Porting Android to Samsung Chromebook ARM

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dalethefarmer

Senior Member
Jul 27, 2010
156
26
New York
I usually do not start threads and hang in the shadows here on xda, but I love the site and all the awesome development.

With that said:

Please do not close this thread - This is not a question, or a discussion about a computer. The new Samsung Chromebook with the ARM chip is basically an Android tablet built like a laptop running chrome. It has a Samsung Exynos 5 Dual processor, so this falls under Android development and HACKING for devices that do not have a forum on XDA.

So I have this device and I have to say, it's very well built for the price. The only negative is that it runs Chrome. Now - I'm not here to bash on Chrome OS and I don't need a discussion on the pros and cons of it...

The point of starting this thread is to get Android ported over to this thing. I actually went out and purchased it at Best Buy because I knew that I could go to xda-developers a week later and someone will post instructions on how to install Android. Didn't happen. Not sure why.

So please chime in on ideas on how to get the ball rolling. Who do we have to buy a Chromebook for to make this happen? Do we start a bounty?

Let's keep the xda-developer community going strong! Thank you.
 
Apr 4, 2012
48
9
Like you, I did the same.

I usually do not start threads and hang in the shadows here on xda, but I love the site and all the awesome development.

With that said:

Please do not close this thread - This is not a question, or a discussion about a computer. The new Samsung Chromebook with the ARM chip is basically an Android tablet built like a laptop running chrome. It has a Samsung Exynos 5 Dual processor, so this falls under Android development and HACKING for devices that do not have a forum on XDA.

So I have this device and I have to say, it's very well built for the price. The only negative is that it runs Chrome. Now - I'm not here to bash on Chrome OS and I don't need a discussion on the pros and cons of it...

The point of starting this thread is to get Android ported over to this thing. I actually went out and purchased it at Best Buy because I knew that I could go to xda-developers a week later and someone will post instructions on how to install Android. Didn't happen. Not sure why.

So please chime in on ideas on how to get the ball rolling. Who do we have to buy a Chromebook for to make this happen? Do we start a bounty?

Let's keep the xda-developer community going strong! Thank you.

As this is arm based I thought for sure there would be an android build for it, a cheaper asus transformer.. its a perfect platform really for Android - I am surprised there isn't more discussion on getting JB ported to this chromebook. Is there any interest?
 

spunker88

Senior Member
Sep 8, 2006
1,318
334
Upstate NY
It has the same Exynos 5 SoC as the Nexus 10, so it seems like it should be possible to get something working for it if it can be hacked to boot another OS. Seems like a kernel based off the Nexus 10 source would be possible.

Google doesn't want Android to be a desktop style OS which is part of the reason they ended the Motorola lapdock after they took over Motorola. But if this thing had Android on it for $249 its a pretty good deal considering it has an Exynos 5.
 
Last edited:

disynthetic

Senior Member
Jul 23, 2011
53
15
Samsung Chromebook A15 Exynos

There has been much progress porting Ubuntu Raring Ringtail and Quantal Quetzal to this thing. I look forward to being able to choose between running stable Android and stable Ubuntu (or other distros, even).

With that said, I think that although this device is selling out I'm not sure that enough of these users will be aware of how close this device is to being a true, first Android laptop. From benchmarks I've seen on Phoronix.com the Exynos Dual in this Samsung Series 3 XE303 Chromebook is at least twice as fast as the Tegra 3 Quad in processing and graphics tasks.

Many people don't seem to see the value of Android as a fuller OS that would flourish within a laptop hardware suite. I argue that it is because they do not see the possibilities that software such as ParanoidAndroid would allow for with it's per-app DPI settings and ability to force a Phone, Phablet, or Tablet UI for every single app you run. These features are core to getting the most productivity out of a Samsung XE303 running Android.

I do enjoy the ChromeOS/ChromiumOS interface much because it is simple enough to have a low learning curve, yet it has enough options available to it to be somewhat powerful in the productivity department. It is indeed lacking in its offline capabilities, though. And Android would fix those and then some.

I guess I should also mention that the latest 4.2.1 Android ninja tweaked the native support for gamepads including Sixaxis controllers and Xbow controllers. Now you can game with them for apps that support the controllers. Neat.
 
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spunker88

Senior Member
Sep 8, 2006
1,318
334
Upstate NY
Android can be kind of awkward with mouse/keyboard input only. But its the app compatibility of Android which is the biggest selling point. Since it contains a very capable ARM SoC this thing should run all of the latest games on Android no problem.
 

disynthetic

Senior Member
Jul 23, 2011
53
15
I'm fairly sure that there are a large number of ASUS Transformer + Dock users that would say they are quite happy with the touchpad/keyboard input on Android 4+.

As for the touchpad and and keyboard on the XE303, it is STELLAR under ChromeOS. Getting it to match under Android is simply a matter of hardware tweaking.

