Acer C710 Chromebook

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Reason: misleading, this will not end with fully arch installation as it doesn't use arch kernel packages, consider adding remarks about the limitations and disadvantages. it might worth taking the guide out of the c7 chromebook and into a generic solution for having Arch rootfs on Chromebooks without SeaBIOS payload. (Discuss in Talk:Acer C710 Chromebook#)

This page is a work in progress guide to running Arch Linux on the Acer C7 Chromebook. See these Acer_C720_Chromebook for the Acer C720 Chromebook.

Over seven models exist, starting at $199, less if used. These laptops make a great side laptop to jump into linux with!

Installation of Arch Linux

Arch runs well on the Acer C710, but there's some work that you need to put in if you want a real Install, it will also void your warranty and might brick your device. There's a safer option (not yet covered here) but it has way too many caveats making it not recommended.

Coreboot/SeaBIOS Method

Warning: This section is a work in progress following it while this warning still exists will probably leave you with a non working system.

Preparation

You'll need a few things before you start.

  1. A C710
  2. Arch Linux install drive
  3. Aluminium Foil
  4. Small screw driver
Suggested reading

You can skip this section if you're really brave, but you'll regret it if something goes sideways.

Backup Data
Warning: Backup any data you care about! Data partitions will be erased, and then probably deleted!


Enable Developer mode

We need shell access so we need to enable Dev mode on the system. This will wipe all your data!

To enter Dev Mode:

  • Press and hold the Esc+F3 (Refresh) keys, then press the Power button. This enters recovery mode.
  • Now, press Ctrl+D (no prompt). It will ask you to confirm, then the system will wipe partitions to protect your privacy reboot in Dev Mode.
Dev Mode will show the white boot screen. Press Ctrl+D or wait 30 seconds to beep and boot.
Note: To hard reset, press Esc+F3 (Refresh). This acts like a reset button on a desktop PC. The same warnings apply - The OS cannot save itself from this, and data loss is possible.

See Also: Acer C7: Entering Developer Mode

Flash SeaBIOS

Warning: This section is a work in progress following it while this warning still exists will probably leave you with a non working system.
  • bridge write protect jumper
    • disconnect power cord and battery
    • void warrenty by removing base cover screw (pictured)
    • bridge jumper with tin foil (pictured)
  • Boot chrome
    • this would be a good time to claim your free 100GB space if you haven't already
  • open crosh tab and shell
  • copy original rom
    • backup original rom
  • replace bootloader
    • insert bootable arch linux usb drive
    • download script
    • run script
      • pray
      • throw a few bucks to John Lewis!
  • Shutdown
    • remove power, battery, base cover and foil, replace base cover, battery, power
  • boot
    • press esc to choose boot device
    • press 2 to select Arch USB drive


Install Arch

Installing Arch is covered in the Installation_guide, A hacked chromebook is probably not the best place to learn so we expect you've installed Arch once already. If this really is your first time, you're gonna want to look at the Beginners_guide instead. This section will consist of small changes to make your life easier, and reduce your research time.

Partition

You can choose any partitioning scheme you'd like, take a look at Partitioning and make your choices. If you use GPT (recommended), you'll need a BIOS Boot Partition! There are better instructions on the GRUB wiki page. Or just create a +1MiB partition with EF02 type, (bios_boot if you're using parted.)

Install base system

See: Installation_guide don't forget WiFi.

Install GRUB boot loader

You'll need the bootloader partition mentioned above install grub with

   # pacman -S grub

Then install grub onto the bootloader

   # grub-install --target=i386-pc --recheck --debug /dev/sdx
   # grub-mkconfig -o /boot/grub/grub.cfg

ChrUbuntu Method

This Method is not currently detailed here, but it can be done if you're willing to spend the time.


Cleaning up

Reboot and enjoy your Arch install!

See Also