How open Chromebook is?

Few people already asked me how open Samsung Chromebook is. So let’s take a look.

Kernel is open. Git tree is available and so are instructions on how to build it. You can check post by Olof Johansonn or take a look at Chromium ebuild. Remember that images need to have DeviceTree attached.

There are few firmware blobs but most of them are available in “linux-firmware” package in Ubuntu. The only exception is “mrvl/sd8797_uapsta.bin” file which is present in Marvell’s firmware repo.

You also need to sign kernels. But tools and developer keys are available as well. We have preliminary version of package for it.

X11 drivers are available as well. Both video (armsoc) and input (cmt) are open. You can run X11 just fine without them even. I provide armsoc one but decided to skip “cmt” one cause “evdev” one works ok.

So where are those ugly binary blobs? In standard places…

One is OpenGL ES support. There is “libmali.0.0.35” which works as libEGL and libGLESv2 but no source for it (kernel part is open). Also license is missing. You can copy it from Chromium (I made package for Ubuntu) but results vary. I would love to get it working cause it can make Chromium browser faster.

Other is video acceleration. Under Chromium there is set of OpenMAX libraries. Under Ubuntu I see only crashes.

Flash plugin is yet another story. Rune K. Svendsen got it partially working but it is still not like it could be.

There is also Google Hangouts plugin under Chromium. So far no information will it work under non-Chromium distribution.

If you have anything to add here then write a comment. And consider joining “Samsung Chromebook (ARM) hackers” team to help us in getting our distros working better and better.

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