Chrome OS devices

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Revision as of 15:28, 18 September 2014 by Dhead (talk | contribs) (add post installation configuration from the C720 page)
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This article is to provide information on how to get Arch up and running on the Chromebook series of laptops built by Acer, HP, Samsung, Toshiba, and Google. Currently overhauling all of this and trying to get more specific model pages built with uniform methods listed here.

Model Specific Overview

Chromebook Models
Available Brand Model Processor RAM Storage Screen Resolution Weight Base Price
Dec 2010 Google Cr-48 1.66 GHz Intel Atom N455 2 GB
16 GB SSD 12.1 in
(30.7 cm)
3.8 lb
(1.7 kg)
Not for sale.
Jun 2011 Samsung Series 5
1.66 GHz Intel Atom N570 3.06-3.26 lb
(1.4–1.5 kg)
$349.99 Wi-Fi
$449.99 3G
Jul 2011 Acer AC700 11.6 in
(29.5 cm)
3.19 lb
(1.4 kg)
$299.99 Wi-Fi
$399.99 3G
May 2012 Samsung Series 5
1.3 GHz Intel Celeron 867
1.6 Ghz Intel Core i5 2467M
4 GB
12.1 in
(30.7 cm)
3.3 lb
(1.5 kg)
$449.99 Wi-Fi
$549.99 3G
Oct 2012 Series 3
1.7 GHz Samsung Exynos 5250 2 GB
11.6 in
(29.5 cm)
2.43 lb
(1.1 kg)
$249.99 Wi-Fi
$329.99 3G
Nov 2012 Acer C7 1.1 GHz Intel Celeron 847
1.5 GHz Intel Celeron 1007U
2-4 GB
320 GB HDD
3-3.05 lb
(1.4 kg)
$199.99 Wi-Fi
Feb 2013 HP Pavilion 14
1.1 GHz Intel Celeron 847 14 in
(35.6 cm)
3.96 lb
(1.8 kg)
$329.99 Wi-Fi
Lenovo ThinkPad X131e
1.5 GHz Intel Celeron 1007U 4 GB
16 GB SSD 11.6 in
(29.5 cm)
3.92 lb
(1.8 kg)
$429 Wi-Fi
Google Chromebook
1.8 GHz Intel Core i5 3427U 32 GB SSD
12.85 in
(32.6 cm)
3.35 lb
(1.5 kg)
$1249 Wi-Fi
$1499 LTE
Oct 2013 HP Chromebook 11 1.7 GHz Samsung Exynos 5250 2 GB
16 GB SSD 11.6 in
(29.5 cm)
2.3 lb
(1.04 kg)
$279 Wi-Fi
Nov 2013 Chromebook 14 1.4 GHz Intel Celeron 2955U 2 GB DDR3
14 in
( 35.6 cm)
4.07 lb
(1.84 kg)
$299 Wi-Fi
$349 HSPA+
Unknown Acer C720 2 GB
11.6 in
(29.5 cm)
2.76 lb
(1.25 kg)
$199 Wi-Fi

General Chromebook Installation


You should claim your free 100GB-1TB of Google Drive space before you install Arch. This needs to happen from ChromeOS(version > 23), not linux. This will sync/backup ChromeOS, as designed.

Developer Mode

Developer Mode information on all models is at

First, enable developer mode on your Chromebook. Although everything in the "Downloads" area syncs to your Google Drive account, this will delete data stored on the hard or solid state drive.


A script referenced from points to the shell script at and discusses repartitioning. The script should be run as the chronos user.

cgpt command

You'll save your self a lot of time if you understand this command before you attempt to install Arch on a chromebook.

This is NON-EXHAUSTIVE but it'll help most people reading this. cgpt --help is nice too.


cgpt create /dev/sda

Used to initialise a disk with GPT headers.


cgpt show /dev/sda

To list all partitions on disk with boot information for each.


cgpt add [options] /dev/sda

Used to modify boot options

 cgpt add -i 6 -P 5 -S 0 -T 1 /dev/sda

Example: modify partition #6, set priority to 5, successful to false, and boot tries to once(1), on device /dev/sda

 cgpt add -i 6 -t unused /dev/sda

Example: delete partition #6.

cgpt add -i 1-12 
Partition number to change
cgpt add -P 9-0
Priority 9 > 1 (Higher number will try to boot first)
cgpt add -T 0-99
Tries, used with the successful flag. Will try to boot this partition x times until tries = 0 then it will try next lower priority partition.
cgpt add -S 0-1
Successful flag, if 1 will try to boot this partition forever. Be careful with this one! If 0 and tries > 0 it will try to boot this partition until it' out of tries.

If installing yourself, don't forget to copy this onto your arch partition!.

Post Installation Configuration


The Chromebook function keys recognized as standard F1-F10 by the kernel, it's preferable to map accordingly to their appearance.

Sxhkd configuration

Sxhkd can specify behavior similar to the shortcut defaults in Chrome OS. Besides the sxhkd daemon, this requires amixer, xorg-xbacklight, and xautomation.

See [1] for an example configuration in ~/.config/sxhkd/sxhkdrc.

Xbindkeys configuration

There is another way to configure hot keys using xbindkeys. This requires amixer and xorg-xbacklight. xvkbd is also needed for sending strings (key shortcuts) to focus windows. Some of the configuration comes from the thread vilefridge's xbindkeys configuration.

See [2] for an example configuration in ~/.xbindkeysrc. Then edit Xinit and add:

xbindkeys &

Alternate xbindkeys configuration

Volchange uses PulseAudio for volume up/down/mute and a few other changes. [3]

After saving the script, make it executable

$ chmod u+x ~/.local/bin/volchange

See [4] for a matching ~/.xbindkeysrc.

Patch xkeyboard-config

Install xkeyboard-config-chromebookAUR, for more details visit [5].

Power key and lid switch handling

Ignore using logind

Out of the box, systemd-logind will catch power key and lid switch events and handle them: it will shut down the Chromebook on a power key press, and a suspend on a lid close. However, this policy might be a bit harsh given that the power key is an ordinary key at the top right of the keyboard that might be pressed accidentally.

To configure logind to ignore power key presses and lid switches, add the lines to logind.conf below.


Then restart logind for the changes to take effect.

Power key and lid switch events will still be logged to journald by logind. See [[6]].

Ignore by Gnome

Install gnome-tweak-tool, open the Tweak Tool and under Power change the Power Button Action.

Samsung Series 5 550

Reminder- Needs to be moved to its own page given the boatload of new development surrounding this model including with coreboot / seabios.

Developer Mode

Developer mode on the Samsung Series 5 has two levels of access, "dev-switch on" and "dev-mode BIOS". With the first level you enable a command line shell, which lets you look around inside the GNU/Linux operating system, but does not let you run your own versions.

The second level of access installs a special BIOS component that provides the ability to boot your own operating systems from either removable (USB/SD) or fixed (SSD) drives. Both levels of access are completely reversible, so don't be afraid to experiment.

The second level (described above) is what we want in order to install Arch.

The switch is behind a little door on the right-hand side of the chromebook (as linked above). To enable the developer switch you open the door, use something pointy (paperclip or toothpick) to move the switch towards the back of the device, and reboot.

Warning: Be gentle with the developer switch! Some people have reported that the developer switch breaks easily.

Chromebook Pixel

Suspending more than once causes a reboot unless the tpm module is enabled with specific options:

modprobe tpm_tis force=1 interrupts=0