All the Android apps and games I've purchased deserve to be utilized on this device.
 

dbdrop

Member
Jan 2, 2012
25
3
Orlando
There has been much progress porting Ubuntu Raring Ringtail and Quantal Quetzal to this thing. I look forward to being able to choose between running stable Android and stable Ubuntu (or other distros, even).

With that said, I think that although this device is selling out I'm not sure that enough of these users will be aware of how close this device is to being a true, first Android laptop. From benchmarks I've seen on Phoronix.com the Exynos Dual in this Samsung Series 3 XE303 Chromebook is at least twice as fast as the Tegra 3 Quad in processing and graphics tasks.

Many people don't seem to see the value of Android as a fuller OS that would flourish within a laptop hardware suite. I argue that it is because they do not see the possibilities that software such as ParanoidAndroid would allow for with it's per-app DPI settings and ability to force a Phone, Phablet, or Tablet UI for every single app you run. These features are core to getting the most productivity out of a Samsung XE303 running Android.

I do enjoy the ChromeOS/ChromiumOS interface much because it is simple enough to have a low learning curve, yet it has enough options available to it to be somewhat powerful in the productivity department. It is indeed lacking in its offline capabilities, though. And Android would fix those and then some.

I guess I should also mention that the latest 4.2.1 Android ninja tweaked the native support for gamepads including Sixaxis controllers and Xbow controllers. Now you can game with them for apps that support the controllers. Neat.

Who exactly is making progress and how do I sign up. How do we get a dedicated forum fired up for this? Let's get this party started, my chrome book should be in in Monday!

---------- Post added at 09:48 AM ---------- Previous post was at 09:07 AM ----------

OK I answered my own question. The Ubuntu port instructions can be found here... http://chromeos-cr48.blogspot.com/2012/04/chrubuntu-1204-now-with-double-bits.html

I'd still love to see a JB port.
 

Methanoid

Senior Member
Aug 10, 2005
236
16
Who exactly is making progress and how do I sign up. How do we get a dedicated forum fired up for this? Let's get this party started, my chrome book should be in in Monday!

---------- Post added at 09:48 AM ---------- Previous post was at 09:07 AM ----------

OK I answered my own question. The Ubuntu port instructions can be found here... http://chromeos-cr48.blogspot.com/2012/04/chrubuntu-1204-now-with-double-bits.html

I'd still love to see a JB port.

Me too... I was reading about the Chromebook and thought... ARM CPU needs Android. The games on ChromeOS look pretty damn awful and Android would also bring many emulators to life.. Amiga, Atari, DosBox, Nintendo... And you could do what ChromeOS does in Android but with all the Android extras.

If there was Android for the XE303 Chromebook I'd buy one tomorrow.. maybe two!
 

T3kB0i

Senior Member
Aug 4, 2012
130
21
Atlanta
Texting

I do a lot of texting, hundreds and hundreds of messages a day.

The only tolerable way used to be Google Voice, but they recently lowered their daily sms limit (that limit is only imposed if you txt through a computer). So my new solution is this: tether my phone to a tablet that has TabletTalk and a keyboard and go at it from there. The Chromebook seemed like a good alternative to that route.

Please don't ignore the community that needs this.
 

sk8ordie0

Senior Member
Oct 15, 2011
3,222
10,566
I think JB on the chromebook would be beast. From the score ubuntu is beast! lol. I cant wait till its outta beta. I have had my CB for almost a week, Already bored with the OS. Cant do anything hardly. Time to flash already. Please keep the thread going as we keep it updated more will see and hopefully a dev will step up and tame this beast from the inside out. Thank you for starting this thread. :good::good:
 

MGREX

Senior Member
Dec 4, 2011
294
20
I wouldnt bet on a 12" ARM chromebook, rumors say some people at google are getting tired of the chromebook not getting enough traction and are thinking about axing the project, perhaps even the OS itself.

Personally I wouldn't care since they might finally realize the potential of android on laptops and launch a "Nexus 12"

Anyway, any news with the port?
 

rawtek

Senior Member
Oct 11, 2008
96
33
Miami
I wouldnt bet on a 12" ARM chromebook, rumors say some people at google are getting tired of the chromebook not getting enough traction and are thinking about axing the project, perhaps even the OS itself.

Personally I wouldn't care since they might finally realize the potential of android on laptops and launch a "Nexus 12"

Anyway, any news with the port?

