Chromebook support


Is there a way to run Etcher on a Chromebook? Or maybe you could add support for Chromium-based OSes?


Hi @andyeccel – this has been explored before, but ChromiumOS doesn’t provide the APIs Etcher would need. While that might have changed since then, it’s currently not a priority as the demand for it seems very low.


I also commented on the GitHub issue, but there is no need for Etcher for Chromebooks at the moment as long as you are careful in using the Chrome Recovery Tool provided by Google.

The Chrome OS Recovery app can write an arbitrary image to USB, though I hadn’t previously tested whether that includes ISOs. Today I had some time and a morbid curiosity so I confirmed that it DOES WORK. The recovery tool is fairly “dumb”, so if you make the extension the one it recognizes (ie .bin ) then it will let you select the file to write to a SD card/USB drive. BE CAREFUL with this as it may trash your USB drive if you write a random non-image file to it.

  • Download your ISO.
  • Open the Files app and navigate to Downloads, then right click (two finger click) and “Rename” the file from ubuntu-18.04.1-desktop-amd64.iso to ubuntu-18.04.1-desktop-amd64.bin (which is just a 3 letter edit) or anything-you-want.bin if you are feeling bored/silly.
  • Install the Chrome Recovery App from the Chrome Webstore.
  • Open the Chrome Recovery App (named Recovery with the Chrome icon with a :wrench: over it in the launcher)
  • The first time you open the app, the gear icon :gear: may not immediately show up, if that is the case then hit the “Get started” button to go to the next page and it should show up.
  • Click the gear :gear: at the top right, and then “Use local image”.
  • Navigate to Downloads or wherever your ISO with the .bin extension is located and select it then click “Open”.
  • Choose the target device from the list, SD cards or USB drives are valid, it recommends a 4GB+, not sure if that is hardcoded but it is a good recommendation.
  • Writing the ISO/image will take quite a while, but it should succeed.

The tool can also do a bin from inside a zip file, but trying to fake compressing an ISO (they don’t compress well if their creators were smart) after changing the extension to .bin is silly. It also requires way more space because it needs to extract the image and then write it (it might stream it, but the alternative script isn’t that smart for sure).

When you are finished with a recovery drive you can also reset it back to a normal drive from the gear :gear: menu using “Erase recovery media”.

Chromebooks need you