GPG key
  4. We do a distro-sync against the Fedora 23 repository (20 -> 23 is only possible in a chroot)
  5. We clean up

You don’t actually have to do any of this since I created a modified version of Crouton which will do all this for you out of the box.

Get the modified Crouton archive from my Google Drive like this:

cd ~/Downloads
wget http://bit.ly/1PNQxm6 -O crouton-fedora.tar.gz

2016-01-28 - There is a newer version available now, you shouldn’t be installing this version, check the link on the top

And unpack it:

tar xvf crouton-fedora.tar.gz 

After this it really simple as in normal Crouton:

sudo sh ./crouton-fedora/installer/main.sh -r fedora23 -t core

After a while it will ask you about your username and password. And if no errors are shown you should be able to enter the Fedora installation with:

sudo enter-chroot

Screenshot 2016-01-25 at 20.12.54.png

You can delete the chroot like in normal Crouton with:

sudo delete-chroot fedora23

Some important stuff:

After the installation you are in Fedora chroot, it’s great, dnf works, everything works!

Screenshot 2016-01-25 at 20.18.08.png

My crosh is running in a window, thanks to this.

Pretty easy, right? :)

DE, what DE??? #

Now, CLI is cool but I wanted a desktop environment. Normal Crouton users are spoiled for choice and have xiwi which is fantastic and seamless, but I think this is pretty similar to xiwi actually. So, since you have Fedora now, getting a DE installed is pretty simple. I like LXDE so:

  sudo dnf install @lxde

Now, X server on ChromeOS is replaced with Freon (please forgive me if I’m mistaken, I only got my Chromebook two days ago) if I understood correctly, so the Crouton team put some witchcraft into their scripts to make it work. I’m not nearly as smart or pretty as them, but I thought about it and realized, why can’t we just get the VNC server running similar like we did with our GNURoot on Android? And we can!

sudo dnf install tigervnc-server
vncpasswd

and enter your password. After this create the xstartup file:

echo '/usr/bin/startlxde' > ~/.vnc/xstartup && chmod +x ~/.vnc/xstartup

This obviously depends on the DE you chose.

After this you can run the VNC server like so:

vncserver :1 -geometry 1360x768 -depth 24 

Change the resolution if you need.

Screenshot 2016-01-25 at 20.29.20.png

After this your Chromebook is listening for connection on port 5901 (5900 + the number you wrote after ‘:’). Hop over to the Chrome Web Store and install RealVNC. Start it up and enter the address:

localhost:5901

set quality to high, and connect.

Screenshot 2016-01-25 at 20.34.47.png

When prompted for password, remember that it is the password which you set with the vncpasswd command and not your user password.

And then what happens? Not much really. :)

Screenshot 2016-01-25 at 20.37.08.png

You can go full-screen, copy-paste works etc. Don’t expect it to run 3D stuff or demanding stuff. For normal applications it’s great actually!

Screenshot 2016-01-25 at 20.54.25.png

So, there you have it, a proof of concept that you can run Fedora on everything. :)

Hit me on Twitter if you have problems! (@nmilosev)

All the code is in the mentioned archive, so you can modify it and play with it. :)

Finally, HUGE PROPS to the Crouton team for this brilliant piece of software!

 
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