This is a text-only version of the following page on https://raymii.org:
Title : Install Ubuntu Linux on the LG Chromebase
Author : Remy van Elst
Date : 03-08-2015
URL : https://raymii.org/s/articles/LG_Chromebase_Linux.html
Format : Markdown/HTML
I recently acquired the LG Chromebase 22CV241-W. It is an All in One type
machine with Chrome OS. The hardware, excluding the screen and lack of battery,
is largely the same as the Acer C720. Of course I removed Chrome OS and
installed a real Linux on it, of which you'll find instructions below. In my
case it is Ubuntu Mate. Arch Linux also works fine, but this was for someone
else, so a more beginner friendly distro seemed to be a better choise. This
article will cover the removal of Chrome OS and the installation of Ubuntu Mate
on the LG Chromebase.
Consider sponsoring me on Github. It means the world to me if you show you
r appreciation and you'll help pay the server costs.
ou can also sponsor me by getting a Digital Ocean VPS. With this referral link you'll get $100 credit for 60 days.
The specifications are quite good for an All in One of this price:
* 21.5" 1080p (19201080) IPS screen
* Intel Celeron 2955U @ 1.4GHz CPU
* 2GB DDR3 RAM
* 16GB SSD (onboard)
* Bluetooth 4.0
* WiFi (802.11 a/b/g/n)
* 1x Gbit
* 1x USB 3.0
* 3x USB 2.0
* 1x HDMI In
With the HDMI in port you can use it as an external display for another PC or
laptop. If you don't like Chrome OS or Linux you can just plug this in to your
PC or laptop and use it as a second screen.
The USB 3.0 port is on the side of the screen, the rest in on the back.
The hardware is more than enough to do basic Word processing, browsing, a bit of
LaTeX and Python programming. Which are exactly the things the machine was going
to be used for.
By default the machine runs Chrome OS. That is a fine OS, well enough for basic
computer usage for 90% of the population. It features all the stuff you'd
expect, in a browser. I have a Chromebook myself and I often use it on the go
for notes, email and basic browsing, since it is very light and boots in under 2
If you want to do other things than browsing, like using LibreOffice, VLC or
other programs, you're out of luck with a Chrome[book/base/box]. It runs only
Google-sanctioned software, which is just Chrome and a simple desktop shell.
Google however uses a lot of Open Source software in Chrome OS. The machine runs
Coreboot as the BIOS. You do need to flash another version of Coreboot since
this one doesn't understand the USB keyboard. That is covered later on.
You'll need a USB stick of at least 2 GB to install Ubuntu MATE from. You also
need to download the Ubuntu Mate ISO and write it to the USB stick. You can do
this with the [Startup Disk Creator] or by using `dd`:
# replace sdX with your device.
dd if=ubuntu-mate-15.04-desktop-i386.iso of=/dev/sdX bs=1M; sync
The process is not that complicated:
* Boot in Recovery Mode
* Enable Developer Mode
* Flash BIOS
* Enable Legacy & USB Boot
* Install Ubuntu
### Booting Recovery Mode & Enabling Developer Mode
You need to boot in to Recovery Mode before you can enable Developer Mode.
Here's how to boot in to Recovery Mode.
* Turn off the Chromebase
* Plug a paper clip in the Kensington Lock hole in the back and press the button.
* While the button is pressed, power on the Chromebase
* Press CTRL+D
* Press the Recovery Button again
* The device will reboot.
* Press CTRL+D again to boot in Developer Mode
Booting in to Developer Mode will wipe the Chromebook. All data stored is
removed, except for Chrome OS.
### Flashing SeaBIOS
As said, you need to flash the SeaBIOS part of coreboot to make the USB keyboard
Start up in Developer Mode, open a terminal (`CTRL+ALT+T`) and type `shell`.
You're now in the shell.
Visit [this site] and read the documentation and FAQ.
If you've done that you've also found the command to flash the BIOS. It's here
as well for reference:
cd; rm -f flash_chromebook_rom.sh; curl -k -L -O https://johnlewis.ie/flash_chromebook_rom.sh; sudo -E bash flash_chromeboo
If you've flashed the Bios you need to also enable Legacy Boot and USB Boot.
Still in the shell, execute these commands to do so:
crossystem dev_boot_usb=1 dev_boot_legacy=1
You can now reboot the machine with the `reboot` command. Plug the USB install
stick in and when the big scary ERROR screen pops up, press `CTRL+L` (for Legacy
boot). Press `ESC` and select your USB install disk.
### Install Ubuntu MATE
The install is pretty straight forward. If you get the following error at
error loading gfxboot
Then just type `help` and a RETURN, the installer will start up as you'd expect.
It is a normal Ubuntu install, so finish it and reboot. I wiped all the
partitions and created one big `/` ext4 partition.
Do note that you need to press `CTRL+L` at every boot to start up in Legacy
mode. NEVER EVER PRESS THE SPACE BAR TO RE-ENABLE OS VERIFICATION! You will need
to make a Chrome OS recovery image, which will wipe the entire disk and your
If you want to solder in your device you can read [here] how to make the BIOS
fully writable. Using the above BIOS script you can then totally skip the Chrome
OS screens on boot.
After the install, reboot in to your new shiny Linux. Remember to press `CTLR+L`
every time you boot, and never press the Space Bar.
All the text on this website is free as in freedom unless stated otherwise.
This means you can use it in any way you want, you can copy it, change it
the way you like and republish it, as long as you release the (modified)
content under the same license to give others the same freedoms you've got
and place my name and a link to this site with the article as source.
This site uses Google Analytics for statistics and Google Adwords for
advertisements. You are tracked and Google knows everything about you.
Use an adblocker like ublock-origin if you don't want it.
All the code on this website is licensed under the GNU GPL v3 license
unless already licensed under a license which does not allows this form
of licensing or if another license is stated on that page / in that software:
This program is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify
it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by
the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or
(at your option) any later version.
This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful,
but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of
MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the
GNU General Public License for more details.
You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License
along with this program. If not, see
Just to be clear, the information on this website is for ment for educational
purposes and you use it at your own risk. I do not take responsibility if you
screw something up. Use common sense, do not rm -rf / as root for example.
If you have any questions then do not hesitate to contact me.
See https://raymii.org/s/static/About.html for details.