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HCL:ARMChromebook

tagline: From openSUSE

Samsung Chromebook XE303 aka "Snow"

The Samsung Chromebook is a notebook built for Google's Chrome OS. This page refers to Samsung's Chromebook Model XE303C12-A01/-H01 aka "Snow", which is available for purchase since October 2012.

In order to avoid confusion, it should be mentioned that there are at least two other ARM-based Samsung Chromebooks: The Chromebook 2 (Model XE503 aka "Peach", based on the Exynos 5420/5800 SoC) and the Chromebook Plus (Model XE513, based on the "OP1" SoC, which is otherwise known as Rockchip RK3399). These models are not subject of this page.

Technical data

  • Samsung Exynos 5250 dual core CPU 1.7GHz
  • ARM Mali-T604 GPU
  • 11.6’’ (1366x768) TN display
  • 2 GB RAM
  • 16 GB eMMC
  • Built-in dual band Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n
  • Bluetooth 3.0 compatible
  • VGA Camera (UVC device)
  • Cypress APA I2C Trackpad
  • 1x USB 3.0, 1x USB 2.0
  • External SD card slot (SD/SDHC/SDXC)
  • HDMI Port
  • DAISY-I2S sound card
  • Stereo Speaker (1.5W x 2)
  • Internal microphone
  • External headphone/microphone combo jack 3.5mm
  • External SIM card slot (-H01 model only, -A01 model has a dummy instead)
  • 0.7 inches / 18 mm thin – 2.42 lbs / 1.1 kg weight
  • 4080 mAh 2-cell LiPo battery, providing over 6.5 hours of battery life

Before installing an openSUSE image

Todo once:

  • Put your Chromebook into developer mode.
  • Open a root shell: login to ChromeOS, open crosh with 'ctrl-alt-t', start a real shell with 'shell', become root with 'sudo -i'.
  • Enable USB/SD booting by running the following command as root from ChromeOS.
    # crossystem dev_boot_usb=1

Todo at each boot:

  • Once SD card inserted in Chromebook, power-up and in order to boot from external storage, press Ctrl-U (If you don't, the device will boot into ChromeOS in developer mode again after 30 sec, press Ctrl-D to enter ChromeOS immediately).

Installing the non-upstream openSUSE Tumbleweed image

  1. Download the image you want (Leap is stable, Tumbleweed is rolling) from here:
    Susemini.png
    Version:
    Tumbleweed
    JeOS image E20 image XFCE image LXQT image X11 image
    If the direct links above do not work for you (as we are constantly building new images), please check the general download directory for the images.
  2. As root extract the image onto your SD Card or USB stick (replace sdX with the device name of your SD Card or USB stick).
    WARNING: all previous data on the SD Card or USB stick will be lost. Check first if the device you have selected is really your SD Card or USB stick!
     xzcat [image].raw.xz | dd bs=4M of=/dev/sdX iflag=fullblock oflag=direct; sync
  3. Alternatively can download Etcher, an open source tool to flash your image graphically.

  4. Insert the SD Card or USB stick with the openSUSE image into your chromebook.

  5. Power on the chromebook.
  6. Press Ctrl-U on the scary boot screen to boot from USB/SD
  7. Ethernet is configured to request an IP via DHCP, check your DHCP server for the chromebook IP if used.
  8. Have a lot of fun...

Default login is root:linux, works via ssh, GUI.


Installing the non-upstream openSUSE 13.1 image

  1. Download the image you want (Leap is stable, Tumbleweed is rolling) from here:
    Susemini.png
    Version:
    13.1
    JeOS image E20 image XFCE image LXQT image X11 image
    If the direct links above do not work for you (as we are constantly building new images), please check the general download directory for the images.
  2. As root extract the image onto your SD Card or USB stick (replace sdX with the device name of your SD Card or USB stick).
    WARNING: all previous data on the SD Card or USB stick will be lost. Check first if the device you have selected is really your SD Card or USB stick!
     xzcat [image].raw.xz | dd bs=4M of=/dev/sdX iflag=fullblock oflag=direct; sync
  3. Alternatively can download Etcher, an open source tool to flash your image graphically.

  4. Insert the SD Card or USB stick with the openSUSE image into your chromebook.

  5. Power on the chromebook.
  6. Press Ctrl-U on the scary boot screen to boot from USB/SD
  7. Walk through the first boot steps.
  8. Ethernet is configured to request an IP via DHCP, check your DHCP server for the chromebook IP if used.
  9. Have a lot of fun...

Default login is root:linux, works via ssh, GUI.


Writing an image from ChromeOS

This can be done directly on the Chromebook by using the Chrome Shell. To get to the Chrome Shell just press ctrl-alt-t when logged into ChromeOS. Once in the Chrome shell, type 'shell' to get into a bash shell. You need to be root, so do a 'sudo su -' and be careful. You will find the image in the users Download directory of /home/user/*/Downloads. Make sure to have your memory card inserted into your Chromebook and the appropriate filesystems unmounted first. The device entry should be /dev/mmcblk1 for an SD Card, but verify first.

Known issues

  • All versions:
    • Xorg is not accelerated yet
    • Xorg- and powersaving-related stability issues
  • Specific openSUSE 13.1:
    • Before first boot on lxboot partition move exynos5250-snow.dtb into dtb folder,
    • Second boot miss partition flags for U-BOOT partition, fix them manualy from PC with vboot:
# kpartx -d /dev/sdX
# cgpt add -t kernel -i 1 -S 1 -T 5 -P 10 -l U-BOOT /dev/sdX

Helpful hints

Further notes