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I recently wrote a post about using a cloud based VPS for doing development work on, it was pointed out to me in a Google+ conversation that this could be done equally as well with the Crouton installer.
Its true that most of the posts i’ve found on the internet cover running the default installer which will get you a Unity Shell Ubuntu 12.04 LTS i386 install. I’ve also covered in a different post that it’s possible to get the latest Ubuntu 13.04 Raring running with a few command line tweaks to the crouton installer.
The github Readme File (https://github.com/dnschneid/crouton) has a really good readme which explains how its possible to really do much more with this excellent script.
Most of the guides i have found on line focus on getting you a basic Unity install however Unity isn’t the only option and using the command line
sh -e crouton -t help
provides you with a list of other GUI’s you can install
Available targets: chrome Google Chrome browser. Replaces Chromium if specified first. Requires: x11 chrome-beta Google Chrome browser, beta. Replaces Chromium if specified first. Requires: x11 chrome-dev Google Chrome browser, dev. Replaces Chromium if specified first. Requires: x11 chromium Chromium browser. Uses the distro's version, which may be old. Requires: x11 cli-extra Basic CLI tools such as wget and ssh. Requires: core core Performs core system configuration. Most users would want this. e17 Installs the enlightenment desktop environment. (Approx. 50MB) Requires: chromium gtk-extra gtk-extra GTK-based graphical system tools such as gdebi and gksu. Requires: x11 kde Installs the KDE desktop environment. (Approx. 800MB) Requires: x11 lxde Installs the LXDE desktop environment. (Approx. 200MB) Requires: chromium gtk-extra touch Touchscreen and limited generic gesture support. Requires: x11 unity Installs the Unity desktop environment. (Approx. 700MB) Requires: chromium gtk-extra x11 Basic X11 install. Does not install any desktop environment. Requires: core xephyr Nested X11 install. Replaces X11 if specified first. Requires: core xfce Installs the Xfce desktop environment. (Approx. 250MB) Requires: chromium gtk-extra
This list shows that KDE, XFCE and even Chrome (very meta) are viable GUI Options, as is a CLI which we will cover later
-r RELEASE Name of the distribution release. Default: precise
Adding the -r switch to the install command line provides you with an additional option of chosing which version of Ubuntu you want to install. I have treid this with precise, quetzal and raring and they all install well. However it’s worth remembering you are about to install the very basic of installs once inside the Ubuntu environment the additional features need to be installed. (see here)
Each time you install from the command line the core files to create the Chroot environment are downloaded and checked, this is not the same as the Ubuntu files, its the ones which create the environment which ubuntu boots into. You can speed this part up a lot by having a local copy of these files
the -d command switch tells the script to download the bootstrap files and save them into a compressed file
sh -e crouton -d -f /home/chronos/user/Downloads/mybootstrap.tar.bz2
Then removing the -d will enable you to create the next chroot environment using local bootstrap files, the installer still needs to pull in the files for the Ubuntu install from the internet.
sh -e crouton -f /home/chronos/user/Downloads/mybootstrap.tar.bz2 -r raring -n unity -t unity
You can start the Ubuntu shell by using the normal startup command.
Once installed the chroots are stored in :
You can delete old chroot environments by using the command
When you run startunity lots of command line information shows up in the tab and you can’t close the tab as that closes the chroot environment however you can make commands run in the background so that you can close the terminal tab. This is particularly useful for desktop environments.
sudo startunity -b
My previous post about using the Chromebook as a Development environment I had my Ubuntu server running as a VPS, it is possible however to run and Ubuntu CLI environment locally on a chromebook which will act as an Ubuntu Server, there is no X11 install or Gui.
If you just want a nice CLI environment for running Vim, servers, gcc, there’s no need to install X11. Just use the
cli-extra targets and use the chroot via
From the crosh shell. You can enter the chroot simultaneously with as many crosh shells as you want.
It’s obvious that with a little patience it is possible to run multiple chroot environments using crouton and we can create a locally running dev environment, if i was running a Pixal I would happily do this however on my little ACER C7 i’m happy running the Cloud system as well.