Next week, we’ll be giving out laptops–considered obsolete in school settings, but that work fine with a copy of LubuntuLinux running on them–to students. After giving a quick tour of Lubuntu on the laptops, I suddenly had 6 “how to” videos to create. Of course, I could have made the videos on a Lubuntu laptop but I wondered, What if you installed Lubuntu on your Chromebook, then made the videos there? Could I use something like Screencastify (which has “picture in a picture,” BTW) to get the job done?
Naturally, the question going around in my head required some fun experimentation. As you might guess from the picture below, yes, it worked.
|Running LXDE on an Acer C720 Chromebook|
Although I’ve loaded GNU/Linux on a Chromebook twice before, I have to admit that this was the easiest and most pain-free. That is due in large part to the instructions provided online here, and which I’ve customized below (these are my scratch notes)…the customization involves LXDE in lieu of KDE or XFCE (neither of which I like much) AND loading the right audio drivers to ensure I can record.
As mentioned in the article above, one of the main benefits:
Some of the advantages of Crouton are that unlike other methods, you don’t have to reboot your machine to switch operating systems; you can switch between them using keyboard shortcuts as if you are switching between two apps.
Here are the relevant excerpts that I followed…again, you may want to read the whole thing. These are just my notes should I have to go through this again.
Part 1 – Install Ubuntu with LXDE GUI interface on Chromebook with Crouton
1. “Install Chromebook recovery utility from the Chrome web store. Open the app and follow the instructions to create a recovery drive.” This is an important step in case you mess it all up.
2. Enable the developer mode by holding Esc + Refresh keys and then push the ‘power’ button. The recovery screen will show a scary warning. Just ignore it and let Chrome OS wipe your data. The process can take up to 15 minutes, so don’t turn off your Chromebook.
Check the download folder to see if crouton is downloaded.
4- Open the terminal in Chromebook by hitting Alt+Ctrl+t
5 -Type this command to open shell: shell
6 – Install Ubuntu with LXDE GUI (the -e option will encrypt your drive, which is good)
sudo sh -e ~/Downloads/crouton -t lxde
This process will take about 15-20 minutes depending on the speed of your Internet connection.
7 – Type sudo startlxde
This will start LXDE GUI interface to Linux.
8 – Update Your Linux installation. At the command line (Go to the START button in the bottom left-hand corner, then Accessories, then LXTerminal), type the following, pressing ENTER after each command:
(precise)mg@localhost:~$ sudo apt-get update
(precise)mg@localhost:~$ sudo apt-get upgrade
9 – Install your favorite apps…here are a few of my favorites:
(precise)mg@localhost:~$ sudo apt-get install shutter firefox keepassx mc
Of course, you don’t have to install these programs at all. I usually also install Google Chrome browser, and Dropbox.
Part 2 – Setup Audio
One of the things I noticed when I installed Screencastify in GoogleChrome on Linux on Chromebook was that the microphone wasn’t detected. To get it working, I followed these steps at the Terminal (LXTerminal):
1 – Install pulseaudio
sudo apt-get install pulseaudio
2 – Install pavucontrol and pavumeter
sudo apt-get install pavucontrol pavumeter
Restart to get pulseaudio running
3 – Start pavucontrol, setting input/output is set to Audio Stereo Duplex
That’s pretty much it! Now I have a Chromebook that can switch to LXDE (LubuntuLinux) for audio editing when I need it using Audacity, as well as access my Keepass password file. And, I can record the video tutorials for getting around in LXDE! The video quality–and sound–is actually better than doing the recording on my Macbook Air…still haven’t figured that one out!
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