Install Fedora 19 Linux on an Acer C7 Chromebook

Chromebooks are a great budget laptop or netbook when running Linux. Many people prefer Fedora over Ubuntu. So far there has only been the fantastic ChrUbuntu project that allows Acer C7 Chromebook to load a special kernel with a Ubuntu root file system. Its approach can be used to load Fedora 19 too. The steps below in a few scripts automate the Fedora 19 installation process. It loads a pre-installed Fedora LXDE minimal root file system image. After booting into LXDE it’s free to load KDE or GNOME environments and any other normal packages. There is one thing to note that it re-uses the ChromeOS 3.4 32 bit kernel. Another blog will dedicated to loading a ChromeOS-3.8 kernel soon. With 3.4 kernel, some features are not fully working (such as camera). With 3.8 kernel, most stuffs work well.

Follow the steps below at your own risk. If something goes wrong, you shall need to follow the official recovery procedure to fix it by yourself. Chromebooks by design cannot be bricked as you can always recover by loading a recovery image supported by google or the vendor. Though I have not personally tried those recovery procedures, thus cannot say if the recovery will work for you or not.

  1. Boot the chromebook into developer mode. Login as chronos user.
  2. Download the script hd-repartition.sh here using wget etc. Run “bash hd-repartition.sh” to shrink the stateful partition to free some space for the Fedora partitions. The shortcut is to copy and paste this: wget http://goo.gl/B5LZh3 && bash B5LZh3 . Then reboot and login again.
  3. Download the script download-fc19data.sh. Run “bash download-fc19data.sh“. All the data shall be downloaded into a folder named “data”. The shortcut command is: wget http://goo.gl/HTUq8H && bash HTUq8H .
  4. Download the script hd-install.sh. Run “bash hd-install.sh“. In the end, it reboots and loads into Fedora LXDE environment. The shortcut: wget http://goo.gl/OntzuD && bash OntzuD .

After login on to LXDE, first thing you should do is to change root and user passwords. They default to root and user. Afterwords probably a system update is a good idea. Maybe consider install kde-workspace, kcm_touchpad, and kde-plasma-networkmanagement as a minimal.

Have fun! Share your success or problem with us if you can comment on this blog, and think you for that in advance.

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12 thoughts on “Install Fedora 19 Linux on an Acer C7 Chromebook

  1. Pingback: The usefulness of bash scripting. | Bohemian Wildebeest is:

  2. Pingback: Fedora 19 Linux 32-bit on Acer C7 Chromebook Doubles Battery Runtime | c7fedora - Fedora on Acer C7 Chromebook

  3. Eddie G.

    Does this comepletely remove the ChromeOS from the device? Just curious, as I would prefer to have F19 on the entire drive….

    Reply
    1. minghua Post author

      ChromeOS partitions the disk into 12 partitions. That’s something you cannot change. Among them there are 2 standard kernel partitions and 2 rootfs one for each kernel. All you can do is to shrink the stateful partition to leave almost all the space on it to your fedora. That’s almost the entire drive.

      Reply
      1. Eddie G.

        Really?….there’s NO ay to wipe the entire drive completely clean and install your OS of choice? That sux! I think I’ll stick to laptops that have HD’s that can be wiped clean…or even replaced / swapped-out! (What can I say…I just hate being “locked in”…whether its OS….hardware…application….etc.) LOL!

      2. minghua Post author

        Eddie, Actually you are not locked in. They just made it inconvenient if you switch OS. Think the good side of it: [1] They officially tell you how you can make the switch thus there is no risk. [2] There is an assurance that you will not totally screw things up as there is always a recovery image to restore your system to. [3] The bootloader is in ROM, it guarantees you will only boot a signed OS, either by the vendor or yourself. That verified boot is so that a virus can hardly modify the OS at all. [4] Yes you can swap the hard drive or SSD out.

        Given the low price of those cr-books, this seems to be a fair play.

      3. Eddie G.

        @Minghua….well that’s a relief! And understand I don’t install Linux on systems without a thorough testing of the system first…so there would be no reason for me to go “back” to Chrome-OS…if I blow away the HD then that’s it..it’s gone for good….and since you say I CAN swap out the HD…that sounds like the route I’m going to take….then I can test Fedora..and a few other OS’es on this hardware and see how well it performs!…

    1. minghua Post author

      Hi, Ricardo,

      I’ve been just too busy to get hands on it. Actually I may not install a 64 bit system at all because it shortens the battery life almost by 2. If you are interested I can update the script to load a 32-bit version 3.8 kernel, that’s something I already have running, almost ready to be uploaded.

      Thanks for your interest.

      Reply
      1. Ricardo

        Hi!
        Sorry for the late feed back.

        I was using ChromeOS in the DEV Channel, and in DEV Channel the kernel was a 64bits version of a 3.8 kernel.
        I reverted to STABLE Channel and installed Fedora using the scripts in this blog.
        So far so good 😀

        I tried GNOME/GNOME_CLASSIC but on my opinion it is just to heavy for this system.

        The next step for me is to compile a more up to date kernel than this 3.4 …
        I read somewhere that kernel 3.9 has support for C7, where i can find detailed info how to compile a kernel for C7?

      2. minghua Post author

        Hi, Very much thanks for the feedback. My notes for building kernel 3.8 is at:

        https://code.google.com/p/chromebook-linux-script

        Take a look at ref-fc19-acer-c7/test-rebuild-kernel/fc19kbuild.sh. All the necessary steps are there except the last step writing to the partition. The other files have the links I found on the internet etc. All my working stuffs are on the web. I assume the steps shall be very similar except you checkout 3.9 branch than 3.8.

        Let us know if you succeed with kernel 3.9. You have a great Christmas!

      3. Ricardo

        can you alter the script so it includes a 32bits version of the kernel? instead of use the running kernel ?
        i have broken the system and was forced to do a system restore of ChromeOS, and now the kernel in all channels are 64bits 😐

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