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Join Date: Dec 2008
Dell ChromiumOS Jan3 2012 - Installation Guide - 01-06-2012, 05:06 PM
Following palawan recommendations (New Chrome OS image for Mini 9-10v) I tried the Hexxeh Lime version of ChromiumOS today (Chromium OS builds by Hexxeh). It booted fine and the wireless drivers worked out of the box! And all the indicators (network, battery, keyboard layout, clock, caps lock) were present without patches! However after installing it on the internal SSD I found few drawbacks:
- trackpad gestured do not work (tap for left-click, two-finger-tap for right-click, two-finger drag for scrolling, etc.)
- boot time has significantly increased compared to my previous Dell ChromiumOS May13 installation (~40sec vs 8-9sec).
- the netbook froze a couple of times in my two-hour session and I had to reboot.
After discovering all these problems of Hexxeh Lime version I decided to try a fresh Dell ChromiumOS distribution from 3 Jan 2012 (Index of /files/cto). It did not go smoothly, but the final result was much better - fast boot, trackpad gestures, working wifi and rock solid (so far). Let me share my experience and provide a step-by-step guide on how to get through the installation process. The problematic stages are denoted with "***" prefix.
1) Download the compressed image file:
dd if=ChromiumOS_x86_Jan3_2012.img of=/dev/sdX bs=4M
This will take few minutes. At some point you will need to select the interface language, keyboard layout and the network configuration.
***5) Login into ChromiumOS.
Here is the first problem - WiFi does not work during the first boot. Most likely this is because the wireless drivers are still not properly included in the distribution. Can it be due to licensing problems?
Anyway, to login you need the Internet connection. In the readme file they say you can So, login using a local account called "dell" with a password "dell1234" but I did not succeed. this first-time boot go online through an Ethernet cable or, if like me you are too lazy to run around looking for a network cable, then connect you mobile by a USB cable and use its "tethering" feature - the Ethernet over USB works fine.
***6) Install the wireless network drivers.
To do this go into terminal (by pressing Ctrl+Alt+T) and run a shell there (by typing "shell" after the "crosh>" prompt) and run the wifi installation script as follows:
The WiFi should be working now!
***7) Install the ChromiumOS on the internal SSD.
The readme file suggests to run "install" command from the "crosh>" prompt. Unfortunately it does not work - after copying few files the script dies with the following message (whatever this means):
"Error: kernel verification blob not found in stateful partition"
To resolve this (according to Google) you need to pass "--skip_vblock" option to the installation script. However, the "install" command of "crosh" does not accept any parameters except the name of destination device. To overcome this go into proper shell (by typing "shell" in "crosh>" prompt) and run the following command:
8) Power the netbook off, remove the USB stick and boot into ChromiumOS.
Frankly speaking I skipped step 6 during the installation and had to do it after reboot. I think it should not be necessary if you have already done it, but who knows...
I also highly recommend to install these packages built for ChromOS by Todd Vierling (http://www.duh.org/chromiumos/pkgs/):
* Midnight Commander
* VNC and RDesktop clients
* rsync client
* TCP/UDP utilities
* nano and vim test editors
* Zip, RAR and 7z archivers
* lynx browser (not sure if somebody needs this)
* old good Doom game
Join Date: Dec 2008
01-22-2012, 02:55 PM
I am afraid you will have to re-do the network configuration - this is not stored on Google. You also will have to type your credentials the first time you login into a freshly installed ChromiumOS. After that your browser settings (the front-end of the OS) will we restored (including the passwords if you have synced them). But now files you saved on locally (e.g. in Downloads directory) will be restored - you will need to take care of these, e.g. copy them on an SD card or, if you trust the cloud, into Dropbox or GoggleDocs (yes, you can put ordinary files there too).
I am just a forum member, no connection to Dell except using few of their (unfortunately discontinued) products (Mini9 and Streak5)
Join Date: Mar 2009
01-26-2012, 07:11 AM
Thanks for the writeup. Everything worked well, except I couldn't figure out how to create a bootable usb drive with the image using the terminal commands above using OSX.
Had to resort to using the Mac Builder application here.
Everything else worked brilliantly. Cheers.
Join Date: Jan 2012
01-30-2012, 10:10 PM
First of all I'd like to apologize for my english, I'm french and I just hope to be understandable.
I achieved Chrome OS installation Jan3 2012 version thanks to another tutorial (which followed exactly the same steps than this one) and everythings works great but the WIFI.
It seems that my Mini 9 doesn't see every WIFI network (my main is missing but I can see my second one and those from neighbours). So I tried to manually enter my SSID with password but I've got some general error : Connexion failed (my translation).
There could be so many reasons it can't work I don't know where to start... Could it be related to the protection method of my WIFI network (WPA)?
Thanks a lot for your help, I don't want to reinstall Windows XP which is in my humble opinion far too heavy for my Mini 9.
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