I have blogged about how to get Linux on the Chromebook in the past; and whilst the process works, it isn’t the easiest or most friendly way. Thanks to the tireless work of the openSUSE ARM Team (especially Alex Graf and Marcus Schäfer) we now have a simpler way to get openSUSE on the Chromebook. We now have an installable image that can be dd’ed directly to either an SD card or USB drive (I’ve not tried the internal eMMC) just like any other ARM device.
There is now real hardware from ARM’s partners that offers the ability to leverage hardware virtualisation, in a similar fashion to Intel and AMD. So far three devices are shipping to the general public – the new Series 3 Chromebook, the Nexus 10 and the Arndale board. They all have one key factor in common, the Samsung Exynos5 SoC. This fine piece of silicon is a member of the Cortex-A15 family which introduces the required virtualisation extensions.
I was lucky enough to get into work today to have a lovely package waiting for me, a shiny new ARM powered Chromebook! o/ I ordered it specifically to have a good mobile ARM development platform. So after having used the bundled ChromeOS for the first half of the day I decided it was time to get this machine’s Geeko on. Thankfully one of the Google employed developers , Olof Johansson, was kind enough to post his steps to get Linux on the machine.
I just sent this into the -arm mailing list. This is a hot topic, and one that seems to generate the most noise. I’ve had a discussion with several people about target hardware, and I’ve also looked at what our peers are doing and saying. At the same time I’ve been trying to see what options we have for getting some sponsorship for hardware. There were three devices in the running, all are classed as development boards – so no case or external prettyness (beauty comes from within anyway):