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NB : a newer version of this post in order to install the latest Kodi on Chrome OS is available.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

64 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?

  13. after entering a username it doesn’t let me enter a password -_-. it ask;’s me to but nothing happens when I try to enter something

    • Hi Eddy,

      After entering the username, it will prompt you to enter the password. Type your password once, then hit enter. Then do it a second time.
      However in Linux / Unix, when you are entering a password, it looks like it doesn’t do anything (the cursor doesn’t move, nor blink, you don’t see “shit”…) but actually it is working!

      Let me know if it fixes your problem.

      • thanks, I realized that was the case shortly after haha. But I’m having another issue now. I finished everything and was at the last step, running the XFCE “chroot” installed by entering “sudo startxfce4” but once I do that my screen just goes black and nothing happens 🙁

  14. whenever I try running the XFCE by entering “sudo startxfce4” it goes to a black screen, the only way i can get out of the blank screen is to enter CTRL + ALT + SHIFT + Forward (or Backward). once I go back I have the messages as follows –

    (xfsettingsd):24581): Gtk-WARNING **: Unable to locate theme engine in module_path: “pixmap”,

    (xfce4-session:24574): Gtk-WARNING **: Unable to locate theme engine in module_path: “pixmap”,

    (xfwm4:24580): Gtk-WARNING **: Unable to locate theme engine in module_path: “pixmap”,

    (xfdesktop:24587): Gtk-WARNING **: Unable to locate theme engine in module_path: “pixmap”,

    (polkit-gnome-authentication-agent-1:24593): Glib-CRITICAL **: g_variant_new_string:assertion `string != NULL ‘ failed

    (polkit-gnome-authentication-agent-1:24593): polkit-gnome-1-warning **: Failed to register client: GDBus.Error:org.freedesktop.DBus.Error.ServiceUnknown: The name org.gnome.sessionManager was not provided by any .service files

    (xfce4-panel:24583): Gtk-WARNING **: Unable to locate theme engine in module_path: “pixmap”,

    (xfce4-settings-helper:24601): xfce4-settings-helper-WARNING **: Failed to get the_NET_NUMBER_OF_DESKTOPS property.

    (wrapper:24610): Gtk-WARNING **: Unable to locate theme engine in module_path: “pixmap”,

    I use CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+FORWARD to get a screen back then this message comes up
    (II) AIGLX: Suspending AIGLX clients for VT switch

    • Hi Eddy,

      I remember having this issue some time ago, but I can’t remember what I did to fix it. I’ll try to reproduce asap, and keep you posted.

      Edit : In the meantime, can you try the following commands (just once), instead of sudo startxfce4:
      sudo enter-chroot -n kodi
      sudo apt-get install gtk2-engines-pixbuf

      then you can run sudo startxfce4.

      If it fixes it for you, then I’ll edit the guide and add this extra step.

        • Yeah, sorry about this. You have to exit the Kodi “chroot” by typing exit or quit. Then you enter sudo startxfce4 as usual from the “Shell” tab. The 2 extra commands I gave are to be executed just once in order to install an extra package inside the Kodi chroot that should fix your issue. Then you can start Kodi chroot as usual.
          I hope I am understandable enough.

  15. i can’t even remember how to get to that point to try that out anymore. i’ve reloaded everything from scratch like 5 times and still having the same problems.

    I use ctrl+alt+t to get to that screen with “crosh>” then enter “shell” then i try to enter sudo startxfce4 but it says command not found.

    the last step you mentioned i remember making it work, like it was loading everything but at the end the same thing happened. blank screen

    • Hi again Eddy,

      This should “work” the way you do it… At least it shouldn’t say command not found. Didn’t you make a typo?

      Anyways, I am currently doing some more tests, and right now I get the black screen like you do. Looks like there was some updates and it doesn’t work like it used to. I am trying to find a fix.

      EDIT : I just published a new version of this tutorial. You will have to start from again from the third part intitled: Install Latest Kodi on Chrome OS and follow the steps.

