Saturday, January 04, 2014

Switching to Chromebook Developer Mode


Whilst I have been deliriously happy with my Samsung XE303 Chromebook for more than 1 year now, Agata has pointed out that a major failing in its device specification

NO BACKLIT Keyboard


So since I don't sleep  (well much) this means that in bed I am tapping away, and occasionally swearing and turning a light on to see what I am doing.  And waking Agata up.   This is not popular I can tell you.

ANSWER: Get a laptop with a backlit keyboard. Doh!

SOLUTION:  I have plans to replace the /old faithful/ Chromebook and this gives me the excuse to change it to Developer mode

Developer mode means you have full Linux (UNIX shell) command line access and can therefore type in smart ass commands like



So remind me, how do we get there?



  • First backup the contents of your local SSD download directory.  Because, as a security measure, when you transition from Normal to Developer mode this area is reformatted and all contents are lost

  • Press the following keys together: ESCape + Reload (clockwise arrow top line of keyboard) + Power key
  • You get a warning message, press Control-D

  • System begins to switch to Developer mode, which took more than 10 minutes for me
  • Once completed there is this confirmation
  • Now when machine is rebooted and you logged back in press keys together:  Control + Alt + t

    to start a command line
  • shell   will give you a non root shell
  • so now as usual type:  sudo bash

    And then, you will have root; command line access to your Chromebook.