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Revision as of 18:26, 27 September 2013

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 Size Weight Base Price
Dec 2010 Google Cr-48 1.66 GHz Intel Atom N455 2 GB DDR3 16 GB SSD 12.1 in
(30.7 cm)
3.8 lb
(1.7 kg)
Not for retail 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 DDR3 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 DDR3 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 2-4 GB DDR3 320 GB HDD
3-3.05 lb
(1.4 kg)
$199.99 Wi-Fi
Feb 2013 HP Chromebook Pavilion 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 DDR3 16 GB SSD 11.6 in
(29.5 cm)
3.92 lb
(1.8 kg)
$429 Wi-Fi
Google Chromebook Pixel 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
Nov 2013 HP Chromebook 14 1.4 GHz Intel Celeron 2955U 2 GB DDR3 16 GB SSD 14 in
( 35.6 cm)
4.07 lb
(1.84 kg)
$299 Wi-Fi
$349 LTE
Unknown Acer C720 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 http://www.chromium.org/chromium-os/developer-information-for-chrome-os-devices.

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 http://chromeos-cr48.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/chrubuntu-1204-now-with-double-bits.html points to the shell script at http://goo.gl/i817v 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 showpartiton /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 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!.

Samsung Series 5 550

Reminder- Needs to be moved to it's 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.