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danilovesky danilovesky is offline
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Default Dell ChromiumOS Jan3 2012 - Installation Guide - 01-06-2012, 05:06 PM

Following palawan recommendations (http://www.mydellmini.com/forum/goog...tml#post194131) 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:
Code:
wget http://linux.dell.com/files/cto/ChromiumOS_x86_Jan3_2012.img.gz
2) Extract the image file:
Code:
gunzip ChromiumOS_x86_Jan3_2012.img.gz
3) Flash the obtained on USB memory stick (replace X as appropriate):
Code:
dd if=ChromiumOS_x86_Jan3_2012.img of=/dev/sdX bs=4M
4) Boot Dell Mini 9 from the USB memory stick.
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:
Code:
sudo /etc/install_wl.sh
When a root password is requested type "dell1234".
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:
Code:
/usr/sbin/chromeos-install --skip_vblock
The installation process goes through now!

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

Last edited by danilovesky; 01-07-2012 at 08:02 AM.
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