Install Chromium OS on ThinkPad X131


My ThinkPad X131e boots slowly on openSUSE and Ubuntu but fast once login. Because it is also marketed as a Chromebook and my happy experience with ASUS Chromebox CN60, I decide to give Chromium OS a try.

Create a Bootable Chromium OS USB Stick for ThinkPad X131e

I follow the instruction on How to Run Google Chrome OS From a USB Drive to create one. Here is my experience:

  1. The regular builds on ArnoldTheBats don’t work for ThinkPad X131e. Fail to boot.
  2. Special Builds may boot from a USB stick successfully.
  3. Use Etcher to create a bootable USB stick

Clear Partitions

To clean up the USB stick or SSD, it’s better to run following command. Many partitions are created during creations and installation. sdX is the physical drive name.

# sudo dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sdX bs=16M status=progress

Neither the Windows Storage Management Tool nor GParted may remove everything on my USB stick.

Install on SSD from USB Stick

Once successfully boot by the USB stick, use [Ctrl] + [Alt] + [F2] to switch to the command prompt and login as user “chronos”. Run following command to install. Make sure the hard drive is clean. Detailed explained in

  1. How to Install Chromium OS
  2. Manual Installation of OS
  3. Chrome Story: How to Install Chromium OS on Your Netbook’s Hard Drive
  4. ArnoldTheBats: Chromium OS

or SSD, it’s better to run following command. Many partitions are created during creations and installation. sdX is the physical drive name.

# /usr/sbin/chromeos-install --dst /dev/sda

 

Although there are many error messages “Secondary GPT Header is invalid”, the installation is okay. I have read the following threads but none of them may stop this error.

  1. CloudReady: How do I format a HDD prior to install?
  2. CloudReady: WARNING: Primary GPT Header is invalid – CloudReady won’t install

Login Dialog Unavailable After Installing onto SSD

While booting Chromium OS from SSD on ThinkPad X131e, I didn’t see the login prompt no matter how long I wait. Here is a tip to make it appear:

  1. When the Chromium OS logo appear, use [Ctrl] + [Alt] + [F2] to switch to the command prompt.
  2. Use [Ctrl] + [Alt] + [F1] to switch to the graphical environment.
  3. Continue until the login dialog is available.

I have read the following threads but none of them helps.

  1. Google Groups: [cros-reviews] Add variables to grub2 for Chrome OS bringup workarounds. (issue2113004)
  2. Ubuntu Forum: Chromium OS won’t boot
  3. Linux Questions: missing operating system” when trying to boot Chromium OS from USB
  4. CloudReady: booting problem

Final Words

Although it runs fast, I didn’t keep Chromium OS on ThinkPad X131e. There is no good solution for Chinese input method.

If I need to input Chinese in Google Word, Sheets, and Slides, I may use Google Input Tools. Unfortunately, it’s not available on others. JsCIN 中文輸入法 is available in the whole Chromium OS environment but not good enough to me.

Reference

  1. Amazon: Lenovo ThinkPad X131e Chromebook 11.6″ LED Intel Celeron Dual Core 1.50GHz Model 628323U
  2. ArnoldTheBats World of Whimsy
  3. ArnoldTheBats: Chromium OS
  4. ArnoldTheBats: Chromium OS Builds
  5. ArnoldTheBats: Chromium OS Special Builds
  6. ASUS Chromebox CN60
  7. balena: Etcher
  8. Chrome Store: Google Input Tools
  9. Chrome Store: JsCIN 中文輸入法
  10. Chrome Story: How to Install Chromium OS on Your Netbook’s Hard Drive
  11. Chromium OS
  12. CloudReady: booting problem
  13. CloudReady: How do I format a HDD prior to install?
  14. CloudReady: Manual Installation of OS
  15. CloudReady: WARNING: Primary GPT Header is invalid – CloudReady won’t install
  16. GNOME Partition Editor
  17. Google Groups: [cros-reviews] Add variables to grub2 for Chrome OS bringup workarounds. (issue2113004)
  18. Linux Questions: missing operating system” when trying to boot Chromium OS from USB
  19. MakeUseOf: How to Run Google Chrome OS From a USB Drive
  20. openSUSE
  21. Ubuntu
  22. Ubuntu Forum: Chromium OS won’t boot
  23. wikiHow: How to Install Chromium OS

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