Manual Installation Via the Cmd Line




  • burako

    Helle there Forrest,

    When I tried to manually install the dualboot option I did get an error. I took the pic of it. Could you help me what is wrong with it? I'm using a Lenovo z560 btw.

  • Forrest Smith

    There should be a space between '--dst' and '/dev/sda' .

    However, installing dualboot this way is not something you should expect to work - the help article here explicitly mentions that installing via the GUI is the only supported dualboot method.

    In the future, please open a new thread of you have questions that are specific time your device, rather than about the article.

  • Porter David Youngman

    I get... initctl: Unknown instance
    Error: arc and dst are the same: /dev/sdb = /dev/sdb... after I type in the final command

  • Forrest Smith


    As that error says, you've written your install cmd to point from /dev/sdb to /dev/sdb, which is impossible.

    You need to use the steps that start with

    "FIRST, determine your install destination by running "sudo fdisk -l" "

    to figure out which device is your installer and which is your hdd.

  • SignedAdam

    Follow this guide if nothing works, I have a dirty install, which takes less timeits easy to follow, or I have the Fix, which takes longer, harder
    1) 1st things 1st, delete the CouldReady partitions, boot in to windows, open up computer manager, find partition c:/ ( or what ever letter you assigned windows) then delete all the partitions after it, so to make that very clear, you will have 3 to 4 partition before drive c:/ then you will have 8 to 24 partition after, delete all the ones after drive c:/ so delete the langer amount of partitions
    2) Dirty install / Fix :
    put the CloudReady usb stick in and boot from it, once your at the welcome screen, also known as the setup screen, STOP, press Ctrl + Alt + F2, this should make the screen blank, with some text on the screen, enter for the user name chronos, and chrome for the password (why they are not the same, password and the user name, is something my mind cant begain to understand)
    now enter :
    sudo python /opt/neverware/ --dualboot
    then once thats done, enter :
    sudo fdisk -l
    find out what your hard drive letters are, do not take note of number at the end, just the letters, most of the time its adb
    now enter :
    sudo chromeos-install --skip_src_removable --dst /dev/sdX
    along with your drive LETTERS, so it might be sdb or sde or something, at the end of the command
    this should install CouldReady, the 1st command trys to install it normally, then next command fills in the black partitions, because I think the normal install, when it fails, deletes the space. so the second time works, because data is not deleted
    Now some things to understand are, you wont have the boot menu if you followed the dirty install, which means when you want to boot in to CloudReady, you will have to go looking for the efi file to boot it, bootx64.efi this is because it was a dirty install, we forced it on to the drive,
    now for the real deal, the fix, most of the time Could Ready wont install because it dont like something to do with your efi volum, you have to delete everything in it, making your computer unbootable, to fix it, which is why this is for advanced users only, do not try this at home kids, unless your a wizz kid! on computers,
    The Fix :
    go back and follow step 1) till you hit 2), then come back here,
    1) staying in windows 10, right click the start button, and press control panel, now press System and Security\Back up and Restore (Windows 7)
    now press crate a system repaor disk, now put in a blank disk and follow the steps, after making the disk boot from it, and open a command prompt
    type : diskpart
    then press enter, all one word,
    now type list disk, looking at the size, pick the disk that has windows on it,
    now type : select disk X
    replace X with 0, if the drive is 0,
    now type : list volume
    now look at the list, find the line with fat32 in, note the number of that volume, hint, its on the same line
    type select volume X
    X is where your number is, 5 in my case or 6
    next type : assign letter q
    now type : q:
    then enter, this is the part that gets most people, because sometimes the system does not want to let you in the drive, if it does not let you in, you will know by pressing enter, if your not in you will see x: or c:, if you are, you will see q:, if your not, press the X button, then open command line again, and try entering q: then enter, or cd q: or cd q:\,
    now type : cd efi
    next type : dir
    this will show you where all the folders are, you want to delete everything,
    next type : rmdir ubuntu
    following entering (y)
    then again
    rmdir microsoft
    then again (y)
    rmdir CouldReady
    again (y)
    so put rmdir what ever the name is, and it will delete it, get rid of everything out of that folder, next
    type : bcdboot c:\windows /s u: /f UEFI
    this will then fix everything, you should be able to install readycould in dualboot with out a problem, good luck

  • Craig Miller

    user/pass of: chronos/chrome isn't working for me. The boot disk I'm running was created from 'cloudready_64bit.bin', downloaded yesterday. Please advise how I can login, thanks!

  • Forrest Smith

    Craig -

    If you're seeing the chronos/chrome combo failing then you are likely not using the Home Edition. You are probably using the Education or Enterprise Edition. Those versions, to maintain security, do not allow access to the cmd line.

  • Craig Miller

    Ahh, yes Enterprise edition (for VDI specifically). How can I get an install to work with destination of a USB stick so that we can quickly deploy a POC/Pilot for several dozen workstations (without touching the existing OS drive)? From the research I've done, I think I need to use the '--skip_dst_removable' via chromeos-install.

