Chromebooks are pretty darn handy. Even some hardcore Windows users now acknowledge that a Chromebook might be just what you need for work. But, as great as Chromebooks are, and as much progress as Google has made in getting "Web-only" apps such as Google Docs to work offline, there are still times that you want an application that's only available off-line such as the LibreOffice office suite or the GIMP photo editor. For those times, it's darn handy to be able to run a Linux desktop on a Chromebook.

It's been possible to do that, thanks to the Chromium OS Universal Chroot Environment (Crouton), for some time. But, what you couldn't do was have a Linux desktop, such as Ubuntu or Debian, on the same screen while you were running Chrome OS.

Now you can.

Thanks to Google's Chrome OS team, you can run a Linux desktop within a window on Chrome OS using a Chrome extension called Crouton Integration. This makes using Linux, and its thousands of applications, much easier. It also adds the ability to use Chrome's inherent Web browser instead of the Linux distribution's native browser and to synchronize the Chrome OS and Linux clipboards.

In short, Crouton is better than ever and the combination of Linux and Chrome OS is very powerful. Here's how you go about liberating that power.
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