Sunday, 25 September 2016

Chromium OS for Intel Compute Sticks


Google's Chromium projects include Chromium and Chromium OS which are the open-source projects behind the Google Chrome browser and Google Chrome OS.  Chromium OS aims to provide a fast, simple and more secure computing experience for 'web-centric' orientated users.

I've previously tried Chromium OS on earlier Intel Compute Sticks as Google provides both the source-code and documentation to build and install Chromium OS on your own device. However I thought I'd revisit the project and incorporate the latest patches and fixes together with the most recent kernel.

The build results in an image that can be written to a USB and then booted on any of Intel's Compute Sticks giving you a pseudo Chromiumbit:

STCK1A8LFC
STCK1A32WFC
STK1AW32SC
STK2m3W64CC
Performance is dependent on your USB and with a Sandisk Ultra Fit USB3.0 for example it is pretty good:

STCK1A8LFC
STCK1A32WFC
STK1AW32SC
STK2m3W64CC
and runs YouTube at 1080p even on the basic model STCK1A8LFC:

STCK1A8LFC
Furthermore Crouton can be installed to provide a full Ubuntu OS:

STCK1A8LFC
STCK1A32WFC
STK1AW32SC
STK2m3W64CC
Interestingly whilst wifi works on each device audio is only available on the Core m devices even though the Intel HDMI driver is loaded:

STCK1A8LFC and STCK1A32WFC
STK1AW32SC
STK2m3W64CC
So it is back to using a USB audio adapter if sound is a mandatory requirement. If anyone can work out how to configure Chromium to use the Intel HDMI driver please comment below.

To try my latest Intel Compute Stick Chromium OS image you will first need to download it from here and after uncompressing it ('7z x linuxium-ics-chromiumos_image.bin.7z') write it to a USB ('dd if=linuxium-ics-chromiumos_image.bin of=/dev/sdX bs=4M' where 'X' is the appropriate drive letter).

Installation to your device's eMMC storage is also possible noting that it will overwrite the entire internal storage and a resize of the first partition is necessary to fully utilize all available storage space. See the following picture for all the necessary commands:


Acknowledgements: Google (Chromium), Pierre-Louis Bossart (HDMI audio), Daniel Bilik (C-state) and Bastien Nocera (WiFi).

25 comments:

  1. hello you ever thought to test cloudready OS?

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    Replies
    1. I did try it but HDMI audio and wireless didn't work which is why I built this version.

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  2. what is the password to the command line

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  3. Hello Linuxium, i have a bunch of STCK1A8LFC laying around, they are slow, but all they are used for is some light browsing. I then stumbled over this projekt, but i cant seem to install this to the eMMC. I did the sudo chromeos-install --dst /dev/mmcblk0 from shell it installs but when booting, it will not go past "Booting Chromeium" unless i put in the USB i created with the ISO. Do you have any fix for this. Thanks.

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    Replies
    1. I haven't used Chromium OS recently so it might be worth trying CloudReady again to see if it now supports wifi and audio. Personally I recommend using Lubuntu on the STCK1A8LFC as it works well for what I need.

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  4. CloudReady still doesn't support wifi unfortunately. I tried Lubuntu and it runs great indeed, but cant seem to install Chrome which i need. I really like this Chromium project and my soulution is to install on some fast sd cards and let Chromium boot from there..

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  5. I have a spare Intel Compute Stick STCK1A32WFC and I was wondering if - when I install this image - chromium is able to fetch latest patches and updates? Or do I have to bake a new image?

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    Replies
    1. The reason why I am asking this is because this image boots up but hangs after a few seconds. Haven't had the time to skim through the logs yet - If I can help making a 2018 build of this let me know :)

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    2. I haven't used this image for some time now as I am working on the latest one. Unfortunately the image doesn't update so you have to install a later version to be updated. I'll publish something once I've finished my current testing.

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  6. Hey !
    Thanks for this amazing work (and excuse my poor english)...
    I feel like missing a step : I successfully copied your files on an usb drive, and booted the chromium on my 1A32SC, but I don't find how you copy files from the usb drive to the local storage.
    I don't find the way to open the command line the way you do it, i tried with ctrl-alt-t + shell, but only get error messages... I just don't know anything on linux...

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    Replies
    1. After booting from the USB drive you enter 'Ctrl+Alt+T' to access 'crosh' and then enter 'install /dev/sda' or whatever your local device is to install Chromium OS to. BTW this is a very old image and is not advisable for use now as it is missing a substantial amount of security fixes.

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  7. Any chance you have a newer version? Also, possibly some really dummy proof step by step instructions?

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  8. Hi!

    I just spent 16 hours of my day trying to make my Cherry Trail 2-in-1 laptop to work with Chromium OS, but I'm stuck. I really need your help. It's a Cherry Trail machine with the Atom x5-Z8350. First, I tried Neverware's CloudReady OS, but it just doesn't boot. It boots to a black screen and stays there.

