I recently installed Debian on my chromebook with the help of a tool called crouton. The only trade-off is needing to enable developer mode.

Get more use

Installing an OS like Debian on your chromebook can make it much more usable than the default Chrome OS, especially if you’re using it as your daily driver. My biggest dislike about Chrome OS is the lack of development tools; there’s no python, no C compiler, nothing. I got around this by using my server for all of that, but I have one VPS that runs everything, and I can’t afford to waste its resources compiling useless stuff for me. I can now do that on my chromebook, without needing an internet connection.

You can keep Chrome OS

Crouton doesn’t overwrite Chrome OS, so you can use Chrome OS whenever you want, and Debian whenever you want. You can even have multiple OSes, such as Ubuntu, Kali, and Debian all on one chromebook! I use Chrome OS when I’m at school for notes and things like that, and I switch to Debian whenever I need to code or do anything else.

You can get more storage

I know this sounds weird, but if you think storage is a problem for installing Debian, you’re mistaken. You can actually install Debian on an SD card or USB drive, so you don’t even use any space on your Chromebook! So, if you have a 1TB USB hard drive, you can use that, and have 1TB of storage on your chromebook! If you do go that route, I recommend you use crouton’s encryption option, as if someone steals your external storage media, you want it to be unreadable to them.

The downsides

The biggest problem is that you lose a bit of security by enable Chrome OS developer mode. All your data is still encrypted, but you can get a virus that can destroy your computer, as you have root privileges. You can somewhat mitigate that by setting a root password, but there’s still ways around that. I still believe it’s secure enough for most people, but it’s just not as secure as it was before.

I think the benefits are way bigger than the costs, but that choice is up to you.

This post was written from Debian :)