Hardware acceleration on Chromebook

I think that most asked question about Chromebook in last months was about hardware acceleration. So let’s write something about it.


There is a driver for OpenGL ES for Samsung Exynos5 Dual cpu present in Chromebook. But there are two versions of it: Week35 and Week45. Both require different kernel versions.

Ubuntu 13.04 has 3.4.0-5 kernel package which was built from R23 kernel branch. Week35 OpenGL ES driver works with it and you have to grab it from ChromeOS (but maybe it got updated there already).

I still have to find time and get R25 (or R26 or R27) kernel working so we could upgrade to Week45 driver. This one is available in ChromeOS as well (beta or dev).

Where are my packages?

There were packages which provided OpenGL ES driver binaries (week45). I removed them due to license issues as it looks like Samsung bought Mali T604 license from ARM Ltd. and got it working with Exynos5 Dual. Then they sub licensed it to Google for use with ChromeOS.

So Samsung does not distribute the driver — Google does. And even when they give tarball with files there is no license in it — just standard “Google Terms of Service” note.

No redistribution license == no packages. Sure, someone can make “chromebook-opengles-driver-installer” like package which would grab binaries from ChromeOS (I did such for week35) or will fetch them from network. Feel free to do it. Once you will get it working I can put it into Samsung Chromebook PPA.

Multimedia decoding

Other thing is hardware accelerated multimedia decoding (maybe also encoding). Under ChromeOS it was done with OpenMAX stuff. Google even had some binaries available but they crashed badly under Ubuntu.

How situation looks today? No idea as I did not had time for Chromebook stuff in last months.

arm chromebook license linaro ubuntu