    Then, I tried the ArnoldTheBat's (https://arnoldthebat.co.uk/wordpress/chromium-os/) builds and they actually work. Sort of. I can only boot it using the kernel flag acpi=off or acpi=strict (one of them, but both "work"). Without them, it stays on the same black screen as CloudReady (this one doesn't boot even with the kernel flag).

    The problem on his build, is that wifi and bluetooth (RTL8723BS SDIO) don't work. He also builds a special version with extra drivers, but guess what? It refuses to boot with or without those kernel flags. Straight to black screen.

    Then I tried FydeOS. This one drove me crazy. With the flag acpi=strict I manage to boot it with wifi working OOB. I couldn't believe that I finally got it, I thought. I went ahead and installed it on the eMMC. When that finished, I rebooted the machine, put the same kernel flag, and then, guess what, the wifi was not working. I stayed calm, rebooted one more time and nothing. I booted again from the USB stick with the same flag, nothing more and nothing less, and the wifi also didn't work. Why did it work only once? I almost cried, I'm not joking, lol!

    Now I'm stuck. I don't know what else I can do. I wrote to you just the important parts of this journey, because I tried tons of different releases from CloudReady, ArnoldTheBat, FydeOS and even images straight from Google for the Chromebook line up.

    I can't even run Linux decently on this machine. I tried Ubuntu, Lubuntu, Linux Mint, ArchLinux, ArchLabs and some other distros that I can't remember now, and the audio didn't work in any of those. Some of those, I could only boot with that same acpi=strict flag. And I had some serious graphical glitches in all of the distros, like, it boots fine, but after the lockscreen, the screen just goes black and I have to press the power button to get image again, but suddenly it blacks out again, and I have to press the power button to get the image back. And it's not some energy related setting. That happens right after the boot process and in the middle of normal usage, like browsing the internet or exploring files.

    I'm just so disappointed with this Cherry Trail SoC. I don't want to run Windows :(

    Can you help me? Do you know something I can do?

    Thanks!

    Felipe A.

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  9. Hi!

    Just an update. I tried your isorespin script to respin a Lubuntu 18.04 iso with just the --atom flag, but wifi and bt didn't work at all.

    Thanks!

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  10. Hi!

    Another update. Since no OS other than Windows works on this machine, I was going to reinstall Windows 10, but, it BSOD during the boot process of the USB installation media. The error code was ACPI_BIOS_ERROR. I tried many versions of Windows and none booted up. So, I tried to clear the CMOS, but, this SoC doesn't have a battery for it, so, I disconnected the main battery and that did the job. I was able to boot up the installation media.

    Then I thought, was something wrong with the BIOS (like, a code corrupted or just a bug) that was causing those issues with the wifi in Chromium OS? (Since the BSOD error was related to the ACPI and I'm only able to boot certain Chromium OS builds with the acpi=strict flag, so, it might be related somehow). Well, I tried to boot up FydeOS, since I know it supports my wifi card and then, BOOM, wifi was working again. Then I rebooted and it was not working anymore and, that's actually interesting, Windows refused to boot up, causing the BSOD with the same error.

    I had to, again, remove the main battery in order to solve this Windows issue.

    So, something in Chromium OS is messing up with my system's ACPI.

    That's it!

    Thanks,

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    Replies
    1. Can you try LiveUSB booting the 'atom' ISO from https://linuxminipcs.wordpress.com/ubuntu-18-04-1-lts-bionic-beaver/ and then post the 'dmesg' immediately after booting using 'pastebinit'?

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    2. Hi!

      Here's the log: http://paste.ubuntu.com/p/DT8pmkQw7s/.

      Thank you for helping me out.

      Delete
    3. Sorry for replying only today. I hadn't selected the option to be notified and ended up staying a few days without visiting this page.

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    4. So wifi worked when you booted the LiveUSB?

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    5. Yes, it worked and it stays working until I install the OS to the eMMC. That also happens with Chromium OS (actually, FydeOS, as this was the only one that got Wifi working under these conditions - not on eMMC and with the acpi boot flag).

      It seems that, if my device doesn't find a Windows bootloader, it doesn't works properly.

      Audio didnn't work though.

      Thanks!

      Delete
    6. Audio should work however you may have to go into 'Settings' and then 'Sound' and select a device for sound output.

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    7. Unfortunately, it didn't detected a sound device. Do you have any idea why the wifi doesn't work if the OS is running from the eMMC?

      Thanks!

      Delete
    8. If wifi fails to start automatically you should enter 'sudo systemctl restart rtl8723bsbt.service' to fix it (as a known issue). For sound your device uses ES8316 so I can only suggest using a later kernel e.g. respin the Ubuntu 18.10 ISO with the '--atom' and '-u' options and try again as a liveUSB.

      Delete