[WIP]Android on Samsung Chromebook series 3

Android On Samsung Arm Chromebook?


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opieum

Senior Member
May 24, 2010
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UPDATE: See second post for initial downloads of AOSP, CM , Arndale and Linaro/Arndale builds. These are very much a work in progress and may not even work. I am putting them forth for testing for the dev community to try out on their chromebooks.

These builds will be based on the latest JB builds. There is still alot of work to be done here. The AOSP builds initially have been put up. The other builds will go up as they are completed. I am working on the documentation for putting this together as a repeatable process is doable. In time there will be an installer and other goodies, but for now this will just be a very vanilla and manual process.

My goal is to get a working port of JB on the Samsung Chromebook. There has been no significant work on this front AFAIK. So I am taking it on myself to learn and try this out. Any community input would be helpful in making this work. I am fairly n00b at this but am looking to make this work.

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.

FYI for anyone experimenting to make this work please note that the following MUST be done for any chance of these root files to boot from SD.
SD/MMC boot
vold.fstab
* Change the sdcard0 and sdcard1 lines so that the first line is sdcard1 and the second is sdcard0.
fstab.arndale
* Change all references to mmcblk0px to mmcblk1px.
init.arndale.rc
* Change the 2 references to mmcblk0px to mmcblk1px.
mountd.conf
* Change the reference to mmcblk0 to mmcblk1

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

Now that the rootfs part is addressed I am tackling the booting issues. Current uboot methods focus mainly on linux distro booting. Android appears to require its own ramdisk (which is in the links below) there will be some extra downloads such as a working uboot.

Once there are working versions of all the needed components working. An installer or installer script will be put together along with documentation. I may release this to a separate thread which I will post here.

Additional info on flashing the actual arndale. http://www.arndaleboard.org/wiki/ind...Flash_a_Device
Arndale is the base hardware also used on a Samsung series 3 Chromebook. Most if not all the components will work.

Additionally MANTA aka nexus 10 hardware is similarly identical and can be used with some success. I am working on compiling base builds based on CM10, AOSP, Linaro and Arndale's git.

Some more info on the bootloader

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

Im using this post to keep notes on what I find and build. 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.

CREDITS: Musical_chairs for his invaluable input and resources he has linked in this post. I will update credits for other contributors once I get through the whole thread and credit all those obviously who build the original code these builds will be based on.
 
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opieum

Senior Member
May 24, 2010
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DISCLAIMER: For advanced users ONLY!! Not responsible if your chromebook gets bricked, struck by lightning or eaten by a pack of wild boars or attacked by crab people! Anything you do strongly recommended it be done on an SDcard to ensure easy rollbacks and no destruction of firmware.

Here are the first downloads of the rootfs and ramdisk (both of which are needed for a working android install on chromebook) These are based on AOSP. More files will be coming as I am compiling. Basic instructions on how to set up uboot will be posted above as well as how to properly flash an SDcard. This assumes you know how to get your chromebook into dev-mode. Please note this is strictly for anyone with android system experience. The system may not even boot properly at this point. This is pre-pre-alpha at this point. There is alot of work to do before it even comes close to being usable. But if you get it working, please make a DD image (instructions above) and post it for all to use and work from. FOSS means sharing and sharing means caring. This will speed up the work needed to make this work for all of us.

aosp-ramdisk.img
https://mega.co.nz/#!sZgVmIQY!M9ANXXEJYAWR0TlRxV_mC3CdEXkTKC_Tgr1PdOD0Hxo
aosp-rootfs.tar.bz2
https://mega.co.nz/#!ZNgAFYqR!HkXcLxead3Zgm7lNcUzjb0YlfzEbbogTL5CnZDuUtIA

arndale-kernel
https://mega.co.nz/#!gIQXVLRC!U_L0WSutAXdGzdqhFrlzD1ij750Q8lTlKwHVoC28C14
arndale-ramdisk.img.ub
https://mega.co.nz/#!RB4XBAjS!JtNgciYJrLL_TDmjXjnZkTouPKwAhva26b7U9zvBYA0
arndale-rootfs.tar.bz2
https://mega.co.nz/#!xJwBVALa!QnwJRjQzhC218tcjMtKnimKZE2kn73sGs8XgeC75fDU
 
