Installing Ubuntu 18.04 Bionic on the Chromebook
If you want the full glory and functionality of the Ubuntu 18.04 Bionic Beaver installation on the Google Chromebook Pixel, installation is extremely easy. The first step is to use Ctrl+T to get into crosh then shell from there to get into a normal shell. Now you will want to enable USB boot and legacy boot.
Now you can restart the system. Insert a USB drive with an Ubuntu 18.04 ISO burned via either dd or a Windows tool like win32diskimager. You will want to hit Ctrl+L to get into SeaBIOS and select your USB. It should actually boot to the USB after hitting Ctrl+L but if not, you can use the ESC key to select the boot device. From here, simply install the OS as you would normally. All of the hardware including WiFi, touchpad, touchscreen and etc are all automatically detected. That is a key benefit of using hardware that has been out for several years.
The GUI installer is simple to use, just remember to erase the SSD and use the entire SSD on the partitioning screen which also means you are deleting Chrome OS.
Another reboot and you will be running Ubuntu 18.04 Bionic Beaver on your Google Chromebook Pixel. Even features like swiping up on the touch screen to start the login process works.
This entire process takes only a few minutes and can be done with a minimal knowledge of Linux. The only “issue” you will have is that many of the Chromebooks top buttons are actually function keys but they have Chrome OS-specific functions depicted on them. The other difficulty some will face is the lack of buttons labeled insert, delete, home, end and etc.
Overall, this is an extremely simple way to repurpose older-generation hardware. While the CPU, RAM, and storage should give you some pause, the benefit is really that you get a portable system that has excellent user interface features and build quality. This design and interface excellence are not present on other $319 options in the market for Ubuntu laptops.