Friday, 28 October 2011

Installing Ubuntu on Samsung Series 5 Chromebook

Chromebook is a nice concept coupled with a sleek, fast, compact but yet capable OS, the ChromeOS. Both Samsung and Acer had released Chromebook models which are relatively cheap but still has good design, quite portable with great battery life. Google also gave away Samsung Series 5 Chromebooks to all attendees of Google I/O 2011 which I also qualified to receive one.

For those who had tried ChromeOS before would already know that it is just a browser built on top of a slimmed linux. It does not let you install apps other than chrome apps and not even has a desktop. However you can still save files and access the file system through the browser. Although in the era of the tablets it might seem a little weird, very soon I realized Chromebook is not a device to replace your laptop or your tablet. It is much lighter and portable than a laptop with great battery life but does not allow you wide variety of apps. Meanwhile it is heavier and chunkier than a tablet and lacks of a touch display but it does have a real browser, an accesible file system and a real keyboard.

So Chromebook is unique concept which can be placed between your laptop and your tablet.

However using ChromeOS for a while, I started feeling the need of using an IDE and since I would be having a trip to Antwerp for Devoxx, I thought it is time to install Ubuntu on my Series 5.

If you google to find out how to install ubuntu on chromebook you will end up with great articles describing how to do it for CR-48. Although most of the procedures will be the same, there are still some differences which may cause some troubles. Instead of using a CR48 tutorial and google for the problems follow this post and the links for a smoother experience.

I will mainly follow this tutorial which is a great but for CR48.

1. First you need to get root! Unless most CR48 tutorials will guide you to remove battery actually it is much simpler on Samsung Series 5 Chromebooks. On the right side of the device while the display is facing you, you will find a cover just next to the usb port. You will find a tiny switch just next to the sim slot. Find a needle and gently push the switch towards the sim slot. Be careful since the switch is very gentle and tiny, you may easily break it which I did :). 
2. Reboot the device. Press Ctrl+D but do not login. Press CTRL+ALT+F2 (the right arrow on top where F2 should be).
3. Login as user chronos, without any password.
4. Run "sudo bash" and "chromeos-firmwareupdate --mode=todev"
5. Run "wget http://goo.gl/hnkxo; sudo sh hnkxo". This script will ask you how you want to shrink the partition of ChromeOS for installing Ubuntu. The default and recommended option is 9gbs. I am not sure if CR48 has same ssd size with the series 5 but I still used the default value. You may choose any size in increments of 1 at your own risk. After you choose the size the script will repartion the drive. It might take up to 15 minutes so do not turn off your device even there is no activity.
6.  Go through the setup process until you get to the login page. Be sure you are connected to wifi and follow the steps 2 and 3 again. Once again run "wget http://goo.gl/hnkxo; sudo sh hnkxo". This time the script will start downloading Ubuntu 11.04 image which was prepared by Jay Lee.
7. The script will download 52 files at total of 1.1gb. If you lose connectivity or run out of battery, just re run the script and it will find out where its left.
8. The script will make few more updates and your device will restart.
9. If you do not see Ubuntu running follow steps 2,3,4 again.
10. Login to ubuntu using user "user" and password "user".
11. Open a terminal window and run "sudo resize2fs -p /dev/sda7" to finalize resizing your partitions.
12. Although you are in Ubuntu, it is not the default OS for the boot. To enable an easy switch between Ubuntu and Chrome OS, we will follow this steps.
13. In ubuntu, navigate to home folder and press ctrl+h.
14. Double click .bashrc and add "alias chromeos='sudo cgpt add -i 6 -P 0 -S 0 /dev/sda;sudo reboot' " to the bottom of the file.
15. Save the file. Open a terminal and type "chromeos".
16. When device boots into ChromeOS, press CTRL+ALT+F2 and login as chronos.
17. Run "sudo vim .profile" and press letter 'i'.
18. Type "alias ubuntu='sudo cgpt add -i 6 -P 5 -S 1 /dev/sda;sudo reboot' ". Then press esc and press shift+z twice. You should be in the console and saved the file.
19. Type "exit" and type "chronos" to login again.
20. Type "ubuntu" to boot in ubuntu again!

