Turn the C720 in a permanent linux laptop (Post 1/3)

Steps to turn the acer c720 in a permanent Linux laptop:

Remove the write lock screw:
http://www.chromium.org/chromium-os/developer-information-for-chrome-os-devices/acer-c720-chromebook

Remove all the screws in the back cover including the one under the warranty seal (this obviously voids the warranty). The plastic cover comes out pulling from the screen with the nails.

Remove the write lock screw.

Close the back cover with only the battery lock screw.

On boot it will complain that chromeos is broken
Reinstall chrome os from factory with an usb stick:
https://support.google.com/chromebook/answer/1080595

Now that chromeos is installed back, go to a terminal (ctrl+alt+ ->) and login as chronos, then sudo su.

Set friendly bios flags:

We will set these flags:

GBB_FLAG_DEV_SCREEN_SHORT_DELAY 0×00000001
GBB_FLAG_FORCE_DEV_SWITCH_ON 0×00000008
GBB_FLAG_FORCE_DEV_BOOT_LEGACY 0×00000080
GBB_FLAG_DEFAULT_DEV_BOOT_LEGACY 0×00000400

# /usr/bin/set_gbb_flags.sh 0x489
Your flash should have been written now.

# crossystem dev_boot_usb=1 dev_boot_legacy=1
Not really needed but just to make sure.

Now remove the back cover again and reinstall the write lock screw to protect the bios.

Screw all the screws.

Plug in an usb stick with ubuntu 13.10 amd64, should boot automatically.

You will need a usb mouse at this stage.



--- In the next post I will cover how to fine tune the system and get all the hardware supported ---


When I bought this device I thought it will be a nice small cheap Linux laptop, well I have to say I find ChromeOS extremely limited. You can basically browse the web and little else more. I found the work to make ChromeOS easy to use and power efficient nice, but I would have appreciated being able to run normal Linux apps. I think Google missed a big opportunity here to push the Linux desktop forwards.

I can say that neither me or my girlfriend find much use for the Chromebook other than ocassionaly surfing the web, so I have decided to permanently install #Ubuntu  and wipe ChromeOS forever.

And installing #Ubuntu   with crouton or others is dangerous as it's very easy to accidentally wipe the hard-drive by going out of developer mode. If you want a real Linux laptop I recommend something else. 


 More detailed steps and pictures:

http://www.newchromebook.com/guide/c720-permanent-linux-laptop-turorial-1-of-3/
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