Asus Chromebox and LMDE: SUCCESS!

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Asus Chromebox and LMDE: SUCCESS!

Postby darethehair on Wed Apr 16, 2014 1:10 pm

This is a FYI only, since I had difficulty finding anyone to verify that LMDE worked with the new Asus Chromebox device -- it works!

At first I dabbled with the 'crouton' method of running Linux 'in parallel' with ChromeOS on the Chromebox. There is no 'LMDE' option for this technique, and the closest that I could mimic was to use Debian 'sid' with 'cinnamon'. This did *not* work -- I think the version of Cinnamon is too old. I got success using 'xfce' instead. However, since the repositories didn't contain what I wanted, I decided to go for the 'full meal deal' and try LMDE by activating the 'SeaBIOS' option.

There is a known bug with the existing SeaBIOS on the Chromebox (other Chrome devices as well? not sure) where booting from USB3 does not work. Since the Asus Chromebox *only* has USB3 ports (part of the reason I wanted it), this was a large obstacle. Fortunately, very clever and risk-taking people came to the rescue and wrote a patched version:

http://johnlewis.ie/asus-chromebox-owners-rejoice/

The other part normal task required to boot to SeaBIOS was to change a few boot flags:

Code: Select all
sudo crossystem dev_boot_usb=1
sudo crossystem dev_boot_legacy=1


I was then able to boot into SeaBIOS using CTRL-L, and picking my LMDE-on-USB-stick. I had a USB3 portable HD plugged in as well. Install took place normally, and I chose the external drive for the MBR.

I ran into 3 problems so far, each with solutions/work-arounds:

    - Screensaver appears to hang the system when it kicks in, so I set it to 'never' kick in
    - Wireless very flaky and loosing its connections, so did what was stated in this thread: http://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.php?f=53&t=154774
    - My serial-port-to-USB based GPS constantly disconnected, so I found a solution on the web (strange, since my other LMDE machines are unaffected)

This is my 1st machine with an SSD device, and booting is very fast -- even more so (of course) with ChromeOS :)

My ultimate reason for doing this? My Intel Atom home-built PC, acting as my MythTV backend, was too bulky -- and too slow as a frontend. The Chromebox is much smaller.
Last edited by karlchen on Sun May 04, 2014 8:01 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Moved this thread from "Main Edition" (Ubuntu based) to LMDE (Debian Edition), because this is what the thread is about
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Re: Asus Chromebox and LMDE: SUCCESS!

Postby KBD47 on Wed Apr 16, 2014 4:05 pm

Congratulations!
Having a Chromebook, I know it can be tricky get Linux to work.
Good job!
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Re: Asus Chromebox and LMDE: SUCCESS!

Postby billborosky on Tue Jul 01, 2014 12:02 am

I'm struggling with my Chromebox as I type. I could not get the John Lewis fix to work so I am trying the crouton method right now. I definitely want to be able to use Mint over any distro but I will consider getting Ubuntu running as a small success.

When I started I had no idea the Google Boys had rigged the box as to where it won't do anything but Chrome. I got a Mint 17 USB which cannot be used until I get the SEAbios thing working, I guess. Hoping you are checking this.
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Re: Asus Chromebox and LMDE: SUCCESS!

Postby darethehair on Tue Jul 01, 2014 8:07 pm

billborosky wrote:I'm struggling with my Chromebox as I type. I could not get the John Lewis fix to work so I am trying the crouton method right now. I definitely want to be able to use Mint over any distro but I will consider getting Ubuntu running as a small success.

When I started I had no idea the Google Boys had rigged the box as to where it won't do anything but Chrome. I got a Mint 17 USB which cannot be used until I get the SEAbios thing working, I guess. Hoping you are checking this.


I quickly got disillusioned with the Crouton method myself, and went for the riskier Seabios method. What trouble are you having? It has been a while since I did that, but maybe we can figure out how to do it together.

Dare
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Re: Asus Chromebox and LMDE: SUCCESS!

Postby billborosky on Fri Jul 04, 2014 9:13 pm

I downloaded the johnlewis file then set the flags according to his two lines of code. At that point I hit cntrl/D and nothing happened. There was a blank screen and nothing displayed for me to change or issue a boot from USB cmmd. Pretty frustrating.
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Re: Asus Chromebox and LMDE: SUCCESS!

Postby darethehair on Sat Jul 05, 2014 8:49 am

billborosky wrote:I downloaded the johnlewis file then set the flags according to his two lines of code. At that point I hit cntrl/D and nothing happened. There was a blank screen and nothing displayed for me to change or issue a boot from USB cmmd. Pretty frustrating.


Do you mean 'CTRL-L' and not 'CTRL-D'? Did you get any bad messages when you ran the 'flashrom' command or 'crosssystem' commands?
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