Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Ubuntu 14.04 on C720 Chromebook

I'm so ahead of time. Now almost all student have a google account in the cloud and they are all using chrome. And it make no sense to buy anything else other than a chromebook. For a while the C720 falls to $150, amazing! What are you going to do with a pad if you are to type an essay?

The C720 Chromebook is the 1st netbook that worked 100% (well, almost, after patches) for Linux, that doesn't rip you off.

To install full Ubuntu on C720, follow the instructions for installing Chrubuntu. It doesn't matter if it's not most up to date. It's like full Ubuntu so you can update from the official Ubuntu depositories. This is dual boot with ChromeOS so leave a few gigabytes for it. It's worth it.

When you see the warning screen, Ctrl-L to boot into Ubuntu. It takes a while to boot probably because of some IO errors. The screen will probably be blank most of the time.  Also, the touchpad isn't likely to work.

I would use the terminal, Ctrl-Alt-T, to update Ubuntu first. I'll upgrade it to 14.04 or higher via commands. I've been using 12 and 13 with no problems. But you are to upgrade the kernel so use the latest version if possible.

Next upgrade the kernel to 3.17 and follow the few command line instructions from the man, the Linux inventor. The command "uname -a" should give you the kernel version. 14.04 use an earlier version than 3.17. Reboot and the touch pad should now work.

Now google and follow the Mike Lin fix for the suspend mode (05_sound file). I think the problem arise from I/O so the patch corrects a few things. For one the chromebook boot better or even normally.

Then set the warning screen to 2 secs without beeping. So kids can still use Chrome OS by default.

Now I'm keeping Chrome OS because things like scrapbook and zetoro are not in the cloud without paying. Dropbox is the obvious solution. But I might be able to do everything in Google Drive for free, and hopefully cheaper than dropbox when the time comes when I have to pay. If I need disk space it will be for media and an external drive is what I need anyway. VPN works decently with a visual feedback when it's connected. It's just not openvpn yet.

I need Ubuntu for encrypting external drive. It's a pity as both OS use the same software. There's just no apps for it in Chrome.