[WIP]Android on Samsung Chromebook series 3

Android On Samsung Arm Chromebook?


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opieum

Senior Member
May 24, 2010
109
41
New York
Google Pixel 3 XL
OnePlus 9
So long as we can get some distros on there, what about something like Peppermint that's built for low end machines?

Getting linux distros on there is fairly easy as long as you have the basic prereqs and follow the various howtos. Android on the other hand is another nut to crack. While it shares alot with linux there is apparently something that keeps it from working. I have a couple of rootfs tar.bz2 files one based on AOSP-manta (nexus 10 which shares most of the same hardware with chromebook) and an arndale rootfs. I will post links to the rootfs for testing once they are done uploading. If you are setting this up on a chromebook right now the process is strictly manual. We still need to build the uboot and partitions. Instead of the linux distro rootfs.tar.bz2 you would DD the one attached. I will post up more details once I have a simple repeatable process. I am not even sure this will work yet. This is just a compiled source version for some additional testing. Since i am one guy and this forum is legion I figure it might make more sense to have us all work at this till we get there. I am compiling 4 rootfs.tars this weekend.
I already have an AOSP pure google based on the nexus. I will have a CM version also based on manta (nexus) Linaro for Arndale and The Arndale version (both of which should work on the identical hardware on the chromebook)

I am hoping by getting these up we can get more people working on this. Once the process for building is smoothed out I can make an automated script or installer to install on SD for both windows and linux. After we get a working version working on SD we can look at a risk free way of getting it onto the NAND storage. Check the OP for the download links over the next couple of days. I am still compiling code for the various rootfs builds.
 

opieum

Senior Member
May 24, 2010
109
41
New York
Google Pixel 3 XL
OnePlus 9
AOSP rootfs and ramdisk are up. I am working on putting some bulletproof documentation and a readme together for proper installation.

I figure the work we do on this project might be useful in terms of having a method to get pretty much any *NIX distro on here. Initially the scope is for android but in time I think we can expand this once there is a simple method to install an OS and convert various distros with ARM versions to the chromebook. Personally the only linux distro I am interested in porting over to the chromebook is Mint. But that requires a crazy amount of work and recompiling all the packages for ARM that arent on arm now.
 
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opieum

Senior Member
May 24, 2010
109
41
New York
Google Pixel 3 XL
OnePlus 9
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
 

opieum

Senior Member
May 24, 2010
109
41
New York
Google Pixel 3 XL
OnePlus 9
Actually thats the one issue. The prorprietery binaries dont work when running the script. I have been looking in their forums. Looks like the biggest complaint of the board is the lack of developer support. THe vendor seems to have abandoned it BUT is still putting out products. Not a good sign for the developer community there.

Well I figured that problem out no thanks to Arndale lack of support. (Darth Vader voice)= I find their lack of support...disturbing...

That said the .run file binary drops all the files into the friggin tmp folder. I then have to go back and copy them into the working folder I created. Anyway I think I might have some more progress tonight. More likely I will have some kind of working build tomorrow. Honestly not sure yet. Still going at it.
 
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vampirexhunter

Senior Member
Jul 2, 2010
253
48
Actually thats the one issue. The prorprietery binaries dont work when running the script. I have been looking in their forums. Looks like the biggest complaint of the board is the lack of developer support. THe vendor seems to have abandoned it BUT is still putting out products. Not a good sign for the developer community there.

Well I figured that problem out no thanks to Arndale lack of support. (Darth Vader voice)= I find their lack of support...disturbing...

That said the .run file binary drops all the files into the friggin tmp folder. I then have to go back and copy them into the working folder I created. Anyway I think I might have some more progress tonight. More likely I will have some kind of working build tomorrow. Honestly not sure yet. Still going at it.

Cool, I wasn't aware that the support is lacking for the Arndale board, since it was heavily promoted at the ARM event shows.
 

opieum

Senior Member
May 24, 2010
109
41
New York
Google Pixel 3 XL
OnePlus 9
It is but the company poorly supports it. Just going into their forums demonstrates that. People complain about the newest one being abandonware and all that. Seems like they support it for a few weeks and thats it.
 

yukmuk

Member
Jan 3, 2013
34
2
Very Promising!

I must say, I'm very happy that progress is being made on this port. I used to have an old HP Mini 110 that had Android X86 on it, and I've been wanting and android laptop ever since. My only question is, do you think that in the future the process of installing this would be even more complicated? As is Crouton can be a little much for people, and I'd hope that this can become as accessible as possible. Best of luck, guys!
 

rambo6

Senior Member
Jan 19, 2006
431
22
Salt Lake City, Utah
Android on Chromebook

It is sad indeed. Google should combine the strengths of the Chrome OS with Android. I am going to take a long trip and wanted to take my Chromebook. However, there are just too many things I cannot do with the Chrome OS that I need to do. I could do everything if I had android on the device.

I have Android on an old MSI U100 laptop. It works very well despite the lack of a touch screen. I also have the Nexus 7 but the screen is too small and I have to carry around a keyboard too.