I don't think they would put Android on a laptop seeing as it's not optimized for that type of hardware, but don't get me wrong it would be sweet, however the OS might be able to take advantage of of certain Input controls such as Keyboard, Mouse, Flash Drives etc... most 3rd party apps wont support it or be optimized for it. However a Hybrid ChromeOS/Android may work very well where you have a Standard Chrome OS base with the Ability to run certain android Apps that have been written to take advantage of such input devices. As far as the OS itself it's actually Open source so in theory it should be possible to allow the running of android apps without Google them selves implementing it. it just might be a little challenging.
 

duce102

Senior Member
Feb 4, 2011
1,535
507
North Carolina
Samsung Galaxy S20 FE
Figured I'd bump and share.

Got my CB a week or so ago and so far it's been a pretty good device for when I instantly need a new tab open in a desktop format so I can use a full site and keyboard. Today I loaded up the alpha Ubuntu 12.04 build and so far I'm thrilled that I got this full fledged desktop OS on a 250 dollar solid state machine. I might get another 1 or 2 lol

Android could make it even better, especially PA since it has the different layout settings.
Linux + Chrome + Android - $250 = dope laptop
 

sk8ordie0

Senior Member
Oct 15, 2011
3,222
10,566
Figured I'd bump and share.

Got my CB a week or so ago and so far it's been a pretty good device for when I instantly need a new tab open in a desktop format so I can use a full site and keyboard. Today I loaded up the alpha Ubuntu 12.04 build and so far I'm thrilled that I got this full fledged desktop OS on a 250 dollar solid state machine. I might get another 1 or 2 lol

Android could make it even better, especially PA since it has the different layout settings.
Linux + Chrome + Android - $250 = dope laptop

I'm waiting for Ubuntu to come off of beta and then I'm there!!!! Lol. Its badass for 250.00 :)

Sent from my SGH-I777 using xda premium
 

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  • 10
    I usually do not start threads and hang in the shadows here on xda, but I love the site and all the awesome development.

    With that said:

    Please do not close this thread - This is not a question, or a discussion about a computer. The new Samsung Chromebook with the ARM chip is basically an Android tablet built like a laptop running chrome. It has a Samsung Exynos 5 Dual processor, so this falls under Android development and HACKING for devices that do not have a forum on XDA.

    So I have this device and I have to say, it's very well built for the price. The only negative is that it runs Chrome. Now - I'm not here to bash on Chrome OS and I don't need a discussion on the pros and cons of it...

    The point of starting this thread is to get Android ported over to this thing. I actually went out and purchased it at Best Buy because I knew that I could go to xda-developers a week later and someone will post instructions on how to install Android. Didn't happen. Not sure why.

    So please chime in on ideas on how to get the ball rolling. Who do we have to buy a Chromebook for to make this happen? Do we start a bounty?

    Let's keep the xda-developer community going strong! Thank you.
    3
    Well I found some promising information. I might be able to build this using the binaries from arndaleboard which appears to mostly use the same hardware.

    http://www.arndaleboard.org/wiki/index.php/Main_Page

    http://forum.insignal.co.kr/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=62
    http://forum.insignal.co.kr/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=63

    Maybe using bits from this might be the key to getting it to load. It appears to use identical hardware. Not sure about the boot details tho. That might be trickier due to the lack of a method to get into the u-boot system and make changes there. However it certainly seems possible to boot (sideloaded) android with this information from a USB or SDcard. If some more knowledgable hacker took on the boot u-boot challenge and was able to do this in a reliable way I think it could create the android books easily. Im excited as I got this info I will post more details once I have android even coming up on a sideloaded basis.

    Additional info on flashing the actual arndale. For any devs reading. How much would apply to an arm based chromebook? http://www.arndaleboard.org/wiki/index.php/WiKi#How_to_Flash_a_Device
    Is it possible to even do this onto a chromebook? I am still looking to see if its even possible to switch a chromebook into a firmware receive mode like this.

    Some more info on the bootloader

    http://www.denx.de/wiki/U-Boot
    http://www.chromium.org/chromium-os...-for-chrome-os-devices/samsung-arm-chromebook

    Im using this post to keep notes on what I find. I might edit some more to update as I find stuff. I will create a separate post if I have any success. I got two of these. I can live with bricking one if it happens. And I imagine there is a way to restore the system if needed. I figure I will figure that part out first. To avoid any mishaps and have a brick.

    ---------- Post added at 03:59 PM ---------- Previous post was at 03:28 PM ----------

    I'm actually rather excited. I think its very possible to make this happen using the arndale info. Not sure how much of the hardware I could get working. Going to create a separate thread for this and see if a community effort can be started to get this working.
    2
    I haven't tried but....

    Is anyone still trying? I found this: htt ps:/ /community. arm. com/ groups/ android-community/ blog/ 2013/ 12 / 16 / installing-android-on-the-samsung-xe303c12-chromebook
    2
    Started working on this already seems the BOOT partition needs to be rewritten to work with UEFI...Anybody wanna help..

    http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1951114&page=2
    2
    Anyone fancy attempting to get RISC OS running on this, as an alternative desktop OS?