I've been getting a lot of questions about the possibilities to run regular distros and KVM and other things on the new Samsung Chromebook.

All in all, there should be no major hurdles. First of all, all Chrome OS hardware includes a "developer mode" which allows you, after a switch over from regular to developer mode and a wipe of your stateful data (local settings and user accounts), to set up the machine again, but this time also get easy access to a local shell on the system -- either through the ctrl-alt-t terminal window, or by switching to VT2 and just logging in as root (no password, so set one ASAP).

Developer mode gives you local full access, and you can do things such as remove the root filesystem verification so you can edit the contents, or boot your own built image (signed with developer keys), etc. Some guys have used this to install what they call ChrUbuntu on x86 systems. Chrome OS uses an A/B side setup for kernel partition and root filesystems, but there is also a "C" side allocated in the partition tables (but given no disk blocks for the actual partitions). ChrUbuntu resizes the stateful partition and reassigns that space to KERN-C and ROOT-C, and populates ROOT-C with an Ubuntu userspace.

ChrUbuntu is pretty cool since it allows you to still have a dual-boot, and the regular Chrome OS update process works just fine with it. You can even build and sign your own kernels, if you want -- you don't have to copy over the binaries we provide as part of Chrome OS (for instructions, see the thread at http://goo.gl/pCB9F).

No one has done the work to do the equivalent on ARM, since no one has hardware yet (and us team members have been waaaaay too busy getting the product ready to tinker with it). But the same concepts apply just fine on ARM, so the similar things should work.

Also, there's nothing that requires you to have root on the internal storage, you could move it to an SD card. That would keep more space available for the regular image, etc.

But, if you want to hack the machine more than that, you can open the machine, remove the write protection for the firmware on the system, and reflash it using a regular u-boot. This would allow you to boot anything you want, etc, but it would be harder to keep a regular Chrome OS dual-boot environment going.

As far as KVM goes, it very well might be possible to run it on the hardware. We haven't tried using it much (see above comment about being busy), so it'll be interesting to hear reports from the community once hardware reaches those who plan to tinker with it.
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