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afrojoc

Senior Member
Feb 18, 2011
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Moore, OK
I'm super excited that you're working on this Opieum. This would be absolute dream come true. I'd love to help out but I can't be a tester lol. After I get my next few paychecks I'd love to send a donation to you sir!
 

opieum

Senior Member
May 24, 2010
104
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New York
Im still working on it. Its a bit tricker than I thought to get it working. Not impossible tho. I just lack the experience and knowledge to get this up and running. I figured I could do it over the weekend lol. Humbling experience. Once I have something working that is moderatly usable I figure I will take some donations to support other types of chromebooks, for now tho I will just do this cause I want to get android working on the samsung chromebook series 3.
 

moocow1452

Senior Member
Nov 16, 2011
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Livonia
Im still working on it. Its a bit tricker than I thought to get it working. Not impossible tho. I just lack the experience and knowledge to get this up and running. I figured I could do it over the weekend lol. Humbling experience. Once I have something working that is moderatly usable I figure I will take some donations to support other types of chromebooks, for now tho I will just do this cause I want to get android working on the samsung chromebook series 3.
May want to wait for IO until after if Chrome and Android get close enough to jump from one to the other.

Also, I guess you could try and use the Cyanogen Mod port tool to try and get Android on it. It's what I used to try and get Ubuntu-Phone on my Nook. Nearly have it, but got the black screen of doom.
 

opieum

Senior Member
May 24, 2010
104
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New York
Thanks moocow, I appreciate the advice. I had not considered the Cyanogen tool. I know google IO is right around the corner but I want to see if I can get it working. Part of it is as much a technical exercise to see if I can do it as much as it is just doing it.
Do you have a link for this porting tool? I was looking for one. If its just porting from the git I guess I can do that too. I was just wondering if there was a specific tool do this with. I was not aware there actually was a tool.
 
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vampirexhunter

Senior Member
Jul 2, 2010
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Amazing! I wish you the best of luck on this :)

I've seen some great development for the ARM Chromebook over on the Linux side, so anything is possible :)

Hope your efforts will be fruitful :)

Thanks!
 

musical_chairs

Senior Member
Mar 6, 2012
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I'm excited to see some effort being put into this!

I don't think you need to worry about flashing procedures just yet, and I certainly would forget about messing with uboot until way later in the game. It's pretty easy to get a dual-boot setup on the chromebook, getting the files in place is way easier than it is on a typical Android device because you can write them to an sdcard from inside ChromeOS, then reboot to the sdcard. We can worry about booting Android from the internal storage later, shouldn't be too hard. And to do anything with uboot, you're going to need to physically disassemble the chromebook and remove the write protect screw/sticker, IMO it would be best to avoid that.

Maybe we should start by adapting this procedure, but putting an Android filesystem and kernel on the sdcard instead of Linux?
http://blogs.arm.com/software-enablement/848-running-linux-on-the-series-3-chromebook/
 

opieum

Senior Member
May 24, 2010
104
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New York
Thanks. I have been hitting wall after wall with u-boot so yea I am working on the dualboot method for now. That post is great! I had not seen it before. Bookmarked among many. Hopefully I can find the issues keeping me from making this work.
 

musical_chairs

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Mar 6, 2012
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The first obstacle I am seeing is that while ChromeOS uses a pretty standard Linux kernel and no ramdisk (and that is what uboot will be looking for), Android uses a kernel and ramdisk on a /boot partition. I don't know enough about Android to know if it's possible to boot it with a different configuration, but I've got a hunch that if we're going to get Android to boot on this thing, we're going to need to do it a lot more like the Android x86 people do it than like a typical Android ROM.