I love the "instant on", battery life, and simplicity of the Samsung Chromebook. I'd buy the Pixel, but it's too big, too heavy, and too expensive to travel. The ideal device has:

Runs Android and Chrome OS, or Windows 8 Pro (or just Android alone would be fine).
7-10 hours of battery life;
11.6" touch screen;
Keyboard like Chromebook; and
Weighs at or under 2 lbs.
Price it under $500

To make it really sweet, add these as options:

Pack it with 3 and 4 G radios; and
Add a rear Camera.

With these options, price it under $750


I have been searching for the perfect laptop for months. It does not exist yet. I have high hopes for the Intel Haswell chips, but it would be great to see some ARM action right now.

Cheers
 
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skim0322

Senior Member
Jul 4, 2011
698
82
If you guys need some sort of assistance from Google, maybe we can sign a petition to receive some resources. There is high demand for Android on Chromebooks.

Sent from my GT-I9300 using xda app-developers app
 
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jmpz

Member
Dec 19, 2008
15
3
Let's do it. Can you organize it?

Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using xda app-developers app
 

skim0322

Senior Member
Jul 4, 2011
698
82
Let's do it. Can you organize it?

Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using xda app-developers app

I would but I have no idea what's going on here and I have no knowledge in programming. Haha I'm just a hopeful person who wants Android on The ARM Chromebook...

Sent from my GT-I9300 using xda app-developers app
 

moocow1452

Senior Member
Nov 16, 2011
348
111
Livonia
AFAIK, it comes down to a problem with Google not being able or willing to source the board specs of the Chromebook, so we just can't build a version.

Sent from my SPH-D700 using xda premium
 
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RedDeadDorito

Senior Member
Oct 20, 2011
204
67
Kalamazoo
just got a chromebook.


it has so much potential :(


and how the hell do i use the xfce ubuntu? the site has no mention of the google chromebook and i have no idea how to install stuff onto it.
 

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  • 6
    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.
    3
    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
    3
    Any progress?

    Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using xda app-developers app
    2
    Well I finally made it to the nv-u-boot command prompt (and managed to freak out ChromeOS enough to cause it to reset itself and wipe all local data, but that's a minor detail). I wasn't making it to the nv-u-boot prompt before because I misunderstood the priority settings of the ChromeOS kernel partitions (higher number means "boot from me first" - oops). I finally 'got it' while reading the instructions and the script downloaded from this page: https://www.berrange.com/posts/2013...fedora-18-arm-on-a-samsung-google-chromebook/

    Anyway, you can boot to the nv-u-boot command prompt either from an SD card or by overwriting one of the kernel partitions on the emmc. I chose to use the SD card for now, for safety reasons. nv-u-boot (google's version at least) needs the /boot partition to be ext2, so I need to do some repartitioning to my sdcard before I can boot my Ubuntu again. But for now, how to get the nv-u-boot command prompt:

    (This assumes your Chromebook is in developer mode and has dev_boot_usb enabled.)
    1. Partition your SD card using parted vaguely as described on this page: (On a Linux machine with an SD card slot)
    http://blogs.arm.com/software-enablement/848-running-linux-on-the-series-3-chromebook/
    We need at least one ChromeOS kernel partition, and as far as I can tell, GParted does not know about those, so we need to create the kernel partition from the command line. We will also need an ext2 partition for /boot in order to use nv-u-boot, this is not part of the partitioning guide but you can do it with GParted later.
    2. Download nv-u-boot for 'snow' from here: (On the Chromebook now)
    http://commondatastorage.googleapis.com/chromeos-localmirror/distfiles/nv_uboot-snow.kpart.bz2
    3. Hit Ctrl+Alt+T for a terminal and enter:
    Code:
    shell
    cd ~/Downloads
    4. Extract the uboot image:
    Code:
    bzip2 -d nv_uboot-snow.kpart.bz2
    5. Write nv-u-boot to the SD card:
    Code:
    sudo dd if=nv_uboot-snow.kpart of=/dev/mmcblk1p1
    Replace 'p1' with the approproate partition number if you are not writing to the first partitition of the sdcard.
    6. Set partition flags:
    Code:
    sudo cgpt add -i 1 -S 1 -T 5 -P 15 /dev/mmcblk1
    (where -i is the partition number, -T is the number of tries, and -P is the boot priority, higher number boots first.)

    Now, when you reboot and hit Ctrl+U, the system will attempt to boot with nv-U-boot. Immediatly hold down the spacebar to interrupt uboot and be given toe command prompt (warning - if you don't hit any keys, uboot gets confused, ChromeOS gets scared, and next thing you know, it has reset itself and you'll need to re-enable dev mode. Believe me, I know...)

    From the uboot command prompt, you can make changes, save them, and boot in lots of interesting and creative ways. Now for figuring out uboot commands...
    2
    I'm attempting to get a build going today based on the arndale stable build once I convert the cyanogenmod to a rootfs I will use that. I got uboot going I just need to ensure it works.

    I am getting close if I have a working image I will upload it for SDcard use. Its a starting point for ROM modders to work with on the chromebook and might convince google to use android as a desktop OS alternative

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