Montag, 21. Oktober 2013

How to install ChrUbuntu for Samsung ARM Chromebook on an SD-Card

Hello readers!

Here’s my english version of my tutorial for the installation of ChrUbuntu for Samsung’s Chromebook (ARM Version) on an SD-Card.

Please Note: All your local files (like the downloaded files) will be deleted, so backup them in your free 100gb drive space ;)

Here are the steps to get ChrUbuntu:

  1. Change ChromeOS to developer-mode (already done? go to point 2!)
    1. Press ESC+Refresh+Power
    2. System should restart
    3. Now you’re in the recovery-mode
    4. Press CTRL+D to install the ChromeOS developer-version (may take a while)
    5. When the installation was successfull, your chromebook will restart again
    6. you will get into the recovery-mode again
    7. press CTRL+D again
    8. ChromeOS will start
  2. Preparation of the installation
    1. now you can setup your computer at first like the first time you got your beautiful chromebook
    2. now sign off your chromeos to get to the login screen
    3. Press: CTRL+ALT+=> (“=>” is the second next to the refresh button of your keyboard)
    4. now your should be in the developer console if you did everything right
    5. now type the following:
      1. chronos
      2. sudo bash
      3. chromeos-firmwareupdate --mode=todev
      4. exit
  3. The installation of ChrUbuntu
    1. Hopefully you’re still in the developer console? (No? Remember point 2c)
    2. type the following:
      1. curl -L -O; sudo bash s9ryd ubuntu-desktop lts /dev/mmcblk1
    3. Setup by JayLee should start
      1. Easy system, if you get any questions while the installation, just press Enter ;)
  4. How to change between your local ChromeOS and the external SD ChrUbuntu
    1. Get to the known recovery mode “bootscreen”
      1. CTRL+D gets you to ChromeOS
      2. CTRL+U gets you to ChrUbuntu

If the tutorial worked for you as well, i would be appreciate if you like, share or comment this post :)


  1. Worked exactly as documented above. Thanks ardogeek!

  2. Hey there, good tute, but I'm getting stuck at this one point... It won't accept my SD card. does this have to be formatted a certain way, or have any preexisting folders on it before doing this?

    1. Hey :)
      No, there don't have to be any folders or files.
      Your problem is unknown for me, but check if the SD Card is formatted in FAT32. Thats the Standard like you'll get it out of store.

      Hope you will make this! :) Let me know ;)


  3. Antworten
    1. Yeah, should work with
      "...s9ryd ubuntu-desktop lts /dev/sda"
      instead of
      "...s9ryd ubuntu-desktop lts /dev/mmcblk1"

  4. but i read that i have to run crosssystem usb or something

  5. I have a xe303c12 arm chromebook.
    I tried many times to enter dev mode using esc/refresh and power buttons but nothing happens.
    The chromebook reboots normally…
    Did I miss something?

    1. Are you sure that you're logged in when you've tried to get into the recovery mode?
      Tried to change the order, in which you press the buttons? 1. esc 2. refresh 3. quit .. 1. refresh 2. esc .....and so on?
      Greetings, ardogeek

  6. Hi!
    Thanks for your message.
    I did try everything you said but my chromebook just reboots normally.
    I went yesterday at Best Buy and tried the procedure with the same computer and it worked just fine.
    I also powerwashed the chromebook but the problem persists.

  7. Der Kommentar wurde von einem Blog-Administrator entfernt.

  8. im trying it right now seems to be working!! il tell you if it works!!

  9. It's August 2014. The current LTS release of Ubuntu is 14.04 (Trusty). I've just purchased a Samsung Chromebook (model XE303), and I've spent some time this week trying to get ChrUbuntu to work as above (initially on an external USB drive, which failed miserably, and then on an SD card - successfully). To save everyone some time and frustration, here are a few tips for a successful install:

    1. The "ubuntu-desktop" directive in the install command no longer results in an install with a functional GUI on the Samsung (ARM-based) Chromebook (you get a login screen, log in, and then get an empty desktop with a mouse pointer. You can access terminal screens by pressing ctrl-alt-Forward and ctrl-alt-Backward, but this not useful if you want to do something in the GUI.) This is because "ubuntu-desktop" installs the Unity desktop, which is now 3D-accelerated only - meaning, it requires a 3D-acceleration-capable graphics card. The Samsung Chromebook does not have one (at all). According to documentation, the last release with a functional Unity 2D installation is 12.04.3. However, at writing, only 12.04.5 is in the Ubuntu archive. I tried to install this version (via "curl -L -O; sudo bash s9ryd ubuntu-desktop 12.04.5 /dev/mmcblk1"), however, a number of package install attempts in the ChrUbuntu script result in "404 not found" errors, and results in a blank screen with a flashing cursor - so, it looks like some of the ARM-specific packages aren't in the archive anymore (and just using "12.04" fails entirely).

    So, what *does* work? The "kubuntu-desktop" option (loads a KDE desktop) with LTS sort of works, however, I get no mouse in the login screen, it's really slow to load a desktop, and the mouse buttons (via the touchpad) don't work at all in the wireless network configuration, but do seem to work in the GUI outside of this.

    I then installed the "lubuntu-desktop" option (loads an LXDE desktop) with the LTS build. This works well, mouse works everywhere, and is fast to load. Presumably "xubuntu-desktop" (the XFCE desktop) would also work OK, but I haven't tested it.

    Bottom line, in the instructions above, the command that works and gets a functional GUI in direction 3 (b) is either:

    curl -L -O; sudo bash s9ryd lubuntu-desktop lts /dev/mmcblk1


    curl -L -O; sudo bash s9ryd xubuntu-desktop lts /dev/mmcblk1

    (Note: As I had been testing USB booting options prior to the SD card install, I did have the "dev_boot_usb" and "dev_boot_legacy" crossystem options set to "1" when I did the above. I don't know if these are required or not on the new units. These options are set via the following commands, which are entered in the dev-console, after the instruction 2 (e) (iii) in the main instructions above: sudo crossystem dev_boot_usb=1 && sudo crossystem dev_boot_legacy=1 ).

  10. 2. My first attempt to install ChrUbuntu was to an external USB drive - a Western Digital 1 TB "My Passport" Ultra. The comment above is correct - the USB drive does show up as /dev/sda, and the install script appeared to execute correctly. However, it would not boot after install when pressing ctrl-U for love or money (and I did have the dev_boot_usb option set as I indicated above) - it would just give 1 low beep and then proceed to boot ChromeOS. I never did get this to work (I abandoned it in favour of the tested SD card approach) - the USB drive can just be storage. However, I did learn a couple of things that might prove helpful to someone else who tries it:

    - the Samsung Chromebook will NOT boot from the USB 3 port. At all. It will only boot from the USB 2 port (if you can find a device that works).

    - It appears some USB hard drives either don't initialize or don't become visible to the firmware until after the OS boots. In testing, after install, when I hit ctrl-U, the USB drive's LED access light did not even flash - normally it flashes whenever it is queried or if something is being read or written. So, YMMV.

    Hope this helps someone out there :)

  11. "warning: Failed to create the file s9ryd: Read-only file system"