AFAI understood, crouton is just a loader for Ubuntu like grub, so once Ubuntu is installed on a Chromebook, it's just another Ubuntu/Lubuntu/Xubuntu/...

So unless questions are specifically about loading Ubuntu using crouton, it's off-topic, but if someone already has Ubuntu running on a Chromebook, it's on-topic, right?

Or am I missing something, like processor architecture?

  • My undersatanding is that ARM support in Ubuntu is still in development - wiki.ubuntu.com/ARM . For this reason, Ubuntu running on ARM hardware , regardless of how it was installed (crouton or custom kernel / custom installer) is off topic . Use the ARM support team - wiki.ubuntu.com/ARMTeam
    – Panther
    Commented Jun 7, 2015 at 14:40
  • See also - askubuntu.com/questions/356243/… and askubuntu.com/questions/356243/…
    – Panther
    Commented Jun 7, 2015 at 14:43
  • The line is unclear. Ubuntu phone is supported , but that is a very specific piece of hardware. I am not sure that translates into supporting Ubuntu nom matter where and how installed. It has been discussed here before and the general consensus in the past as been that it is off topic.
    – Panther
    Commented Jun 7, 2015 at 15:14
  • @bodhi.zazen: previous comment unclear so deleted. I don't use crouton, but am just trying to find out if I have to treat "crouton" like I currently treat "Mint", "Elementary OS", "My iPhone can't connect to Windows" and head to the nearest "off topic" button I can find...
    – Fabby
    Commented Jun 7, 2015 at 15:18
  • But crouton is not a bootloader, it's a ChRomium Os Universal chrooT envirONment.
    – mchid
    Commented Feb 15, 2019 at 0:27
  • @mchid Yeah, so once installed: Ubuntu. Installing it: not Ubuntu.
    – Fabby
    Commented Feb 15, 2019 at 21:46
  • 1
    @mchid You should post that as an answer then instead of a comment... 0:-)
    – Fabby
    Commented Feb 16, 2019 at 21:59

5 Answers 5


Historical conversations on this have mirrored your question fairly exactly:

  • What gets installed is Ubuntu, proper. Questions about using it are on topic.
  • How it's installed (and how it boots) are not Ubuntu proper and are off-topic.

That conversation stemmed from a bunch of questions being thrown in the review queue, and some ultimately closed, because the user mentioned Crouton or Chromebook, while their actual question had nothing to do with the installer and for all intents and purposes was just normal Ubuntu.

Note Crouton used to bundle its own set of packages (Kernel, etc) which made it a different thing. This may have changed again, but my current understanding is that is's just Ubuntu.

  • 1
    wasn't crubuntu the one that was just ubuntu with an install script? too hard to keep up with what unofficial people are doing...
    – Mateo
    Commented Jun 7, 2015 at 19:04
  • @Mateo As I found out recently ChrUbuntu relied on Google kernels due to the way older versions of the ChromeOS platform were initialized and some hardware incompatibilities. Platform2, as they call it brought many improvements which allows to boot stock distro kernels, but the experience on some low powered machines may still be sub-optimal with a full fledged Ubuntu. There are also hardware issues (recent models with no audio, non-working input devices) which make stock Ubuntu flavors difficult to use.
    – LiveWireBT
    Commented Dec 28, 2016 at 4:07

As far as my understanding goes, askubuntu is for officially supported versions of Ubuntu, by Canonical. Crouton , on the other hand, has nothing to do with official releases. So once a question mentions crouton, it's automatically asking for migration to unix.stackexchange.com . On the other hand, if a question merely mentions Ubuntu and issues with internals, it's a valid question.

  • 1
    Crouton is basically a chroot and the Ubuntu ARM team is still porting much of the ubuntu packages, thus it is still in development no matter how you install it.
    – Panther
    Commented Jun 7, 2015 at 14:49
  • @bodhi.zazen but is it officially supported by canonical ? Commented Jun 7, 2015 at 14:50
  • I am not sure it is. Last discussion - meta.askubuntu.com/questions/13756/…
    – Panther
    Commented Jun 7, 2015 at 15:12

In general we try to avoid absolutes and provide support as much as possible.

Example with Centos:

Sometimes there are very generic questions here, such as how to use fdisk - Create new partition with fdisk .

I think we are sometimes too quick to close these questions and it is frustrating to users to have questions closed. fdisk is, at least with respect to this specific question, the same across all distros.

I am sure you can find some difference in fdisk between distros as well, but again, with regard to the question I linked, it is the same.

IMO - answer the question and suggest they use an alternate means of support for Centos ;)

With that in mind, it is a community drive site, so the question was closed by consensus, and I am good with that as well in that the advantages of community moderation outweigh the disadvantages.


Crouton uses the ARM architecture, and again it depends. In general there is going to be a bias to close such questions as off topic, same as Mint, Centos, or any other distro as IMO , although supported, it is still in development.

A similar situation occurs with Ubuntu +1. At the time of this post, Ubuntu 15.10 is in development. As such it is an official release and it is supported by Canonical, but as it is in development it is not supported here until closer to the release date.

Crouton / ARM is similar to Ubuntu +1 , supported by Canonical as a work in progress, but not necessarily supported here as it is still in development.

As with the Centos question I linked, however, there may be a more generic question in regards to Crouton / ARM. IMO, in such situations, we should try to support such questions and re-direct to the ARM team - https://wiki.ubuntu.com/ARMTeam

  • 1
    No need to apologise... I'm a dinosaur and one of the advantages of being a dinosaur is to have thick skin! ;-)
    – Fabby
    Commented Jun 7, 2015 at 17:05

@bodhi.zazen: […] I don't use crouton, but am just trying to find out if I have to treat "crouton" like I currently treat "Mint", "Elementary OS", "My iPhone can't connect to Windows" and head to the nearest "off topic" button I can find...

Sorry, I'm late to the game while I appear to be the sole editor of the chromebook tag here by just trying to bring my litte bit of knowledge to the table. You are correct, issues that relate to a crouton installation or some other way where the user ends up with a mix of components or packages that are not entirely Ubuntu are off-topic. That shouldn't contradict with Oli's answer I think.

The problem for all users is that some people are very careless about what to call Ubuntu, which confuses users who thought they installed Ubuntu proper (who didn't even know there was an improper way) when they encounter an issue that's rooted to the improper install. Canonical/Ubuntu fight hard to protect their cloud images against modifications, which is good as far as I followed, but they should also act against false advertising and misinformation which lead to various (Google) kernel-related issues with crouton, misconfigured bootloader setups caused by Boot-Repair and so forth. I'm not saying "sue them", just bring the message across that while it may look like it works it doesn't meet the criteria to be supported under the brand name, which is what active users around here try to do.

  • Balanced answer. +1 :-)
    – Fabby
    Commented Dec 29, 2016 at 8:45

Crouton is not a bootloader. Crouton stands for ChRomium Os Universal chrooT envirONment.

A chroot doesn't have full access to the system and this is a quote from the crouton github page:

"The downside is that you must be running the correct chroot for your hardware, the software must be compatible with Chromium OS's kernel, and machine resources are inextricably tied between the host Chromium OS and the guest OS".

Once you get it up and running it's still running in a chroot as a "guest OS". It's more different to Ubuntu than a lot of unsupported Ubuntu derivatives as many of those at least use the Ubuntu kernel.

With that said, I do think that some questions are on topic. However, when the question is on topic, I see no use in mentioning crouton in the question.

  • +1 Adds value!
    – Fabby
    Commented Feb 17, 2019 at 10:50

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