Two exercises that I think will be very helpful here:
1. Install a Linux (Ubuntu, Debian, Arch, Fedora, whatever) on the sdcard of a chromebook without using a script like chrubuntu
2. Install Android x86 on a 'normal' computer.

I have almost done the first (I cheated and ended up using a script to install Ubuntu), the second I may eventually do if I can find the time.

...and like I said, I think the best approach here is going to be a x86 style Android installation, but with an arm build.

---------- Post added at 01:42 PM ---------- Previous post was at 01:27 PM ----------

...or maybe this is what we need - chainload uboot:
https://plus.google.com/117557107585466185396/posts/hVWc5EE9EK6

---------- Post added at 02:09 PM ---------- Previous post was at 01:42 PM ----------

Okay, this looks to be the official documentation on using nv-U-boot (chainloading uboot):
http://www.chromium.org/chromium-os...using-nv-u-boot-on-the-samsung-arm-chromebook
 
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musical_chairs

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Mar 6, 2012
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Upon further reading, I believe that this is the correct method:
1. Pack nv-U-boot as a signed kernel and dd it to a chromeos kernel partition.
2. nv-U-boot then boots Android using a typical Android boot command.

For the time being, I'm pretty sure it will be better to keep nv-U-boot and all the Android partitions on an sdcard, as it is no harder to boot from there than from the eMMc, and it's a whole lot safer to test stuff this way. Once we've got it working, we can repartition the eMMc and install everything there so it's faster and all that good stuff.

Bear in mind this is pretty much just academic at this point, I tried to chainload nv-U-boot but haven't actually gotten it to work. I'm pretty comfortable mucking around in Linux systems, but this uboot stuff is all new to me.

What I've done so far:
1. Set up partitions on my sdcard (including two kernel partitons) as per the first link I posted.
2. Got a working Lubuntu installation on the sdcard (cheated and used a chrubuntu-derived script).
3. Got a working Crouton (chrooted) Lubuntu setup on the internal storage (doesn't really apply here, though it comes in handy for some of the tools needed for manipulating files and stuff)
4. Tried the nv-U-boot image from opensuse:
http://download.opensuse.org/repositories/openSUSE:/12.2:/ARM:/Contrib:/Chromebook/standard/armv7hl/
5. Tried the nv-U-boot image from the Chromium Projects:
http://commondatastorage.googleapis.com/chromeos-localmirror/distfiles/nv_uboot-snow.kpart.bz2

In both cases, the process is the same. Pack nv-U-boot as a signed kernel, something like this (both commands are run in a shell from within ChromeOS, in dev mode):
Code:
vbutil_kernel --pack newkernel --keyblock /usr/share/vboot/devkeys/kernel.keyblock --version 1 --signprivate /usr/share/vboot/devkeys/kernel_data_key.vbprivk  --vmlinuz u-boot.img --arch arm
write it to the sdcard with dd, something like this (remember you can hose almost anything with dd if you point it at the wrong place, so use with care:
Code:
sudo dd if=newkernel of=/dev/mmcblk1p2
(this writes it to partiton 2 of my sdcard, partition 1 is my good Ubuntu kernel.)

I haven't seen nv-U-boot yet but I think I'm close.
 
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opieum

Senior Member
May 24, 2010
104
38
58
New York
Upon further reading, I believe that this is the correct method:
1. Pack nv-U-boot as a signed kernel and dd it to a chromeos kernel partition.
2. nv-U-boot then boots Android using a typical Android boot command.

For the time being, I'm pretty sure it will be better to keep nv-U-boot and all the Android partitions on an sdcard, as it is no harder to boot from there than from the eMMc, and it's a whole lot safer to test stuff this way. Once we've got it working, we can repartition the eMMc and install everything there so it's faster and all that good stuff.

