Process of installing linux on my Acer Chromebook 15 C910 (aka Yuna)
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Order the laptop

  • 2015-09-25: Ordered my yuna on Ebay for 412,13 EUR (444,30 USD delivery included).
  • 2015-10-08: My laptop arrived but I were not at home
  • 2015-10-09:
    • I picked up my laptop. I had to pay 31,31 € for commons (see Costs)
    • I login with my gmail username.
    • I write the specs of my model down (see Model page).

Replacing hard disk

  • 2015-10-09: I can’t install the Chrome Recover Utility because of Network_Failed error. After asking it, I knew it was the type of connection: the laptop was connected to a ad-blocking network. After connecting to my router directly, all was fine.
  • 2015-10-10: I used the Google Recovery Utility to make a backup. The important in this step is that the ID of the laptop is the same of the chrome:system, that is, YUNA D25-A3B-L4A-A9C (see this).
  • 2015-10-12: I disassembled the chromebook:
    • removing the 18 screws at the bottom
    • separate the two parts. In my case, if I open the lid, then in the right corner, the two parts have a gap between them.
    • I deplug the battery cable and I substitute the 32 GB harddisk for my 128 GB (see the motherboard connection details).
    • Then I powered on the laptop and I recovered chromeos with the backup I made before (see this folder).
  • 2015-10-12: After so much effort, I discovered this laptop. Slimbook has similar features but less price and has upgradable RAM and harddisk.

Installing linux: SeaBIOS part

  • 2015-10-12:
    • I removed the two screws which could cause BIOS write protection. I do not really knew which is the screw which is reponsible of BIOS write protection, but there are only two left. So I decided to remove both (see this pic).
    • I put the laptop in developer mode:
      • Press ESC + F3 + Power button
      • CTRL+D
      • After confirming that, the system rebooted and turned into the Developer Mode. It takes about 8 minuts (see 5-awhile* series). It rebooted again and asking for the config. I recommend you to configurate the net, because you need for the next step.
  • Accessing the shell:
    • CTRL+ALT+F2: it opens a console window
    • I intered as a chronos user (no password)
    • Run John Lewis script for writing BIOS in RW_LEGACY mode:
      cd; rm -f; curl -L -O; sudo -E bash

      Note: the ArchWiki says you have to enter as superuser, but John Lewis says the opposite. If you see the script it’s clear than the second is right.

    • It asks you for support. It offers you options. In my case, just one: RW_LEGACY. Then it asks you for confirmation. After that, it writes the BIOS (see 4-writing-*).
  • Then I just set SeaBIOS as default (see this folder):
    • In the shell (chronos user), I became superuser: $ sudo bash
    • # sudo su
    • # flashrom --wp-disable
    • # flashrom --wp-status
    • # /usr/share/vboot/bin/
    • # /usr/share/vboot/bin/ 0x489
    • # reboot
  • Then you boot with SeaBIOS. The ChromeOS does not work in my case. You can boot with USB CD-ROM. In my case I use Arch boot CD iso and you could procede as normal intallation. Important: put vga=832 if you want to see something on the screen. There are some issues you have to consider. Please read the ArchWiki page

Installing linux: OS part

  • 2015-10-16: I intalled the Arch Linux. The only tricks are:
    • The laptop has not UEFI vars.
    • I partitioned my disk with GPT schema
    • You need to put 1MiB of BIOS partition. For this, I used gdisk and I added ef02 partition type of size +1M (with parted, the bios_grub type is not recognized). Then I went to parted and I put more partitions as usual (in my case, / and /home). For assuring all is OK I set that the second partition starts on the 5MiB of the disk.
    • I install grub (# pacman -S grub os-prober, # grub-install --recheck /dev/sda, # grub-mkconfig -o /boot/grub/grub.cfg)
    • All is fine except that the grub menu is not displayed. Solved temporary with GRUB_TERMINAL_OUTPUT=console uncommented in the /etc/default/grub file.
    • Change the default sound card to non-hdmi card: put snd-hda-intel index=1,0 in (created) file /etc/modprobe.d/50-alsa.conf and reboot.
    • Put tpm_tis.interrupts=0 for preventing TPM error in dmesg. Via debian wiki
    • Optinal: disable power button and lid suspend with HandlePowerKey=ignore and HandleLidSwitch=ignore in /etc/systemd/logind.conf.

Black screen

As 2016-10-19, the screen turns black. Just black. It seems it is broken. I will not replace the screen [as previously I did with other Chromebook]. In conclusion: the screens of chromebooks are bad, very bad. And so, if you can, avoid chromebooks. They are made of bad hardware.