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My preferred method is to run 90% of my stuff in a digitalocean coreos-based docker container, with the mosh-chrome extension to access it. The only things I don't run in the cloud is my browser (use the chromebook chrome browser, naturally) and a tiny number of cases where I have to run a tool on a full linux machine (use crouton, as per OP).

In this way, I can switch dev machines without missing a beat... just need to paste in my ssh key into the new chromebook's mosh-chrome, and I have a 100% functional dev machine again (sans the crouton-based stuff, of course, which is why I avoid using crouton as much as possible).

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