Author Topic: Installing Peppermint OS 6 to your Acer C720 Chromebook.  (Read 4232 times)

Offline lend27

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Installing Peppermint OS 6 to your Acer C720 Chromebook.
« on: July 23, 2015, 08:52:43 am »

A brief summary of the steps involved:

1. Shutdown Chromebook.
2. Remove the back and remove the "write protect" screw. (Easier than you think).
3. Replace cover.
4. Put Chromebook in developer mode.
5. Open terminal and enter commands to allow booting from usb and enable seabios.
6. Shutdown Chromebook.
7. Startup with USB Peppermint stick inserted.
8. Press "escape" to bring up boot menu.
9. Select "1" to boot from usb.
10. At Peppermint menu, hit "tab" to bring up boot command line. Then at end of line after the dashes enter a space then enter "mem=1590m" without quotes. Press enter.
11. Install Peppermint.
12. Remove USB and restart.
13. Modify grb.cfg file (instructions below).
14. Restart and enjoy your Peppermint Chromebook :)

Here is a helpful step-by-step guide.

This is also a helpful guide:

OK, here we go.

I've had my Acer C720 chromebook for about 6 months.
First I installed crouton linux alongside the Chrome OS.  I realized I wasn't really using chrome anymore so decided to erase chrome and install full time linux.
I then researched and found Huge Green Bugs website, Distroshare, and he has several linux distros modified for the C720, so I tried a few of those. Very nice, but since I run Peppermint on my desktop I figured I would try it.

I downloaded and installed to USB. I actually tried it with Unetbootin on linux but had problems. Then I went to my windows install and used Rufus to install.  I also tried Win32 imager in windows. Had problems with all 3. Keep in mind you have to install Seabios onto your chromebook to be able to legacy boot from usb.  There are tutorials for that online. If you need me to point you to the right tutorial let me know. Once you have Seabios enabled, you insert the Peppermint USB and turn on the chromebook. There will be a prompt to hit the escape key to bring up the usb boot menu. Then you select 1 to boot from USB. I think Unetbootin will work fine for most of you. My initial problems were related to the boot issue outlined below.

The Peppermingt install menu will come up, but don't select anything. It will not boot as is. It will give you an error message saying "insufficient ram to boot the image".
You have to hit the tab key, then you will see the boot code at a CLI prompt. The line ends with "--" or "---". ( 2 or 3 dashes) .
*** At the end of that line add a space, then enter "mem=1590m" . Once you have the entered, click on install peppermint from the menu and it will change to a white screen. Don't do anything, just wait and it will eventually change to the Peppermint install screen.  Just install as you would normally.
Once the install is done, remove the USB and reboot.
It will automatically boot to a usable Peppermint install.
Now, one more critical item.

My chromebook has 4 gig of ram.
*** The instructions I found online tell you to add a line to the boot code that says "mem=4g".  This does not work.
Follow my instructions above which will get you a working system. Then once you have your install done, you will need to go into boot.cfg and take all references to "mem=1590m" out. Just open leafpad and search for "mem=". This will highlight the references to "mem=1590m". Once you remove all references, ( just delete that text, not the entire line that it is in), reboot and your system recognize the full amount of ram you have installed.  Until you remove that text your system will only show 1590m of ram. I verified all of these steps with my own install.

The nice thing is I didn't have to struggle to get anything working so far. Other distros have an issue with the trackpad, requiring debugging. Not so with Peppermint. Trackpad and everything else seems to work just fine.
I even installed Steam and am able to play most games, even Xcom Enemy Unknown.
Ice is working fine, Kodi, Geary, Chrome, Gthumb, Banshee, VLC.

Here is a screenshot:

Again, these guides are helpful:

This is also a helpful guide:

Just follow the steps until it's time to install the distro and then work with Peppermint.
IMHO, this first link is the easiest to follow step by step.

If you follow until the section "some potential issues", you should have a working Peppermint system. Don't mess with the other issues he addresses until you use your chromebook with Peppermint for awhile. Most of the issues are non-issues now with the kernel upgrades.
The volume and brightness keys are not mapped correctly though. I am still trying to get that fixed. I will post a fix asap.
The back of the chromebook is actually easy to remove. Just follow the steps. A guitar pick or other thin plastic item will work. Once you get a corner seperated, the rest should be easy.
BTW, I replaced the orig SSD with a 120gig model and it works fine. Plenty of instructions avail online for that.

NOTE: Some of these guides do not address the RAM issue. Please make sure you follow my instructions on that or you will not get the chromebook to boot from your peppermint USB stick. VERY IMPORTANT.

To clarify:

When you are at the step where you boot from the usb, make sure you press "escape" to enter the boot options menu. Select 1 to boot from USB. This will bring up the Peppermint install menu. Do not select anything. Instead, press "Tab" then at the end of the long boot instruction line which ends with some dashes (either -- or ---) add a space after the dashes, then type "mem=1590m" without quotes. Then press enter. This will bring up a white screen. Just wait patiently and the Peppermint install screen will appear. Then just follow as you normally would to complete the install. Once the install finishes, press restart and as soon as the screen goes black remove the usb stick. It will not boot to the hard drive with the usb stick inserted. Once you remove the usb stick, the system will boot to your new shiny Peppermint install. Play around a bit to check things out. Once you feel comfortable, modify the grub.cfg file to remove the references to "mem=1590m". If you dont do this, the system will only recognize that amount of ram. In my case I have 4g and of course I wanted all of it available. Modifying the grub.cfg file will do that for you. I verified this before and after.

To modify the grub.cfg file, I opened a terminal and installed Leafpad. Then I entered the command "gksudo leafpad". I entered my password and leafpad opened. I clicked on "file" from the Ieafpad menu, then click on "open", then click on "File System", then click on "boot", then click on "grub", then open "grub.cfg". I opened the file and used the "search/find" command to locate all references to "mem=". This highlighted the text that had to be removed. Remember to only remove that specific text, not the entire line that it is in. Do that with each reference. Then, to be safe, use the find command again to make sure you got them all. Then save the file and reboot. Now all of your ram will be available to your system.

Good Luck!

Any questions please let me know.


« Last Edit: July 23, 2015, 09:09:57 am by lend27 »

Offline PCNetSpec

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Re: Installing Peppermint OS 6 to your Acer C720 Chromebook.
« Reply #1 on: July 23, 2015, 10:11:57 am »
Brilliant .. TVM lend27, much appreciated :)
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Offline AndyInMokum

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Re: Installing Peppermint OS 6 to your Acer C720 Chromebook.
« Reply #2 on: July 23, 2015, 11:18:40 am »
Hi lend27, you're officially a superstar - great job  ;)!!
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Offline configX

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Re: Installing Peppermint OS 6 to your Acer C720 Chromebook.
« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2015, 07:28:59 am »
Thanks for this tut, Len! If I could add a couple of things as I use Peppermint on a C720P myself...
  • The screw can be put back in after setting the gbb flag. You might want it again someday so putting it back prevents it from getting lost.
  • You shouldn't have to press ESC as seabios will boot any attached USBs first before trying the SSD.
  • You can go higher than 1590m if you want to. I have a 2 GB model and have been successful using 1840m. Basically you can't go higher than what's physically available which is always less than the manufacturer specs.
  • I'm not positive about the grub.cfg file that you mentioned but I usually end up removing the mem line in /etc/default/grub unless it has changed
  • Another excellent resource is the Arch wiki