If you have any problems you can contact me and check the original links:
http://chromeos-cr48.blogspot.com/2011/04/ubuntu-1104-for-cr-48-is-ready.html
http://cr-48.wikispaces.com/Dual+Boot+Shortcuts



86 comments:

  1. I followed your directions even though others don't have steps 13-20. Instead they just recommend running "sudo cgpt add - 6 -P 5 -S 1 /dev/sda" in the terminal from either ubuntu or chromeos. Can you explain the difference between your instructions and theirs? What are you trying to achieve with these extra steps that is different? I hoped it would get rid of the blue sadface screen, but it does not.

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  2. Well if you follow steps 13-20, you will have the option to type just on word and reboot the system into any os you want.. You can follow either way its just a matter of taste.

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  3. Thanks!That's what I suspected.

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  4. Dude, you fucking rock.

    Thank you so much.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I have tried doing this multiple times on my Chromebook, no matter how many times i try or which guide i use, Chromebook ends up booting into chrome with no sign of Ubuntu at the end of the install. Any help? so far as i can tell everything runs like it is supposed to, except it never prompts me to partition the Harddrive

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  6. Thank you very much for taking the time to write this post.

    You spending an hour or so writing this down has allowed myself, and I'm sure many others, to enjoy their experience with (and get alot more out of) their Chromebooks.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thanks WoWInsider,

    It's great to know it helps! thanks for spending your time sending your comments!

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  8. Thanks for posting the instructions. I got Ubuntu working, but every time I reboot I get the blue frowning screen. I'll start over and try again.

    Is it possible to completely replace Chrome OS with another OS...Ubuntu or Meego or anything?

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  9. It is possible.. If you google you will find some people even manage to run macos on chromebook. However I like the chromeos/ubuntu combination, so never tried.

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  10. I followed the instructions and all worked out quite smoothly. This has been a total time saver, thanks a lot!

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  11. Thanks Emre, great to see it helps...

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  12. Great instructions. My Chromebook just came much closer to being a primary machine instead of just the browser in the dining room :) thanks

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  13. Thanks Ray,

    Great to hear that it works! Well honestly I must thank the CR48 tutorial I had used. I just updated the steps to cover Samsung.

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  14. Thanks for the guide, awesome!
    Ubuntu installed fine, but the screen keeps "blacking out" and I have to reboot the chromebook. Does anyone else have this issue? Or even a fix?

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  15. First, thanks for the write-up! I followed all of the directions, got Ubuntu to install, but I can't get back into it since booting into ChromeOS. I think there's a problem when doing sudo vim .profile and then adding the line. Can you clarify what exactly to do at that step and how I can fix my problem? Thanks a bunch!

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  16. Patrick,
    All you need to do is to add the given line .profile. I used vim to do that. Those are the comments (like press i to start insert mode) for vim.

    ReplyDelete
  17. sir pls. help me..how to install windows7 in samsung series 5 chromebook with ubuntu OS

    i dont like ubuntu OS 11.04 in samsung chromebook cuz.its not friendly user for me

    ReplyDelete
  18. I dont use windows and i dont think it would a good match for low hardware specs like chrome book. Beside you will also need to change whole boot process.

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  19. Hi, I tried ur steps but there's no sign of ubuntu booting up. It keeps on saying verficiation turned off and press space for recovery and after that it will boot chrome OS still...Help please...

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  20. 枫, after chromeos boots perform step 16 to 20. If still does not work you might have missed something during setup. You may need to start from beginning

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  21. ok i know, i just rerun the wget script and it works fine. I am having another problem now, after updating, the speaker will malfunction and i realise many are facing the same problem. I realise the network manager for ubuntu kinda makes the wireless signal very weak compared to chrome OS. Any methods to improve the signal? Anyway thanks for your help.

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  22. 枫, I havent realized any weakness on wifi radio. I remember I had a speaker issue when i first installed. However after the restart never had again.

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  23. Hi,
    I successfully installed ubuntu and I can switch from one OS to another.
    How can I configure Ubuntu as the default OS to avoid the blue screen that warns the verification is off?
    Can I put the switch beside the USB port back to its original position?

