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Getting Ubuntu working on Acer C7


There is a lot to be said about ChromeOS on this little beast its a zippy starter, and as an OS it’s got its issues but also does what it sets out to well. The spec of the device however lends itself well to getting it to duel boot with another OS.. Ubuntu.

So, i’m not the first to write up a guide for this, and to be honest Lilliputing and Ars Technica are probably a better read for you. However for the best guide the guy who developed Chrubuntu puts the best steps together:


Installing ChrUbuntu is extremely easy, just follow the steps below. Want to say thank you for ChrUbuntu? Feel free to do so in the comments below or show your support by visiting the advertisements on this blog. If you purchase a Chromebook or any other Amazon items using the links on the right, I get a small portion of the cost 🙂

To get started, make sure your Chromebook is in developer mode and has a developer BIOS installed. See Google’s instructions for the Cr-48Samsung Series 5, the Acer AC700, or the 2nd generation Samsung Series 5 550 and Chromebox Series 3 depending on your model. Samsung and Acer owners should pay special attention to the Developer BIOS instructions.

The specific instructions to get the Acer C7 into Developer mode are:

Note that once developer mode is enabled and OS verification is turned off, it will take a lot longer for the computer to boot — although you can hit Ctrl + D to exit the OS verification screen more quickly.

 turn on the Chromebook and enter the following key combination to get started:

Esc + Refresh button + Power button

The refresh button is the page refresh button in the top row, which you use to reload a web page.

This will cause the computer to reboot and show you a scary screen that talks about data loss.

Then you just sort of sit there for a while until your system reboots and disables OS verification.

You’ll hear a few beeps and then the Chromebook reboots another time.

On this last reboot the system will wipe your data and load the developer mode version of Chrome OS. That entire process takes about 5 minutes.

The Acer C7 should now be in Developer mode

  1. Reboot your Chromebook but do not login. Make sure you have a WiFi or Ethernetconnection at this point. 3G is not recommended. Press CTRL+ALT+=> (=> is the forward arrow where the F2 key would be on a PC). Do not use the normal CTRL+ALT+T method to get a shell. Use the CTRL+ALT+=> method while no one is logged in.
  2. Login as user chronos, no password is needed.
  3. As the chronos user, run:

    wget; sudo bash tnyga

    Make sure you have the command exactly right. tnyga is all lowercase letters and would sound like “tee in why gee aye” if you said it out loud (go ahead, try it!). If you get a “not found” error, make sure you have Internet connectivity.

  4. You’ll be prompted with some information about your Chromebook. You may need to run an additional command to install a developer BIOS on your Chromebook or, if you have a 1st generation Chromebook, you might be notified that a special non-official kernel will be used to allow 64-bit Ubuntu to run on your hardware. Press Enter to continue.
  5. The Chrome OS stateful partition where your data and settings are stored is just short of 11gb by default, the script shrinks the stateful partition to make room for ChrUbuntu. You can choose to give ChrUbuntu from 5gb up to 10gb in 1gb increments (Note: If you’ve installed a larger SSD in your Chrome device, your max number and recommended max will be larger). I recommend not going higher than 9 as 10 leaves Chrome OS with very little free space (less than 1gb). Once you’ve entered a number, your hard drive will be repartitioned. It may look like the Chromebook is doing nothing for 10-15 minutes but let it be, after awhile it will reboot and re-initialize the stateful partition. This process takes about 5 minutes and then the Chromebook reboots again and shows you the Welcome screen you got when you first turned on your Chromebook out of the cardboard box.
  6. Go through the Chrome OS setup process again until you get to the Google login page. You’ll need to have a WiFi or Ethernet connection again at this point. 3G is not recommended. Now follow steps 3 through 5 again. This time the script will see that you’ve already made room for Ubuntu and will start downloading the ChrUbuntu image and copying it to the SSD.
  7. 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 1gb compressed and 5gb uncompressed so the download and install will take awhile. The files are named ubuntu-1204.binXX.bz2 (where XX is aa, ab, ac, ad, ae, af… ba, bb, bc… all the way to bz). If you want to see how big each piece is, take a look here.
  8. The script keeps track of which of the 52 files have been successfully installed so if you lose Internet connectivity, or the battery dies (you should be plugged in BTW), etc, just re-run Step 8 and it should resume where it left off.
  9. After all 52 files have been downloaded and copied to the SSD, the script will make a few more updates to your Cr-48 and then reboot.
  10. You’ll see ChrUbuntu start up! The username is “user” and the password is “user” if you need to make changes.
  11. Right now, you’re in ChrUbuntu but if you reboot, you’ll be back in Chrome OS. To make ChrUbuntu the default, run:

    sudo cgpt add -i 6 -P 5 -S 1 /dev/sda

    (password is “user”). It should be possible to run this from ChrUbuntu or Chrome OS.

  12. To make Chrome OS the default again, either turn off Developer Mode, or run:

    sudo cgpt add -i 6 -P 0 -S 1 /dev/sda

So there we have it, all things being equal you can now boot into either Ubuntu or ChromeOS and it was a this point it becomes a bit of a pain as there is not ability to choose which OS you boot into on power on.  Thankfully on the Chrubuntu page halfway down the notes there is an interesting bit of information.

Go into the Home folder in Ubuntu and press “Control + h” together. Click the file named .bashrc
Edit the .bashrc file, and add this to the end of the file:

alias chromeos='sudo cgpt add -i 6 -P 0 -S 1 /dev/sda;echo "Switched to Chrome OS, restart the machine to take effect"'

Go to your terminal, and type in chromeos. You will be switched to Chrome OS when you restart.

In Chrome OS, press Ctrl+Alt+F2 to open bash, login as chronos. Inside Chrome OS press Ctrl + Alt + =>.
Type in chronos, then sudo su, then

vi .profile

Now type in

alias ubuntu='sudo cgpt add -i 2 -P 0 -S 0 /dev/sda;sudo cgpt add -i 6 -P 5 -S 1 /dev/sda;echo "Switched to Ubuntu restart the machine to take effect"'

Now to save the file press Esc, then :q! and press enter
In terminal type Ubuntu and you should be in Ubuntu, if not do Part 2 again.
Congrats, now you can type Chromos to go to Chrome, Ubuntu to go to Ubuntu.

So there we go A dual booting system with ChromeOS for doing the basics and Ubuntu for the heavy lifting.


3 comments on “Getting Ubuntu working on Acer C7

  1. Pingback: projectz

  2. Ian Hunter (@ianhuntrr)
    April 17, 2013

    “Now to save the file press Esc, then :q! and press enter”

    This is wrong. In vi, “:q!” quits without saving. You’ll want it to be “:wq” which will write to disk and THEN save.

    • projectzme
      April 17, 2013

      You are so right, I will Change the post, thank you..

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