A few days ago I bought an Asus C200 for a novice in computers relative of mine. Before giving it to him, I thought it was time to play with it since I never tried this kind of equipment. I really liked it, and that’s why I decided to share my story to install Kodi on Chromebook with you.

 

Prepare the beast

In order to install Kodi on Chromebook, we’ll need to install a proper Linux system. Don’t worry, this is done easily thanks to the crouton script.

NB : be aware that turning developer’s mode ON, will delete ALL your data on the device!

First of all you have to turn on the developer’s mode on your device. Let’s do it!

  1. While the computer is powered on. Press Esc + Refesh + Power ;
  2. Device will reboot with a warning message, hit CTRL + D to continue;
  3. Then hit Enter to confirm the Developer’s mode;
  4. Device will reboot again, hit again CTRL + D to proceed.

NB : every time you see that bugging screen at boot, you can pass it with CTRL+D

What really bugs me with developers mode, is that you have to press CTRL+D on each cold boot or it’ll emits a double bip, and takes more time to boot (so that you can read and re read, and re re read, the warning screen).

Set up linux with crouton

install kodi on chromebook

Now that you are in developer’s mode, you are ready to install Linux with crouton.

Your computer should be “brand new”, with no data at all in it. Set ip up as usual with your Google account and Wi-Fi settings. Then, the fun starts.

  1. Open Chrome browser;
  2. Download the latest version of crouton, right here;
  3. Hit CTRL + ALT + T (it will open a new scary tab in Chrome), this is called a terminal emulator;shell
  4. Enter “shell” (without the quotes) and hit enter. The “shell” appearance should slightly change;shell root
  5. Enter “sudo sh ~/Downloads/crouton -t xfce -n kodi” (again, whithout the quotes);

Please note the “-n kodi” flags which allows us to name our chroot “kodi”.

Wait for the process to complete, it will take a few minutes and text will scroll on your screen. Don’t close the tab, but you can keep you using your computer / navigating on other tabs.

At some point, inside the tab we ran the previous command, it will ask you for a login and password. Enter anything you like, it doesn’t have to be your Google credentials. Actually, it is even better if you use any other credentials. You’ll then use them to log in Linux.

Now, to run the Linux you just installed, you have to enter another command inside the “shell” tab.

Hit “sudo enter-chroot -n kodi” (again, no quotes).

You are now ionside a “chroot’. It is a bit like a virtual machine, or like you installed a brand new computer inside your Chromebook device. Which means, you now have 2 devices in one : the Chromebook is there, always, unchanged. And an extra “Linux” system you can run when you want to.

Let’s see how to install Kodi on Chromebook, our last step.

Install Kodi on Chromebook

You’ll notice that the prompt line start with (kodi). It means you are “inside” the kodi chroot we just installed.

Enter the following commands :

  • sudo apt-get install -y python-software-properties pkg-config software-properties-common
  • sudo add-apt-repository ppa:team-xbmc/ppa
  • sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install -y kodi

One per line, hit enter after each, and follow instructions on screen.

Once it is done, just exit the chroot by typing “exit” or hitting CTRL+D on you keyboard.

A final step, now, upadate the chroot to make sure you have no audio problem (thanks Shawn for pointing the issue in the comments).

Enter “sudo sh ~/Downloads/crouton -n kodi -u

And… that’s it !

Once the above command has finished its work, just type :

sudo startxfce4

And it’ll run the XFCE “chroot” we installed.

You can now run Kodi from the Menu inside the Multimedia category. I will say that is a pretty advanced tutorial, but if you have the “guts” to do it, then it’ll allow you to do huge things with a pretty cheap and decent piece of hardware that are Chromebooks.

This tutorial applies to any Chromebook and the beauty of having Linux on your Chromebook is that you can do anything. This is a regular Kodi, in a regular Linux, no limitation at all.

I was afraid that Chromebook would be pretty much locked down but actually once you activated that scary developer mode, you can do almost anything with your Chromebook, from installing Android apps, to Windows OS, and of course Linux.

NB : you can switch from/to Chromebook and from/to Linux by hitting CTRL + ALT + SHIFT + Forward (or Backward). Forward and Backward are the keys on the right of the Esc key. You might have to press it a couple of times, for it to work.

42 COMMENTS

  1. great article. However in my case I had to do: sudo apt-get install python-software-properties pkg-config
    before sudo apt-get install software-properties-common. Otherwise it wouldn’t recognize sudo add-apt-repository ppa:team-xbmc/ppa.