    Thanx in advance
    JC

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  24. Thanks for the great guide. I used it to install Ubuntu on a Acer AC700. Works perfect.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Great to hear it worked! Did you need any additional steps?

      Delete
    2. nope. everything worked out without any trouble.

      Delete
  25. Do you know of a way to remove Ubuntu from the chrome book if I ever decide that I dont like it?

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  26. Sure just boot into recovery and do a chromeos recovery. You may need to resize your partion beforehand.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How would I go about resizing the partition to the correct size?

      Delete
  27. Great move , but is it possible to use SIM card '3G network ' to acces the internet with ubuntu OS 11.04 ?????
    thanks

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  28. I don't know, sadly i can not try :( I remember reading some people managed use it but not sure if it is out of the box.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Hi
    do you know how to install Ubuntu 11.10 on Samsung Series 5 Chromebook
    the review said that Ubuntu 11.10 better than 11.04.
    thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not tried 11.10, I wonder if the standart upgrade procedure works?

      Delete
    2. Yeah, I just updated to 11.10 using ubuntu's built in upgrade feature. I have no issues with it yet.

      Delete
    3. let me know if it works stable, then I will update mine and this blog post :)

      Delete
    4. It has been stable so far. I still have not run into any errors. As for it being better than 11.04, I really haven't noticed much difference.

      Delete
    5. Ubuntu 11.10 has been running stable for me since 3 April; no problems.

      Delete
  30. Having trouble with vim .profile how do I correct the file, edit, erase, delete, and/or recover it?

    Just can't seem to get the alias ubuntu command line to stick...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Fixed... had to slightly modify line instruction no. 17 to finally get the damn alias ubuntu command line to be recognized by my Samsung Chromebook:

      Original:
      17. Run "sudo vim .profile" and press letter 'i'.

      The fix:
      17. Run "sudo vim .profile" and press letter 'a' ... pressing "a" then entering the alias line worked.

      Delete
    2. thanks for submitting your solution with the line number!!

      Delete
    3. That's weird, because I followed the instructions here to the letter and had no problem getting the chromebook to recognize the command.

      Delete
  31. it absolutly works for ac700 chromebooks

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  32. Murat Yener
    Would you please be so kind as to provide a step by step uninstall of Ubuntu and repartitioning of the SSD for the Samsung Series 5 Chromebook.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well since I did not uninstall ubuntu, I can not write such a guide but the standart chrome os reinstalling procedure should work.

      Delete
  33. Replies
    1. Thanks, happy to hear it worked!

      Delete
  34. what about win 7 installation????

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You should google it. I am a developer, I don't use windows. Unless you have some spesific software which run on windows, I strongly suggesst you to give a chance to ubuntu and mac os which are far better and stable OSs.

      Delete
  35. Hi, I am back again, just wondering if we are still able to upgrade to the newest Chrome OS without affecting/reinstalling the Ubuntu?

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  36. ChromeOS automatically updates, you dont need to do anything. You can also update ubuntu which some people tried and succeeded.

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  37. my samsung series 5 chromebook,have ubuntu 11.04 and then i already upgraded into 11.10,but it is consuming memory,plz help me how to reformat ubuntu 11.10,to reduce consuming SSD on samsung chromebook

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    Replies
    1. I have just upgraded to 11.10 and do not have any problem. Did you let the upgrading procedure do the cleanup? I suggest you to clean up your drive since this is not really related to ubuntu's version.

      Delete
    2. Are you running Stable, BETA, or DEV channel on ChromeOS? I am running BETA but thinking to dive into the DEV channel. I took off Ubuntu 11.10... it ran really well but I really had no need for it... I just wanted to play around with Linux... hated the Ctrl + d Unhappy Face Blue Screen...

      Delete
  38. Hey all, I just did this and everything's turned out right! :) I'm still getting used to dual-booting, but my real concern is this: The chrome Netflix app doesn't support dev mode. If I were to switch back to regular mode, would that undo everything I've just done? Would I still be able to boot into ubuntu? Thanks.

    ~C.