Bear in mind this is pretty much just academic at this point, I tried to chainload nv-U-boot but haven't actually gotten it to work. I'm pretty comfortable mucking around in Linux systems, but this uboot stuff is all new to me.

What I've done so far:
1. Set up partitions on my sdcard (including two kernel partitons) as per the first link I posted.
2. Got a working Lubuntu installation on the sdcard (cheated and used a chrubuntu-derived script).
3. Got a working Crouton (chrooted) Lubuntu setup on the internal storage (doesn't really apply here, though it comes in handy for some of the tools needed for manipulating files and stuff)
4. Tried the nv-U-boot image from opensuse:
http://download.opensuse.org/repositories/openSUSE:/12.2:/ARM:/Contrib:/Chromebook/standard/armv7hl/
5. Tried the nv-U-boot image from the Chromium Projects:
http://commondatastorage.googleapis.com/chromeos-localmirror/distfiles/nv_uboot-snow.kpart.bz2

In both cases, the process is the same. Pack nv-U-boot as a signed kernel, something like this (both commands are run in a shell from within ChromeOS, in dev mode):
Code:
vbutil_kernel --pack newkernel --keyblock /usr/share/vboot/devkeys/kernel.keyblock --version 1 --signprivate /usr/share/vboot/devkeys/kernel_data_key.vbprivk  --vmlinuz u-boot.img --arch arm
write it to the sdcard with dd, something like this (remember you can hose almost anything with dd if you point it at the wrong place, so use with care:
Code:
sudo dd if=newkernel of=/dev/mmcblk1p2
(this writes it to partiton 2 of my sdcard, partition 1 is my good Ubuntu kernel.)

I haven't seen nv-U-boot yet but I think I'm close.
Yea the u-boot stuff is real new to me. I have no issues either with linux its the bootloader stuff with android I am struggling with. I'm going to look at the arndale instructions as it uses similar hardware on how to load it from SDcard. The documentation there seems to show how to load the system. I already built and compiled the code from arndale seeing as it uses the exact specs needed. Since we have the ability to boot from SDcard on a chromebook this should be easily doable. The build will be the hard part. I am going to see what i can do with that method, I'm adapting from various sources. Ideally if I can come up with a simple image that can just be DDed over to a 32GB SD card that would be best for all to start and test with until a much easier method can be adapted. I had read elsewhere that the android method had been tried using the linux methods and it did not work. Hence why I havent looked as deeply into it. But I think at this point it seems like looking at this with a mixed methods might be the better approach. I'll post my results tomorrow as I am trying this out now.

UPDATE: I got some promising news. I am following this guide I have built android according to those instructions. http://www.arndaleboard.org/wiki/index.php/WiKi#How_to_Flash_a_Device (ignore the dipswitch references here as we got the ctrl-U option to boot and devmode)
The uboot install part is automated via a script which saves some time. Easy enough to break down the script to see how its done manually. The build will have 4.1.1 That said arndale provides pretty much all the tools to do this simpler. I think if we get this working then all we need to do is further automate the process OR provide an image with a simple script to image an SDcard with. Additionally I suspect (I have not confirmed) that the wifi and other components on the arndale are also the same on the chromebook.
 
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moocow1452

Senior Member
Nov 16, 2011
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Livonia
I thought something similar might be done with Plop, the most awesomest boot loader in the world when Chrubuntu was first finding it's feet. Booting into a bootloader might be the answer for not just Android, but Windows 7.
 

opieum

Senior Member
May 24, 2010
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New York
But this is booting on ARM. So Win7 would not work here as there is no ARM capable version. The work now is being done for the Samsung Chromebook ARM version (series 3) which would also work on the Acer version that is also ARM based as well.
 

opieum

Senior Member
May 24, 2010
104
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58
New York
You are correct sir on the Acer being intel. That being said. This project is to get android on the samsung chromebook (series 3) which is an arm EXYNOS 5xxx series CPU. The methods developed here would also likley apply to any other arm based books on the market.
 
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