I have a Chromebook Pixel, which I like a lot and use regularly. Generally I use
my Chromebook for non-coding tasks; for coding I prefer to use my Thinkpad
(which has Fedora installed) because it has a “real” coding environment.
However, sometimes I’ll code on my Chromebook as well, e.g. when I’m traveling
and it’s more convenient to bring with me. When I write code on my Chromebook I
use a Debian chroot environment
via crouton to do development. This is a
pretty reasonable facsimile of writing code on a “real” Linux laptop: you can
use things like Emacs, GCC, GDB, and all of the other GNU/Linux tools you know
The biggest pain point of doing development this way is the window management in
ChromeOS. I like having lots of terminal windows open, and ChromeOS makes it
hard to do this. The “normal” and well-documented way to create a new terminal
is to type
Ctrl+Alt+T to get a new crosh window to appear as a new tab in a
browser window. From the crosh tab you can get a terminal by typing
this is pretty inconvenient: the new crosh window starts out as a browser tab,
not a new window, and there’s a lot typing.
poorly documented feature
of the SSH app that makes this much easier. From the SSH app you can get a new
crosh terminal window by setting the host to be the magic string
then supplying any username. This way when you type
Ctrl+Shift+N from an
existing crosh shell, a new window will pop up ready to become a terminal.