Yet another blogging experiment…

Installing Ubuntu 14.04 LTS With I3 Window Manager on Chromebook

In this post I document the steps required to install and configure Ubuntu 14.04 LTS (Trusty Tahr) on an ASUS C200MA-EDU-4GB Chromebook.

I’m going to assume that you have already downloaded Crouton.

Install the base system

  • Hit Ctrl+Alt+t to start a crosh shell
  • Enter shell to start a proper shell.
  • Enter cd Downloads
  • Install the base system by entering
    ~sudo sh -e ./crouton -r trusty -t x11,extension -n trusty-i3
    • Follow the directions

Install the window manager

  • sudo enter-chroot -n trusty-i3
  • sudo apt-get install i3
    • allow it to create a default configuration file

Install a decent terminal

  • sudo apt-get install gnome-terminal

Install the Adobe Source Code Pro Fonts

I love these fonts!

  • Navigate to Adobe’s github download page here.
  • Download the tar.gz format
  • Assuming that your chroot is running….
    • From the ChromeOS side do Ctrl+Alt+t to open a terminal
    • Enter shell, then cd ~/Downloads
    • Untar the archive. For me it was: tar xfz source-code-pro-1.017R.tar.gz
    • CD into the extracted archive’s OTF directory: cd source-code-pro-1.017R/OTF
    • Copy the fonts over to the chroot. For me this was:
      sudo cp * /usr/local/chroots/trusty-i3/usr/share/fonts/opentype/

Set i3 to start automatically when you startx

Do this from in your chroot.

echo "exec i3" > ~/.xinitrc

Make an easy alias for starting your windowing system

  • Exit out of the chroot
  • From inside your crosh/shell:
    • Edit $HOME/.bashrc
    • Add this alias:
      alias starti3='sudo enter-chroot -n trusty-i3 xinit'

Tweak a couple of i3 settings

Back in the chroot, edit the file $HOME/.i3/config

  • Use the Search key as your i3 mod key
    set $mod Mod4
  • Use Adobe’s Source Code Pro font as your default font
    font pango:Source Code Pro 12


  • Audio from the chroot will now be forwarded to CRAS (Chromium OS audio server).
  • To switch from chroot to ChromeOS: Ctrl-Alt-Shift-Forward
  • To switch from ChromeOS back to chroot: Ctrl-Alt-Forward then Ctrl-Alt-Refresh