      Let me know if it works, or what kind of issue you face so that I can update the guide accordingly.

      Thanks in advance,

      • THANK YOU it worked 🙂 but just to confirm… am I able to configure Kodi with the Fusion installer or Freetelly app?
        Linux is new to me and I’d rather not load every addon individually if i don’t have to.
        once i opened Kodi everything looked empty.

        Thanks for all the help getting me this far.

  16. just wondering if you would be able to give me instructions on how to change the Desktop environment to Cinnamon 3.0?
    oh and not sure if you’ve noticed, but you can’t surf the web with the browser in Linux. you can search for something once, but whatever you click on afterward will just close the window.
    I’m new to Linux. I can’t find instructions on how to change the desktop environment to Cinnamon that works. some instructions I follow would say unknown command.
    i found one that looks promising

    https://blog.fcestrada.com/my-desktop-environment-in-debian-8-jessie/

    but in order to get that to work I need to edit source.list I need instructions on how to create a sources.list

    haha and this whole time I thought Linux was Ubuntu, turns out it’s Debian.

    • The version you installed is indeed Debian and it is the “sid” release. I will check for the browser crashing… It might be easily fixable.

      However getting Cinnamon to work is going to take whole lot of change, and you might have to start from scratch. For now, you are using xfce4 and you want to replace by Cinnamon. Then it means installing Cinnamon AND (and this is hard part), changing the way you start the “machine”. This means you would no longer start it with “sudo startxfce4” but something like sudo enter-chroot kodi and then startcinnamon
      Unfortunately, I do not plan to make a full tutorial for this, unless I can get some extra free time soon.

      • I understand. I don’t think it’s possible right now because the Debian version is too new for Cinnamon. right now on their site 8.7 is the newest. this one is v9.0 and not a stable build. I got firefox installed through the terminal so I can now surf the web on linux.

        thanks for all the help you’ve given me. appreciate it.

  17. upgrading to the newest version of Kodi(Krypton 17.0) shouldn’t be too hard to do right? I’ve been trying for a long time but can’t seem to do it 🙁
    tried going through the terminal and within Kodi by adding source but nothing seems to work -_-

    any guidance tutorials you can help me with?

    Krypton no limit magic build is what I’m trying to upgrade to.

  18. Thank you so much Denis! I just bought an acer chromebook 14 CB3-431-C5EX and the only thing I missed compared to a windows laptop was not having Kodi. I tried to add Kodi with the method to add it as an APK in Chrome OS but had no luck. Then I found this page. I had no idea what I was doing but I followed the instructions. The first time I followed the instructions exactly and then after that there was no audio at all in either Linux or in Chromeos. I kind of freaked out but after a reset to the chromebook the audio was back working again in Chromeos so I thought ‘What the heck, I’ll try it again’. The only thing I did different the second time was I didn’t do the last step to update the chroot. I don’t know if that made a difference or not but the second time following these instructions it worked perfectly! I did have to do a couple things that are probably obvious to people who know how to use linux but I’ll mention them in case someone like myself has the same problems. 1.Open the terminal in linux and type xscreensaver-demo That will open a window to let you change the screen timeout time to keep the display from turning off every ten minutes. 2.To get the screen to mirror to a second display you have to go to Applications/settings/Display and check the ‘mirror screen option. Probably both obvious things to a lot of people but I mention them anyway because I had to figure them out myself not knowing much about linux. Well, again thanks for the wonderful tutorial! It saved me from being frustrated and from having to spend money to buy a separate device to get Kodi to my tv.

    • Thanks a lot for your comment Nathan. I am happy this guide helped you.
      Thanks also for the information you provided. I am sure it will help other people.

  19. […] How to install Kodi on Chromebook – Streaming Generation – Let’s see how to install Kodi on Chromebook. They are cheap light, with good battery, perfect on the run or hooked to your TV for all your media needs. […]

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