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  39. Does anyone know whether it is possible to install virtualbox? I originally figured it would be simple enough once I had no problems installing.(Thank you Murat) But whenever I try to install Virtualbox it says the 3.0.13 kernel, the kernel I'm pretty sure that ChromeOS is using as well as 'sharing' with ubuntu, is "probably a kernel from a chroot environment." And ideas? Anything would be very helpful!

    Also as regarding the upgrading of ubuntu, I've used the upgrade manager to upgrade all the way to 12.04 and it works phenomenally with no problems whatsoever.

    Thanks again Murat!

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    Replies
    1. Hmm I am not sure if chromebook's hardware is enough to run another os in virtualbox, I dont think it will really useful. However from my previous ubuntu experience i remeber dropbox needs kernel header source files during ints install or upgrade. Thus using a custom chromeos kernel would not be ok unless you have the header source files. I am not sure if those are available in chrome os.. but still even if you manage to do it i still dont think the hardware is enough to run another os on chromebook..

      Delete
  40. sir,ubuntu 12.04 was already release,how can install ubuntu 12.04 using this script like the instruction above

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    Replies
    1. Yes ubuntu 12.04 is out but as you may have noticed those packages installed by the script are specially prepared and hosted under google code by Jay Lee (http://code.google.com/p/cr-48-ubuntu/).
      So you two options :)
      Do some contribution and prepare same structure for 12.04 so others can use your repository and thank you (which is the hard way).
      Or..
      Go on with the instructions given in this post and later use software update and let ubuntu to upgrade to latest version (which is much easy but no contribution...)

      I am looking forward to see which option you will follow :)

      Delete
    2. by the way sir,,how to remove frown face on my samsung sereies 5 chromebook,its running ubuntu 11.10

      Delete
  41. Hi
    Is there any way to let the touchpad work like a normal one? I mean the normal drag and drop funktion, which works fine under Chrome, but not under Ubuntu, so its difficult to f.e. mark parts of a spread sheet or things like that, you cant just press the left button (left corner) and move the window with the touchpad. In Chrome OS it works.

    And anyway somebody installed WIN 7???

    Thanks
    M.

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  42. Hi
    Is there any way to let the touchpad work like a normal one? I mean the normal drag and drop funktion, which works fine under Chrome, but not under Ubuntu, so its difficult to f.e. mark parts of a spread sheet or things like that, you cant just press the left button (left corner) and move the window with the touchpad. In Chrome OS it works.

    And anyway somebody installed WIN 7???

    Thanks
    M.

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    Replies
    1. I think it depends on the hardware. You get use to it but never works like a macbook touchpad.

      Delete
  43. can anyone say something about the battery performance with ubuntu on samsung chromebook?

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    Replies
    1. I usually get around 8 hours battery life but thats mostly browsing.. i dont think it will survive that long if you fire up an android emulator.

      Delete
  44. Thank for the guide. I'm having issues setting up the alias's and I was wondering if you could help me figure out where the resolution is.

    Anyways, everything installed and the dual boot works (using the "sudo cgpt add" on either ChromeOS or Ubuntu 11.04). I want to make it easier to get between the two by setting up the aliases. No matter what I've tried, every time I type in "chromeos" into terminal, I get a "command not recognized" error.

    I've appended .bashrc, and attempted to add a .bash_aliases and do it that way, but neither way works. (I haven't tried it in ChromeOS yet, I want it to be default with unbuntu as secondary so that I can switch easily for demonstration purposes, gotta get the ubunutu to chrome working first)

    I'm also looking for ways to get the shortcut keys to work in 11.04 Ubuntu Classic (can't stand unity) but there doesn't seem to be a "shortcut" option under the keyboard.

    Yes, I'm a linux nub if you couldn't tell. Any ideas?

    ReplyDelete
  45. Thank you for your guide.
    works fine on my samsung serie 5 model xe500c21-h01fr azerty kb.
    Thanks again

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  46. This works very nicely on my Samsung Series 5 500, thanks.

    A query: If I try to upgrade Ubuntu via the Ubuntu upgrade tool to 11.10 or even onwards to 12.04 I lose the ability to dual boot with ChromeOS, which is half the fun :)

    At first I thought it was because I had mistakenly ticked some "install grub" boxes along the way, but even studiously avoiding this as soon as the system is upgraded the:

    alias chromeos='sudo cgpt add -i 6 -P 0 -S 0 /dev/sda;sudo reboot'

    is no longer working for me - the system (re)boots directly back into Ubuntu.

