Tuesday, July 23, 2013


My final excuse for sticking with Ubuntu despite Canonical's descent into GUI madness is finally gone!  It turns out that "tap-to-click" can be enabled in Debian.  Find out how by looking here (Thanks Bob!).  Now, I will admit that I'll probably keep the ex-OS around to remind me exactly why I hate Unity with a passion.  But, having more options for the C7 is definitely a good thing!


  1. Definitely Barry the C7 is a marvel it can be upgraded with more ram "which hopefully I will do ;)" and we have the option to replace the hard drive with an SSD.....I love the keyboard and with Xfce LMDE its a powerhouse.....its the little machine that could....

    1. Agreed. But keep in mind that if you ever use it as a Chromebook, behavior with >4GB RAM is unknown. Even the Pixel only has 4GB! If you run only Linux, then ... never mind.

      From what I've gathered, the SSD will cut boot time in half, but that's about it. For the same price, I can live with the boot time in exchange for 20 times the local storage!

  2. Barry, any chance you could post a tutorial to get something like crunchbang working? I saw in your spreadsheet it was working for you.

    1. I tried following your guide from March on two different flash drives. When I tried to boot from them, they would both show a black screen (and you could see the flash drive indicator lights come on) and it would sit there for a few seconds before kicking back to the boot screen where you normally have to hit Ctrl-D to boot into ChromeOS.

      Any ideas?

    2. Well, the boot is failing - the question is "Why?". The C7, at least, will honk at you if it sees something wrong with the media before returning to the scary white screen. Can you post the output from 'sudo cgpt show /dev/sdb' here?

    3. start size part contents
      0 1 PMBR (Boot GUID: 20676E69-7973-7473-656D-000000637B9A)
      1 1 Pri GPT header
      2 32 Pri GPT table
      34 32768 6 Label: "KERN-C"
      Type: ChromeOS kernel
      UUID: 688CA9D1-BFE1-DD4B-99DE-7CB283EC7895
      Attr: priority=1 tries=1 successful=0
      32802 126816189 7 Label: "ROOT-C"
      Type: ChromeOS rootfs
      UUID: 8F158ACF-7E44-E948-9E49-F9546C291EF6
      126848991 32 Sec GPT table
      126849023 1 Sec GPT header

    4. I can't see anything "wrong" there, although a couple of things are odd.

      1. The PMBR contains the GUID of a non-existent bootable partition. AFAIK, a Chromebook should ignore this, but ...
      2. When the boot failed, the priority & tries attributes of partition #6 should have been reset to zero.

      Try 'sudo dump_kernel_config /dev/sdb6' to check that partition #6 contains a valid kernel image. This should spit out the commandline arguments the kernel image was wrapped with. If not, then dd the image to the partition again and retry.

    5. I tried it on another flash drive just now. Here's my cgpt show:
      start size part contents
      0 1 PMBR (Boot GUID: DDCEF354-EA89-4845-A737-9E6B70A17A8D)
      1 1 Pri GPT header
      2 32 Pri GPT table
      34 32768 6 Label: "KERN-C"
      Type: ChromeOS kernel
      UUID: BA74D1A1-A5E5-F046-A602-23FE436C5F1B
      Attr: priority=0 tries=0 successful=0
      32802 31412157 7 Label: "ROOT-C"
      Type: Linux data
      UUID: 5756DA5D-FB2A-634F-97C3-BB451329A737
      31444959 32 Sec GPT table
      31444991 1 Sec GPT header

      And here's dump_kernel_config:
      add_efi_memmap boot=local console=tty1 disablevmx=off i915.modeset=1 init=/sbin/init kern_guid=%U loglevel=7 lsm.module_locking=0 rw root=PA
      RTUUID=%U/PARTNROFF=1 rootwait tpm_tis.force=1 tpm_tis.interrupts=0

      It did the same as the other flash drives I've tried.

    6. OK. Here, the C7 should honk at you (or already did since priority & tries are zero) and return to the scary white screen. Even with that fixed, this will still fail to boot because partition #7 is "Type: Linux Data" rather than "Type: ChromeOS rootfs". You can correct these issues with:

      sudo cgpt add /dev/sdb -i 6 -P 1 -T 1
      sudo cgpt add /dev/sdb -i 7 -t rootfs
      sudo cgpt show /dev/sdb

      It looks like your kernel partition is probably OK, although you might need to check out why the second line broke where it did. The "root=PARTUUID=%U/PARTNROFF=1" argument should not be broken there.

      I realize this is all very frustrating, so I'm in the process of uploading my 'Bootable Media Toolbox' now. It should be available sometime tomorrow. Hopefully, we'll have you booting Linux over USB a few minutes after you download it. So, don't give up!

    7. Hacking linux onto something is always an adventure haha, so no worries about getting frustrated. I'll be excited to try that Toolbox out.

      If I run that command on partition 7 will it wipe my install of crunchbang?

    8. LOL - Indeed! I've been working on the toolbox for too long, just can't get it to a state where I felt it was ready for the general public. But, if people can make use of it, I need to just throw it out there and let it be.

      The fix should not impact your installed rootfs, since you're only modifying the partition table, not the partition itself.

      Oh, and #! struck me as an excellent match for a C7. In fact, I'm still playing with it!

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  4. Hello!

    I don´t know if this is the right area to post my question but I will give it a try:
    Yesterday a installed chrubuntu on my C710-2847 with 2GB Ram(today will get 2GB more), 320GB HDD blabla.......was running perfect!
    Then I recognized that the script didn´t put a swap on the hdd! Why?
    I tried to make it by my own with manuals from the internet but it didn´t work! Always when I try to "swapon..." I get an error message!
    After some hours later I damaged the system so far that I had to reinstall chrome os again and today I will try again to install chrubuntu and get it running with a swap drive but how?

    Kind regards, Alex

    1. There are a number of factors to consider here. I did eventually get a 4GB swap partition activated in ChrUbuntu but I repeated the nightmarish process you're now performing at least a half dozen times to get there.

      Generally speaking, if gparted (& perhaps other tools) touches a bootable ChromeOS drive, it ceases to be bootable. To be safe, manipulate CrOS drives/partitions only with cgpt from CrOS or ChrUbuntu. Also, regard the 12 partition GPT scheme on the HDD as sacrosanct.

      To rub salt in this wound, I have seen no evidence that swap is ever used despite the fact that its available. This could be a result of my usage patterns, but unless I'm mistaken, the CrOS kernel does not even support swap.

      If you're as foolishly stubborn as I am, then I would suggest checking into a swapfile on the ChrUbuntu partition first. Performance really won't matter if it's never used.