  2. Hi Ace,

    Thanks for your comment. I was about to edit my post in order to correct it, but I noticed that I actually already had this command written in the how to.

  3. do we enter it exactly like how it is with the spaces? sudo sh -e ~/Downloads/crouton -t xfce

    its not working. it says command not found.

    • i cant get pass this part, please help.

      “sudo startxfce4” .. after i enter it, it goes thru the same process where you see a bunch of numbers and letters scrolling down but then it stops and says not found. when i try to switch from chromebook to linux by press CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+foward, nothing happens so im pretty sure the “sudo startxfce4” part did not go thru?

  4. Fatal server error:
    no screens found
    (EE)
    Please consult the The X.Org Foundation support
    at http://wiki.x.org
    for help.
    (EE) Please also check the log file at “/tmp/Xorg.crouton.1.log” for additional information.
    (EE)
    Server terminated with error (1). Closing log file.
    ^C/usr/bin/xinit: giving up
    /usr/bin/xinit: unable to connect to X server: No such file or directory
    /usr/bin/xinit: unexpected signal 2
    Unmounting /mnt/stateful_partition/crouton/chroots/precise…

  5. Great article & good instructions. I successfully performed this on my chromebook asus & have a fuctioning kodi installed. However, I am having issues getting the sound to work while on the Linux side. It works fine on the chromebook side, but as soon as I go to Linux, nothing. Not just Kodi either, I’ve tried simple sound tests & cannot seem to get any sound to function at all. I have looked around on the internet & it appears that sound functions on Linux are “different”, but unfortunately way above my ability to interpret, much less troubleshoot. I was wondering if you or anyone else has encountered this issue & have any simple remedies. Thanks!

    • Hi Shawn,

      Do you use an Asus C200 Chromebook as well?

      I remember it worked for me, however a few times, I had the sound on mute (or very low), in the Chromebook settings and couldn’t hear it in Linux. As soon, as I had a good working sound level un Chromebook it reflected in Linux.

      Just a quick guess.. hope it helps, if not let me know. I’ll try to investigate.

      • Hey Denis,

        Yes it is the chromebook Asus c200. I did go into the chromebook side & check my volume settings all to max & even tested them. Sound works just fine on the chromebook side. Internal speakers & even outputs through my hdmi port, thru my tv & into my stereo receiver for my surround sound. When I go to the Linux side I can’t seem to get any sound whatsoever. Not even thru the internal speaker system. I’ve read a bunch about some kind of firmware called ALSA? But it’s mostly Greek to me. I have no real experience with Linux & the OS is foreign to me, if not intriguing. The terminal reminds me of my high school days working with Basic & C+! Wish I’d have paid more attention, though that was 20+ years ago! Any help or guidance you, or anyone else, could provide would be greatly appreciated.

        Thanks,
        Shawn

        • Thanks for the info Shawn.
          I’ll try to reproduce (probably tomorrow) the issue you are facing and investigate how the sound works in this particular setup. I’ll keep you posted asap.

        • Hi Shawn,

          Sorry about the late reply.

          I had no time to check in details this issue. I can however confirm I have the same issue : no sound inside Kodi / XFCE. I will try to find a fix.

          In the meantime, I found this on internet, and it might help you : https://github.com/dnschneid/crouton/issues/2349#issuecomment-168985855.
          But do not install PVR Addons as suggested, I believe they are not needed.

          Basically, you install the Chroot (= a virtual computer inside your chromebook) with :

          sudo sh ~/Downloads/crouton -r trusty -t xfce,xiwi -n kodi

          NB : the -n flag allows you to define any name you like, I am using kodi since I will dedicate this “chroot” to Kodi.

          Once the install is done, you should be “inside” your new chroot directly from your browser, the line on the prompt should start with something like : (kodi), if not run :

          sudo enter-chroot -n kodi.

          Then copy paste the “usual” commmands to install Kodi :

          sudo apt-get install python-software-properties pkg-config
          sudo apt-get install software-properties-common
          sudo add-apt-repository ppa:team-xbmc/ppa
          sudo apt-get update
          sudo apt-get install kodi

          Then, exit the prompt by typing exit (or hitting CTRL+D on your keyboard) until it totally exits.

          Finally, run the chroot again in “graphical” mode by entering :

          sudo startxfce4 -n kodi

          Everytime, you want to run kodi, just type the above command.