    I've tried several times, going back to zero with a ChromeOS restore from USB, with exactly the same results - no ChromeOS boot after an Ubuntu upgrade.

    Is it possible to get a dual booting system _after_ upgrading the Ubuntu in situ?

    I know there is a 64 bit 12.04 install script, but the older Series 5 dev channel is back on 32 bit so this can't be used.

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  47. is imposible to install win 7¡¡????? I google it for 3 months and nothing!!!

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  48. Hello, I followed the instructions and it worked the first time but when doing steps 13 and on it messed up the dual boot so i could no longer access the ubuntu partition... So i factory reset the chromebook then tried again, i didnt even make it to step 13 bc the ubuntu screen was completley blank just the background. So reset and tried again... this time it didnt even boot out of the command prompt. It instead asks me for my ubuntu username and password. when entered it returns an error...... I would really like to have ubuntu on this so any help would be great.

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  49. incredible!!!! NOBODY able to install win 7 on samsung chromebook????

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  50. People trying to install Windows 7:

    It's a far cry from installing Ubuntu. Firstly, the kernel run on ChromeOS is a Linux kernel so fundamentally, different.

    Secondly, Windows expects to use it's own bootloader. I'm not sure what's being used in this set up, but it might not be possible to do a dual boot with ChromeOS.

    Thirdly, while Windows will run on that processor, it's a horrible experience. In a chromebook's hardware configuration, the memory is probably going to be the bottleneck. If you want a Windows laptop, go and buy a Windows laptop...

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  51. I'm having problems because I can't "umount /mnt/stateful_partition" during the script. It gives an error stating that the device is busy. I'm not sure, but it seems that it has errors every step after that. After downloading all the files and dd'ing them it gives errors about the kernel and then reboots to a blank screen. I have to hold the power button down to turn it off and then it will reboot into chrome os but ubuntu doesn't seem to work still. Is the unmounting of the stateful partition the problem, and if so, how can I force it to do it?

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  52. Do you possibly know how to load BackTrack instead of Ubuntu?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. don't know... but why not give a try :)

      Delete
  53. Thank you very much for this Murat, never used Linux before but need more functionality from my chromebook so this seemed the way to go. It's still downloading so fingered crossed!

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  54. hi there is there a way to ge rid of chrome os and permanently get ubuntu as main os for chromebook? its just im getting samsung series 5 550 and not so keen on chrome. PLEASE HELP! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Whats the point of getting a chromebook if you want to get rid of the chromeos?? Honestly I am not planning to do that so not going to spend time to find out how :)

      Delete
  55. when i run the command the first time to load ubuntu, the system reboots and shows the blue screen, and when i press ctrl d it goes to the green screen and willnot accept anything except a chrome os recovery image. I did run the firmwareupdate prior to trying to get ubuntu. Please help.
    Thanks

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  56. I am having the same issue after step 5. I end up at the green screen and only chrome recovery is allowed. Please help. Also, I installed a 64 GB SSD, is there any way to use more than 10 GB for Ubuntu? Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  57. i installed ubuntu but then i got rid of it...i think...ever since (like 3 weeks ago to now (may 27 2013) i have been having memory space problems, i aparently only have 2 gb left so :(. i didnt use an sd card or anything i istalled it directly from the device while in developer can you help?

    ReplyDelete
  58. Does your french keyboard have the "supprimer" text on the keys and stuff like that?
    It's because i'm from Belgium and would like have an Azerty keyboard on it, if i buy it..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. who said my keyboard is french?!

      Delete
  59. I installed ubuntu using this script on a Samsung Series 5 but wireless is not working. The drivers are there but no device actually shows up. The script also appears not to work as I cannot switch back to ChromeOs. Any help? Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  60. Tom! I went through the tutorial 3 times, and I'm having the same wireless problem and i am not able to switch back to chrome os. what do you think about this install?
    http://chromeos-cr48.blogspot.com/2012/04/chrubuntu-1204-now-with-double-bits.html

    ReplyDelete