Are you bored to only have Ubuntu and Debian for Chromebooks? Don’t worry, Gentoo is here!
I prepared a Gentoo image for Chromebooks, install Gentoo is just easy as executing a shell script, so if you’re interested keep reading!
Installing Gentoo on a computer isn’t an easy task like installing another GNU/Linux distribution like Ubuntu (where you just click 4 buttons). The Gentoo installation is done directly by console (the live-cd installation have some bugs and is not recomendable), so you have to partition and build your root filesystem from scratch.
Normally, the Gentoo installation process takes time because you have to compile and configure everything, so the intention of this Gentoo build is to provide a quick way to get Gentoo to use on Chromebooks.
When I make this build I provided only a basic Gentoo system for laptops, which only includes:
– network manager
And some another basic packages, so you can build your system at your convenience.
I modified the Ubuntu script installation as described Jay Lee on their blog: http://chromeos-cr48.blogspot.com/2011/04/ubuntu-1104-for-cr-48-is-ready.html to easy install Gentoo. So basically the process is the same but using a script hosted on my server which retrieves the Gentoo root filesystem.
1. Switch your Chromebook to developer mode
Before starting, I strongly recommend make a clean install on your Chromebook. So, making a backup of your content and then restoring your Chromebook to original state is a good starting point. Next, follow this steps:
With Chromebook turned off, open the lid on the right side and move the mini switch that is inside.
When you start Chromebook, it displays a warning message. After this warning message must press CTRL + D so you can access ChromeOS and reconfigure the connection and the user.
Then press CTRL + ALT + => (equivalent as the F2 key)
More info: http://chromeos-cr48.blogspot.com/2010/12/rooting-jailbreaking-your-new-google.html
2. Upgrade the firmware
After finished the last step, we get root acces typing:
Update the firmware by typing:
After finishing installing the firmware our system automatically will reboot and we need to open a terminal again.
3. Install Gentoo root filesystem
Now we need to get the script which installs the Gentoo root filesystem. Open a terminal and type:
wget http://goo.gl/i7Fau; sudo sh i7Fau
Note that is case-sensitive! This short-url points to: http://files.chromebook-linux.com/gentoo/install-gentoo.sh
This will download and execute the script to install Gentoo rootfs.
There are 52 100mb files to be downloaded. Each is compressed so the actual download size ranges from less than 1mb in size to 90mb in size. The total size of all the files is about 1.1gb compressed and 5gb uncompressed so the download and install will take awhile. The files are named gentoo_rootfs.binXX.bz2 (where XX is aa, ab, ac, ad, ae, af… ba, bb, bc… all the way to bz).
All files are hosted on: http://files.chromebook-linux.com/gentoo
The script checks to see if the image files are on a local USB / SD Card before downloading them. Thus you can save all 52 of the gentoo_rootfs.bin??.bz2 files to a flash drive and the script will use them. Make sure they’re in the root folder of the drive.
Next, our Chromebook will reboot automatically and we need to set wifi connection and download the same script again:
wget http://goo.gl/i7Fau; sudo sh i7Fau
This will download the required files and install Gentoo to our Chromebook.
4. Login to Gentoo
Now we have Gentoo installed on our Chromebook!
Here are the users and passwords to login this Gentoo build:
– Login: user
– Password: chromebook
– Root password: chromebook
For your convenience the user ‘user’ was added on /etc/sudoers, so open a terminal and change your root password using the command:
sudo passwd root
Following this guide, you will have Gentoo as booting priority, but you can back to Chrome OS typing:
sudo cgpt add -i 6 -P 0 -S 1 /dev/sda
And you can back to Gentoo with:
sudo cgpt add -i 6 -P 5 -S 1 /dev/sda
Josh Goldman, Managing Editor, is a laptop expert who has been writing about and evaluating them since built-in Wi-Fi was an optional feature. He also covers practically anything that is connected to a computer, such as keyboards, mouse, USB-C docks, and PC gaming devices. He also writes on cameras, such as action cameras and drones. And, while he doesn’t consider himself a gamer, he devotes much too much time to them.