CUCC Expedition Handbook


Basic Use

You do not need to install any software to use a Chromebook (even a very old one) to do the basic laptop stuff:

But that's it pretty much. While the rest of this page gives some hints for doing some other stuff, with great difficulty, it's not really worth it. A Chromebook fundamentally is a an expo basic laptop.

Survey Laptop Use - not really

Basically: No.

Chromebooks do not have any way of locally running Tunnel, Survex or Therion. So you can't create a centre-line plot or trave over a centre-line plot to create a cave survey.

To a very, very limited extent you can get around this for survex by running Survex/Cavern on the expo server, where you can type in and edit survex files. This will serve to check for syntax errors. But it won't give you a .3d file you can visually spin around in 3D and you can't print out a centre-line plot.

If you really want to run tunnel or therion you need to enable Linux (see below).

If you are a programmer, you can try an Android app (recent Chromebooks only) to run Java and then run Tunnel in that. Good luck. Let us know how you get on...

Bulk-update Laptop Use - tricky

This is when you need to handle large numbers of files. This is where you would need to get the key-exchange thing sorted out so you can use ssh.

OK, so you can't do any of the cave survey jobs with tunnel or therion, but there are some cave data management jobs you might want to do, such as

This is where what you can do critically depends on precisely how old your Chromebook is.

The oldest Chromebooks can't run Android apps or Chrome Browser Extensions. They can't install or run the FTP capability in the Chromebook Files App either. Anything after 2019 should run Crostini (see below) and the most recent can run ssh Chromebook Apps.

Enabling ssh and scp - access Linux apps

You may not need to install any software to get scp or ssh running either: these are pre-installed on every Chromebook as part of ChromeOs, but getting to them is not so easy.

Read Linux on your Chromebook.

Either enable Crostini or, on a pre-2019 Chromebook, do this:

Alternatively you can run the Chrome extension 'mosh', which achieves the same thing as ssh, but this will stop working at the end of 2022 unless someone re-writes it.

Or you could get rid of the Chromebook software entirely install a full Ubuntu system instead.

Return to Setting up a basic laptop
Return to Setting up a survey laptop
Go on to: Bulk Update laptop