Some days ago I got Chromebook and have to say that device is amazing. Light, small and fast enough for conference laptop. During Linaro Connect I did some hacking on it with help from Olof Johansson and Andrew Wafaa (he brought Chromebook for me from Cambridge). I also used script from Jay Lee to get all information required to resize STATE partition and fit Ubuntu on internal storage.
Now I am running Ubuntu ‘raring’ on my Chromebook with XFCE as a desktop — all running from internal storage (16GB eMMC from SanDisk). So far I did not remove original Chromium from device as I keep it as a reference system to be able to compare what I got with how it works with system from Google.
So what works? Most of things — suspend/resume, wifi, bluetooth, sound, touchpad, usb ports, sd storage, camera. But why they should not work when I am using same kernel binary as Chromium OS does ;) So far did not yet came to rebuilding kernel — there were more important things to do first.
During Wednesday hacking evening I updated xf86-video-armsoc driver to X11 ABI 13 used by packages in ‘raring’ so I got 2D accelerated environment. Tried to find all sources required to build xf86-input-cmt driver but then got hint from Olof that “evdev” driver is enough — all it needs is small snippet of X11 configuration. And yes — it works but is not precise. Andrew told that he will try to build “cmt” driver for OpenSUSE so we will know how better it is.
What next? I have to create package for “cgpt” (GPT manipulation tool with support for Chromium OS extensions), tools and keys needed to sign kernel and kernel itself. Then some work would be needed for OpenGLES stuff but this can wait. I plan to upload everything needed into Debian and then request syncs to Ubuntu. From yesterday’s discussions I know which mailing lists I should go.
But I do not plan to cover everything. There will be no installation support from me. Users have to do it on their own cause there are several ways of getting other operating systems on Chromebook:
- boot from SD card
- boot from USB storage
- resizing STATE partition to put system on internal eMMC (I did that)
- removing Chromium OS completely to get more space for own system
Then there are also systems when user has developer firmware installed (that’s different that developer mode) or even setup where normal U-Boot is used as bootloader.