  • Mehmet Cosar

    i cant login, i can't type in the password

  • Forrest Smith


    Please write out what steps you have taken so far and what problems you are seeing in more detail and then post it as a new thread/topic - this way discussion of specific individuals' problems won't cause confusion in the comments here.

  • Gary

    Hi everyone

    My windows 10 pc crashed on me the other day while completing some University work. It gave me the BSOD and I have not bee able to fox it, either by entering safe mode. I have been using cloudready from the USB, which allowed me to finish my work.
    I would like to install it, but it gives me no option to. I have tried the manual method. when I enter the commands to show the hdd I am only shown one drive, which looks like my usb (it has cloudready on it), /sdb and not sda
    Is my hdd busted so I cannot install CR? I have very limited experience with this type of installation. Any help gratefully received!

  • Forrest Smith

    Hey Gary -

    I'm hopeful we can help. Please start a new thread/topic with this same description, as well as a copy/paste of the output you see when you "sudo fdisk -l" .

    With that info maybe we can get started trying to help you switch to CloudReady.

  • Nick Bray


    I have followed as above, but get a "Traceback"
    WARNING Primary GPT header invalid
    WARNING Secondary GPT header invalid

    Any ideas?



  • Forrest Smith

    Nick -

    Sorry for the slow reply -

    Those warning are not actually anything to worry about. Only errors that actually start with "TRACEBACK" are problems.

    If you do see that somewhere along the way in your install's output then please copy paste from just above the traceback to the end of the error into a new thread with a description of what cmd you ran and why you ended up using cmd line install in the first place.

  • Peter Smulders

    Maybe this can be added to the tip or else should be a seperate post, but my $0.02 on a very efficient install (not on SSD; mind you -- I have never tested it there).


    • We want to install on /dev/sda (whole disk)
    • We have had problems with invalid GPT headers / seek error
    • BIOS is set up to boot from HDD first; USB second and/or via manual interruption.

    $ (echo g; echo w) | sudo /sbin/fdisk /dev/sda

    # this will write a blank partition table. I have found it sufficient to not have the installer blow up.

    $ sudo /usr/sbin/chromeos-install --yes --dst /dev/sda

    # installation that asks nothing until complete.

    $ sudo /sbin/shutdown -r 0

    # This will reboot. By having the BIOS set up the right way, you can leave the installer disk in while the machine takes its time shutting down and rebooting. The alternative is to shut down, pull out USB then reboot OR wait for the boot moment and then pull out the installer stick. Both mean sitting and waiting, which I try to avoid when mass installing.

    For the l33t amongst us: it annoyed me that I could enter all this on one line, but because the installation tends to take longer than the period sudo caches its credentials (default 5 minutes), I still had to come back and enter the root password again, after which the first (re)boot would happen and take another few minutes.

    So I devised a way to group the last two commands under the umbrella of one sudo call. The entire command line is this:

    $ (echo g; echo w) | sudo /sbin/fdisk /dev/sda; (echo /usr/sbin/chromeos-install --yes --dst /dev/sda; echo /sbin/shutdown -r 0) | sudo sh

    This will ask for the root password for the fdisk command. The second command one the line will be able to use the cache (fdisk takes about ten seconds). It will competely finish and reboot into CR. The whole thing takes about a half hour on these slow machines I am converting, but I can set this in motion and come back to a GUI asking for network credentials.

  • Mark Tompshon

    Is there any way I can see all drives? There's at least 50

  • Peter Smulders

    Mark -- there is no 'just list the drives, thank you' command. The closest thing to it is fdisk. Also, what you are seeing (unless you are installing on a beast of a file server) are not drives, but partitions. The command line installation takes a drive as an argument and not a partition. (possibly with the exception of dual-boot install, but I have exactly no experience with those).

    fdisk will list the drives, but they are lost in the sea of partitions. Try this to pick them out:

    $ sudo /sbin/fdisk -l | sed -n 's/^Disk \(\/[^:]*\): .*$/\1/p'

    That line noise at the end of that command is a regular expression. Be sure to copy it EXACTLY, because every character has a very specific meaning. This will list just the drives that fdisk reports.

    NB: not all drives according to fdisk are actual physical drives. I just tried this on a running CR install and in addition to the one actual disk, it lists a /dev/loop0 and a /dev/mapper/encstateful. Be aware that most physical drives will be named /dev/sd[something]. 

