How to install Kodi on Chromebook

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.

NB : a newer version of this post in order to install the latest Kodi on Chrome OS is available.

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.

Bonus : protect yourself against prying eyes!

Your ISP is a SPY and know almost everything you do… Even more scary, if you live in the US, he now is allowed to resale this information. I would not let them do that and use a VPN in order hide my traffic from them… and you can do it with your Chromebook thanks to IPVanish.

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.

In case of issue, be sure to check the comments, a lot of useful information resides there.