          That worked for me! However, I’ll try to find a better solution. 🙂

          Let me know if it helps.

        • Hi Shawn,

          Maybe could simply try to “update” the chroot, it worked for me.

          First, find the chroot name. Open the “crosh” tab by hitting CTRL+ALT+T, then type “shell” (as usual).

          Now type : sudo edit-chroot -al and look for the “name” of the chroot. For the sake of this example, lets say the name is kodi

          Then type : sudo ~/Downloads/crouton -n kodi -u

          Wait for it to complete, and restart the chroot

          sudo startxfce4

  6. Hi Dennis, same thing happened to me. I have installed the whole thing, except frm the audio which is not working. Ive tried the code that you gave Shawn, but still it says command not found.

    • Hi Donnelley,

      Can you you tell me exactly which command is “not found”. Usually, right before the error message “command not found”, you have the name of the said command, like “foobar: command not found”.
      Also, where did you enter this command?
      This could be inside 2 different locations :
      1. in your chroot ;
      2. inside the chromebook shell, ie. after hitting CTRL+ALT+T and popping a shell inside the browser, and then entering the “shell” command.

      Depending on the command, it can be one place or the other. I’ll take a guess, and say it is in the second location. 😉

  7. Installed, loaded Kodi and installed some add-ons, but add-ons wouldn’t load. So, deciding to give it a try the next day, I shut down the chromebook. When I turn it back on now, no matter how many times I try, I can’t switch to linux mode (hitting the keys more than 10 times in a row). Help!

    Note that when it was booted up, I used ctrl-d at the boot up screen.

  8. Hey all I installed and followed all steps however there is no audio in Kodi. Any help would be great. I updated as the last step states to fix audio. Cheers

    • Hi all,

      I still havn’t found any 100% working solution.

      However, instead of installing “xfce” as per my guide, you can try to install “xbmc” (yes, the old version), bu replacing the command :

      sudo sh ~/Downloads/crouton -t xfce -n kodi

      with

      sudo sh ~/Downloads/crouton -t xbmc -n xbmc

      then, you could launch it with :

      sudo startxbmc

      You’ll end up with a pretty old version of XBMC, but that has working sound out of the box. This worked for me 100%, but we warned, one more time, that this will give you a very old Kodi. Which is fine is you do NOT want to use streaming add-ons.

      On the bright side, Chromebook devices should be able to natively install any Android app in the newt few months. ETA autumn 2016. However, depending on your device, you should be able to test it right away, cf. here. This solution would alllow us, ChromeBook users, to install and run Kodi very easily. As soon as my device is supported (Asus C200), I’ll write an article on this site and update this guide.

      • hi i am getting a problem which is that after typing ”shell”
        as soon as i hit the ENTER it shows error : unknown command
        i really don’t know what should i do , please help me out from this problem
        thank you

      • hi i am getting a problem which is that after typing ”shell”
        as soon as i hit the ENTER it shows error : unknown command
        i really don’t know what should i do and even i reset my chromebook as you mationed up, please help me out from this problem
        please look into this matter soon
        waiting for your reply
        thank you

  9. Hi i install everything exept Im having problem with the last command ( sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install -y kodi ) I get the following message ” the following packages have unmet dependencies:”

    Kodi : Depends: kodi -bin (>= 2:14.2~git20150327.1058-final-0precise) but it is not installable

    Depends: kodi-bin (= 2.1.1) but it is not installable

    Recommends: libvdpaul but it is not going to be installed

    Recommends: libva-intel-vaapi-driver but it is not going to be installed

    Recommends: libval but its is not going to be installed

    E: Unable to correct problems, you have held broken packages.

    Please help me with this anyone?

  10. Hey!

    Thanks for this – it was very helpful. I am noticing though that when streaming shows and movies with the Exodus add-on, the streaming quality is really poor and buffering takes forever. Could this just be that the Chromebook isn’t powerful enough to run this whole setup? I have a C720.

    • Acer C720 is more than powerful enough to run Kodi. It has a Celeron processor. I have that model too. I tried installing xmbc 2 years ago and I went through the same mess as everyone else with addons not working, or no audio and just all around finnicky behavior. I said screw it!

  11. I followed all the steps, everything worked fine, it opened xfce but there is no “multimedia file” and no kodi. Using an Asus c300 if that matters.

  12. I’m stuck at the point after enterING the first command and letting the script run.

    What do I do at that point?
    Is that where I set the username and password?

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