Customize Chromebook Chrosh Shell Environment
Requirement: Chromebook, Common Sense, Commandline Ablity, 1 hour of time
Dear developers with a spare Chromebook lets inject a little personalization into your Crosh shell with custom fonts, the solarized theme, and extra secure shell options.
Also, keep in mind that the terms
Chrosh Window, and
Secure Shell all refer to various versions and extentions built around the ChromeOS terminal. Settings that affect the ChromeOS terminal are global.
If ChromeOS was a normal Linux distribution, adding fonts would be as easy as dropping a font file into the .fonts folder and changing a terminal setting. Sadly, we need to do a bit of work - some of it rather scary - to get custom fonts working with ChromeOS.
Mounting Root Filesystem as Read-Write
Chromebook must be in developer mode and have rootfs verification turned off so that the root read only file system can be remounted as read-write. Once this is done, extra fonts can be added to ChromeOS's font folder.
WARNING: Follow instructions very carefully. Failure to follow these instructions can result in a non-booting Chromebook. If you screw up you will need to restore your Chromebook to stock. You have been warned.
Fire up the Crosh shell with
sudo /usr/share/vboot/bin/make_dev_ssd.sh --remove_rootfs_verification
The above command will fail and tell you to run with --partitions N flag at the end where N can be any number. Run the command again with the new flag.
sudo crossystem dev_boot_signed_only=0
The above command turns the verification check off. Because of step 2, the Chromebook will fail to boot if the verificaiton check is on.
sudo mount -o remount,rw /
Reboot your Chromebook. The root file system is now mounted as read-write.
Congrats. The dangerous part of the setup is done.
Font Folder Location and Font Install
Fonts in .ttf format can be installed to the folder
Installing either the normal or powerline patched versions of your favorite monospaced fonts to the aforementioned folder is required for proper configuration of the font family settings in Secure Shell a bit latter.
I prefer the powerline patched version of Ubuntu Mono. Other mono space fonts - including Adobe's Source Code Pro - are great fonts for Crosh usage too!
Add Required Chrome Extentions
To further customize our Crosh window, install both Secure Shell and the Crosh Window extentions from the Chrome Web Store.
Sett Up Chrosh's Font-Family and Font-Size
apps menu > right click on the Secure Shell icon > select
Change the terminal settings as you see fit. Pay special attention to:
Keep in mind ChromeOS will only load the first avaliable font that you specified in the font-family field. If you wan to use a custom font make sure you added it as the first entry. For example, if using Ubuntu Mono add
"Ubuntu Mono", in front of the current font stack to properly add Ubuntu Mono
Since Ubuntu Mono is slighly smaller than the default font, you may want to bump the size up from 15 to a modestly larger 16 or 17.
Solarized Color Theme
It's almost criminal how easy it is to install solarized for Crosh.
I'm including the code for the prefs.js file I used for convenience.
// Disable bold term_.prefs_.set('enable-bold', false) // Use this for Solarized Dark term_.prefs_.set('background-color', "#002b36"); term_.prefs_.set('foreground-color', "#839496"); // Solarized Colors term_.prefs_.set('color-palette-overrides', [ '#073642', '#dc322f', '#859900', '#b58900', '#268bd2', '#d33682', '#2aa198', '#eee8d5', '#002b36', '#cb4b16', '#586e75', '#657b83', '#839496', '#6c71c4', '#93a1a1', '#fdf6e3' ]);
- Paste the contents of your solarized
prefs.jsfile into the console
Loading a Crosh Window based Ubuntu 14.04 Chroot is the best way to make use of the customizations.
- dnschneid/crouton with
sudo sh -e ~/Downloads/crouton -r trusty -t cli-extra
For powerline patched font use in vim:
- add bling/vim-airline to vim
- edit your
let g:airline_powerline_fonts = 1
For powerline patched font use in tmux:
oh-my-zsh, and set the
Thanks for reading!