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Old 04-26-2020, 01:15 PM   #1
fixrite
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Unhappy Chromebook containers and installations


Hello, I am new to Linux. I bought a Lenovo Chromebook specifically for my smart home (mostly google) devices. I have learned about containers and virtual machines. As far as I can tell, I really have only one CLI option to begin with and that is the Crosh interface. From here I can create a "penguin" container which is supposed to make it possible for me to switch back and forth between chromeos and the Linux container.
Alternatively, I can use crosh to call up Chrome's virtual machine and then use lxc (the container manager) to create containers in which to run Linux distributions. So far so good. Now the problem - I know this sounds stupid - but how do I find the packages I wish to install? I have Arch Linux in the vm/container and can even access the root directory of the arch container, but there does not appear to be a way to get a listing of available packages for installation. I will want to go further with device control etc., but for now I would like some sort of GUI, if only to reassure myself that I am on the right track.

***note: the scroll bar at the side of this comments box does not work.
 
Old 04-29-2020, 06:45 AM   #2
ondoho
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I think your post is more suitable in LQ's ChromeOS section.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fixrite View Post
how do I find the packages I wish to install? I have Arch Linux in the vm/container
Read
Code:
man pacman
Specifically:
Code:
pacman -Ss <software-name-or-description>
 
Old 10-14-2020, 10:02 AM   #3
sgosnell
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The crosh system uses Debian, and the Debian repositories. On my Pixelbook I just run
Code:
sudo apt install packagename
, the same as on any other Debian computer. I'm running Firefox on my chromebook, plus Thunderbird and several other programs. There is a selection in the chromebook settings to run Linux on compatible chromebooks, and that starts the process, then all you have to do is install whatever software you want, as long as it's in the Debian repositories. That includes most Linux packages.
 
Old 10-14-2020, 10:22 AM   #4
sgosnell
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To expand a little further, you don't need to know anything about containers or anything else to run Linux apps on a chromebook. Just enable Linux in the settings, and you're ready to install software. You don't see a desktop or anything else. The installed Linux apps show up in the usual app menu. It's just like running any other chromebook app. You are limited to using the Debian system, and AFAIK Arch or any other distro won't work. But you don't see, or need, any other distro because the Linux programs run transparently, and there is no indication of the distro they came from. Enabling the Linux apps installs a terminal emulator called, rather unsurprisingly, Terminal. You can run it from the normal app menu. I have it pinned to the taskbar for quick access. Sudo is enabled without a password. Since the Linux system is very much sandboxed, you can't harm the ChromeOS even with sudo. It's just necessary for installing packages, etc. To install packages, just run sudo apt install, with the packagename, just as on a normal Debian system. There are multiple ways to find packages, one of the easiest being through a Google search, amazingly enough. I use DuckDuckGo instead of Google, but that's just a choice, it works the same. You can use any search engine in any browser.

You need almost no technical knowledge to run Linux apps on a chromebook. The setup is easy, just a settings choice, and then you only need the apt syntax to install the packages in the terminal. Otherwise, it's exactly the same as any other chromebook app.
 
  


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