What does Ubuntu contribute towards a Chromebook experience?
September 15, 2016 8:08 AM   Subscribe

Now that, through a previous exchange, I sorted out my Chromebook, I'm reading about installing Ubuntu on it. I can find how to do it but, really, I can't find why to do it. I love my Chromebook and I have no problems with it. But I am curious as to how Ubuntu could make it better. Any explanations would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
posted by holdenjordahl to Technology (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
why: programming on your chromebook without a network.

also: learning/using linux on a cheap laptop with great battery life.
posted by zippy at 8:10 AM on September 15, 2016 [1 favorite]

It would allow you to run a wider variety of applications, offline, at the cost of it working in a simple manner.

It's one of those things where if you don't know why you would do it, you probably shouldn't.
posted by selfnoise at 8:11 AM on September 15, 2016 [5 favorites]

Response by poster: zippy and selfnoise, point taken.
No Ubuntu for me.
Thank you.
posted by holdenjordahl at 8:14 AM on September 15, 2016 [1 favorite]

Have you looked at Mint? It's Ubuntu, but simple.
posted by Too-Ticky at 8:28 AM on September 15, 2016

yep. i would do this first thing (probably mint, which is ubuntu-ish) but i have reasons and you do not. you have something that works great for you, don't break it.
posted by lescour at 9:07 AM on September 15, 2016 [1 favorite]

Okay, once more, answering the actual question this time: for some people, a good reason to do this would be that they like the hardware, size and price of the Chromebook, but wish to avoid Google in all shapes and forms. This is a pretty popular way to make a cheap slick little notebook that's Googlefree and preforms relatively well.
posted by Too-Ticky at 9:16 AM on September 15, 2016 [4 favorites]

If you have a working system-keep it. Find an old or cheap working pc and put ubuntu or mint on it, see how you like it. The software is free. The cost is the time you will put in figuring it out. The real advantage is that you can forget Microsoft.
posted by H21 at 9:18 AM on September 15, 2016

" The real advantage is that you can forget Microsoft."

Chromebooks are already not Microsoft.
posted by I-baLL at 9:31 AM on September 15, 2016 [2 favorites]

The whys are pretty well covered here already. Ubuntu doesn't tie you to Google or the cloud in general, and lots of people want to do things that Chrome doesn't do, or doesn't do as well. This article gives some more detailed reasons.

If you don't care about those things, then you don't need to bother, so your question appears resolved there.

I did just want to add, though, that if you do want to try out Ubuntu or some other OS, you can do that without modifying your computer using a live distribution. This tool, Unetbootin, is my favorite for that. It has several different operating system options included, or you can add your own ISO. If you want to test out Ubuntu or some other OS without making changes to your computer, choose a live distribution from the dropdown menu to install it to a thumb drive, then reboot your computer to that drive. (It's also good to have a rescue stick around for troubleshooting.)
posted by ernielundquist at 10:32 AM on September 15, 2016 [1 favorite]

It won't make what you can do on your Chromebook better in any way. It might allow you to do something you can't do on it, if you have some particular interest in something it can't do.

I have various computers running almost every OS there is, and my Chromebook is my favorite for sort of "general tasks" (browsing web, email, video, etc). For work I use Linux, for games I use Windows, but for the sort of thing most people do I use ChromeOS.
posted by thefoxgod at 3:04 PM on September 15, 2016

I installed Linux on a Chromebook because I needed to work with files in OpenDocument format. Apparently there isn't a good free ODF editor for ChromeOS!? (Also, integrating Dropbox with ChromeOS wasn't working out well.)

I needed a fully functional, well-established operating system that would support a variety of common open source applications and was unwilling to deal with the GoogleVerse. If ChromeOS is sufficient for your needs, then your Chromebook experience will be much smoother and simpler without Linux!
posted by sibilatorix at 3:35 PM on September 15, 2016

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