Got Chromebook? Keep Calm and use Azure

vscode-chromebook

I recently acquired a low end Chromebook (Acer Chromebook 14) as a bit of a side project. My nephew has one because they are super-cheap and he wants to be able to do homework and play Roblox (so by defacto I am the IT support), but also because I had heard rumblings about development possibilities on Chromebooks now and I wanted to explore. As someone who likes to understand what different folks are using for their day-to-day IT I decided to pick one up and experiment.

This is not a laptop review (though if you’re wondering, this particular model does feel as super-cheap as it cost!), instead, I wanted to just quickly document how I managed to get an Azure development environment up with minimal effort and a little searching.

One of my primary goals with this Chromebook has been to see if I can use Azure and do actual work without having a full-on machine. I wasn’t disappointed.

The order of events to get from standard Chromebook to Azure Development goes along the lines of:

  • Update ChromeOS to the latest version
  • Enable Linux Beta
  • Enable Crostini
  • Update any components
  • Install .NET Core (not required as a separate step but I just wanted to have it there)
  • Download and install PowerShell Core
  • Download and install Azure CLI
  • Download and install Visual Studio Code
  • Install the PowerShell Extension
  • Install the Azure Extension

At the end of these steps we have a Chromebook running Linux Containers with Microsoft command line and IDE tools running inside! As I often say “what a world we live in!”

Here is what I did to get set up:

  1. Follow the sections in this article to “Check your ChromeOS Version“, “Enable the Crostini Flag” and “Turn On Linux Apps“: https://www.androidcentral.com/how-install-linux-apps-your-chromebook
  2. Once you reach the “Download and Install an Application” section, you need to install wget so you can do web requests. Run “sudo apt-get install wget
  3. Now you’d be ready to install .NET core (if you want it). Follow this link for instructions to install the Debian package: https://dotnet.microsoft.com/download/linux-package-manager/debian9/sdk-current
  4. Go to the following link and download PowerShell for Debian: https://github.com/PowerShell/PowerShell. Then go back to “https://www.androidcentral.com/how-install-linux-apps-your-chromebook” and follow the section “Download and Install an Application
  5. Follow the steps here to install the Azure CLI: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/cli/azure/install-azure-cli-apt?view=azure-cli-latest. NOTE: the “az login” command will not work on its own. It will open a log in page in the host OS, but after authentication, the redirect will not make it back into the container. Instead, use “az login –use-device-code“. This will allow you to log in through the portal and provide a code given at your terminal, once your authentication is processed your terminal log in completes without the need for the browser to redirect you
  6. Visit “https://code.visualstudio.com/” and download the Debian package. Once again, follow the section “Download and Install an Application” in “https://www.androidcentral.com/how-install-linux-apps-your-chromebook” to get the package installed
  7. Launch Visual Studio Code from your app launcher in ChromeOS. Click on the Extensions button and install the PowerShell Extension and Azure CLI Tools extension
  8. WIN! Log into Azure and develop, develop away!!

vscode-chromebook2



Categories: Cloud, Open Source, Powershell

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