  • Ian Thomas
    Device             Start      End  Sectors  Size Type
    /dev/mmcblk0p1        64       64        1  512B ChromeOS reserved
    /dev/mmcblk0p2        65       65        1  512B ChromeOS reserved
    /dev/mmcblk0p3        66       66        1  512B ChromeOS reserved
    /dev/mmcblk0p4        67       67        1  512B ChromeOS reserved
    /dev/mmcblk0p5        68       68        1  512B ChromeOS reserved
    /dev/mmcblk0p6        69       69        1  512B ChromeOS reserved
    /dev/mmcblk0p7        70       70        1  512B ChromeOS reserved
    /dev/mmcblk0p8        71       71        1  512B ChromeOS reserved
    /dev/mmcblk0p9        72       72        1  512B ChromeOS reserved
    /dev/mmcblk0p10       73       73        1  512B ChromeOS reserved
    /dev/mmcblk0p11       74       74        1  512B ChromeOS reserved
    /dev/mmcblk0p12       75       75        1  512B ChromeOS reserved
    /dev/mmcblk0p13       76       76        1  512B ChromeOS reserved
    /dev/mmcblk0p14       77       77        1  512B ChromeOS reserved
    /dev/mmcblk0p15       78       78        1  512B ChromeOS reserved
    /dev/mmcblk0p16 14831682 61079517 46247836 22.1G Microsoft basic data
    /dev/mmcblk0p17    20546    53313    32768   16M ChromeOS kernel
    /dev/mmcblk0p18  8589378 14831681  6242304    3G ChromeOS root fs
    /dev/mmcblk0p19    53314    86081    32768   16M ChromeOS kernel
    /dev/mmcblk0p20  2347074  8589377  6242304    3G ChromeOS root fs
    /dev/mmcblk0p21    16514    16514        1  512B ChromeOS kernel
    /dev/mmcblk0p22    16515    16515        1  512B ChromeOS root fs
    /dev/mmcblk0p23    86082  2183233  2097152    1G Microsoft basic data
    /dev/mmcblk0p24    16516    16516        1  512B ChromeOS reserved
    /dev/mmcblk0p25    16517    16517        1  512B ChromeOS reserved
    /dev/mmcblk0p26      130    16513    16384    8M unknown
    /dev/mmcblk0p27  2314306  2347073    32768   16M EFI System

    This is he output i get from fdisk -l, how do I install it and where?
  • Forrest Smith

    Ian - 

    Your output shows that /dev/mmcblk0 is what you should use in place of /dev/sdX. 


    However, what you've pasted  here also shows the your device already has CloudReady fully installed on it. So if you've already attempted a normal install using the UI, and you're having issues of some kind, I'd recommend you create a new thread to describe the issues you're seeing and the hardware you're working with.

    A manual install is likely not the solution if your disk already looks like that.

  • Ian Thomas

    Yes it is fully installed however I was mistaken because I though this thread was about installing apt-get on CloudReady....Sorry.

  • Paul K

    Ian, you probably want Crouton. I've never installed that on CloudReady, but I understand that to be how you get Ubuntu on a Chromebook and from a quick search it looks like some people have successfully put it on CloudReady.

  • taka

    I want to do this, but I can't access guest mode (my wireless card isn't working, so I can't log in to a Google account). How do I access guest mode on version 60.2.77?

  • Forrest Smith

    You may need to log in once before guest mode becomes available.

    You could try Ethernet instead of wifi (even a usb-to-ethernet adapter could work if your device doesn't have an Ethernet port).

    Keep in mind that, even after installing, your wifi may not work if it doesn't work while live booted.

    If you continue to have trouble make sure to post your issues in a new thread where it'll be possible for future users to search for and find the same info.

  • taka

    Can we install wireless drivers after logging in? That's what I want to do. I have a Dell Wireless 1830 (DW1830), also known as the Broadcom BCM943602BAED.

    BCM943602BAED uses the brcmfmac drivers, which are not in CloudReady yet. I once had to manually install drivers for it on Linux as well, but now brcmfmac is included in the live image (Linux Mint). Why not here too?

  • taste2016
    Our minimum for installation (as compared to installer USB size) is 16 GB.

    Can you add this to the commandline or to the GUI so that if the user installs to a smaller size it prompts that size of destination is very small.

    I spend 2 days before realising that I was using 8 GB sdd.

    Many thanks.. You are helping with our Green Movement to recycle pcs in Germany

  • Peter Smulders

    > minimum for installation is 16GB

    This is not what the installer script looks for. Rather, it will cut off at 6GB, whereas the first of the 18 or so copy steps (partitions that get cloned from the boot/install device) breaks ('seek error') because it tries to allocate a larger amount of space.

    Ergo: maybe up the '6' in that script to something more accurate.

  • SpaceStar

    Can I select a partition instead of a full disk using this way?

    I have a disk with 2 partitions. There's my data in first. But the second one is empty and I'd like to install the CloudReady to this partition. Can I do this with "--dst /dev/sda2"?

  • Forrest Smith

    We can definitely look into whether lowering the 16GB install desitnation requirement is possible without causing other issues. Thanks to all for the feedback on that count, as well as the insights about where the restriction really comes from.

    SpaceStar - note that there is no install method that will allow you to install to a specific partition. CloudReady has 27 partitions all by itself, so it cannot be put inside any other single partition. You could, instead, back up all your data to a cloud service and then install over the entire disk.


  • SpaceStar

    Forrest Smith - what if I'll remove the second partition and keep it without markup?

  • Forrest Smith

    I don't know what you mean specifically - can you offer more detail on what steps you're suggesting?

Please sign in to leave a comment.