Don't Worry, The Chromebook Pixel Isn't Just Stuck Running Chrome OS

By Eric Limer on at

The Chromebook Pixel has caught a lot of flak for being an expensive, powerful computer that arguably throws that power away on the stripped down and simple Chrome OS. Well, it doesn't have to be that way if you're game to tinker a little bit. Turns out throwing Linux on that sucker is already a breeze.

The specifics of the switcheroo were explained by Google's Bill Richardson on Google+. It turns out that the Pixel, like every Chromebook before it, has a read-only Chrome OS BIOS. That's where you get your built-in Chrome OS, and that's (obviously) there to stay. But the Pixel also has a bonus unverified BIOS slot that you can go and enable through developer settings. From there, installing Linux is pretty trivial.

There are a few catches, though. Breaking out of your Chrome OS prison is almost definitely going to render the touchpad and touchscreen useless which is a bummer. And in doing so, you'll have created a sort of anti-Chromebook Chromebook; instead of being cheap and easy-to-use, it'll have been expensive and require a moderately high degree of user know-how. And while there are still other fair criticisms of Pixel, this fixes at least one of the issues. That is, if you're the type who doesn't mind some tinkering. Or Linux. [Bill Richardson via Android Central ]