A revised version of this guide has been published.
Have you ever wanted to install fonts for your Series 5 Chromebook but cannot figure out how to do it? Well, the good news is that it’s possible! The bad news is that it’s not quite as simple as just installing the font through your browser, and comes with some caveats.
To have a custom font, you must place a .TTF file (truetype font) into the Chrome OS font folder. To get the custom font into the correct directory, you must use the CLI (command line interface) while in Developer mode. Unless you’re familiar with the command line, it can be quite intimidating. Fortunately, we’ve written some instructions to help simplify the process. But first, some warnings:
Switching to Developer Mode erases all personal data on the “stateful partition” (e.g., user accounts and settings, local downloads saved on the hard drive – no worries, though, if all your data is in the cloud!). You will have to keep the switch in Developer Mode to keep the changes you have made. Note that putting your device into developer mode inherently makes it less secure. Use at your own risk.
These instructions work for a Samsung Series 5 Chromebook and for .TTF (truetype font) files. This article assumes that you have the desired .TTF file downloaded either to a USB drive or available in Dropbox. Not all websites will display your font, Google search results, for example.
1. Turn the hardware switch to Developer mode. The switch is behind a little door on the right-hand side of the Chromebook. To enable the developer switch, open the door, using something small such as a paperclip to gently move the switch towards the back of the device.
2. Turn on the Chromebook (or reboot if it was already on).
3. You will first see a black-and-white screen with an image of a computer that says “ChromeOS verification Turned Off.” Just wait here and it will automatically continue to a white screen that says “Preparing system for Developer Mode”.
This will take little a bit of time as the Chromebook switches to Developer Mode, about 4-6 minutes. It will automatically reboot when finished.
4. You will see a black-and-white screen that says “ChromeOS verification Turned Off.” Press Ctrl-Alt-Right Arrow (where f2 would be). You will see a command line terminal.
5. Login as root when it says localhost login:
6. Type chromeos-firmwareupdate –mode=todev and hit enter.
7. Once it is finished, it will reboot automatically. Upon reboot, you will see a blue screen.
Press Ctrl-D at this screen. If you wait too long, you will have to reboot the computer.
8. You will see the network login screen. Press Ctrl-Alt-Right Arrow (where f2 would be). You will see a command line terminal.
9. Login as root.
10. Type cd /usr/share/vboot/bin/
11. Type ./make_dev_ssd.sh
This will tell you what to type for the next command. Remember the number after partitions.
12. Type ./make_dev_ssd.sh –remove_rootfs_verification –partitions N (where N is the number given by the previous command)
This finally allows you to read/write to the drive.
13. Type reboot and hit enter.
14. Upon reboot, you will see the familiar blue screen. Press Ctrl-D.
15. You will see the network login screen. Login at to the network and sign in. When finished, Press Ctrl-Alt-Right Arrow (where f2 would be). You will see a command line terminal.
16. Login as root.
If you are transferring the .TTF file from the internet:
Using the command wget, you can download a .ttf file from the internet. Dropbox is good for this. Information about how to get a link to a dropbox file is here: https://www.dropbox.com/help/16/en
Instructions for transferring from a USB drive are below, but are slightly more complicated.