Peppermint OS Community Forum

General => General Discussion => Topic started by: perknh on June 09, 2014, 08:04:42 am

Title: Chromebooks? Any thoughts concerning them?
Post by: perknh on June 09, 2014, 08:04:42 am
Hello Peppermint Nation,

I noticed that Jeff Hoogland, over at Bodhi Linux, had developed a Bodhi Linux OS for Chomebooks.  Since my wife's computer was having issues with dropped Wi-Fi reception, while her Android cell phone and her Android tablet were not, I wondered, in my hardware support post, if Peppermint could be put onto a Chromebook, or if even Chomebooks were the way to go these days.  My thoughts were this:  if the Android devices weren't dropping off of my home's Wi-Fi, I suspected a Chomebook wouldn't either.

I discovered, here at Peppermint Nation, I wasn't alone considering the idea of a Chomebook.  Now, I'm hoping this post will open up ideas concerning Chromebooks for further discussion.

AndyInMokum had some thoughts concerning Chromebooks himself.   His quote is below:

Quote
Hi perknh, I like the sound of Peppermint on a Chromebook.  You would need a Chromebook with an X86 chip not the ARM ones.  I guess you could install Peppermint in Developer Mode.  It would be interesting to find out if anyone has done this.  Chromebooks haven't caught on here in Europe like they have in the States.  I can't understand why either.  The Internet is pretty much ubiquitous  - strange  ???.  I had a look at some the other week.  They are really impressive and I really would like one.  The difficult bit will be convincing the Mrs how much we need one
--AndyInMokum :(.
Title: Re: Chomebooks? Any thoughts concerning them?
Post by: PCNetSpec on June 09, 2014, 10:42:31 am
As has been said, as long as the Chromebook has an x86 architecture CPU and not ARM .. such as the Acer C720, there are plenty of online tutorials for installing Ubuntu/Linux .. such as:
http://www.linux.com/learn/tutorials/764181-how-to-install-linux-on-an-acer-c720-chromebook
which will also apply to Peppermint

And according to this:
http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=article&item=acer_c720_ubuntu1404&num=1
Ubuntu 14.04 was "a breeze" to install on the C720 .. so the same should apply to Peppermint 5 (when it's released).
Title: Re: Chomebooks? Any thoughts concerning them?
Post by: perknh on June 09, 2014, 01:12:04 pm
Well, this is interesting news.

Thank you!

Well, I thought I'd find more people would be interested in discussing Chromebooks here.  I do see more Chromebooks being sold, and I know one senior gentleman who is very happy with his.  He told me in essence,  "Look -- no viruses, automatic updates, it's light and easy to carry, and just $200.  I'm delighted with it." 

In fact,  I bought my wife her laptop computer using the idea of a Chromebook.  I bought her a 15.6 inch computer, as opposed to a 14 inch Chromebook.  To us the 1.6 inches does seem to make a difference when looking at the screen, but the difference in weight is minimal when carrying the thing around.  There's only a pound or so difference between the two devices -- the laptop being the heavier of the two.  That's the reason why we didn't buy her a Chromebook.  But, now, as she uses her Android tablet more and more, I'm wondering if I made the right decision buying her the computer instead of the Chromebook.   And, on the rare occasion, when she needs a larger screen, she uses the computer I'm using now -- which has a 17.3 inch screen.  Hopefully, she'll begin to use her own laptop more now that we appear to have fixed her Wi-Fi issue.  Thank you, PCNetSpec!   ;)

Title: Re: Chomebooks? Any thoughts concerning them?
Post by: PCNetSpec on June 11, 2014, 09:17:29 am
Well I'm certainly tempted by the C720 .. pretty good spec for the money.

I think the reason they're not discussed so much here is people like the "idea" but obviously

a) think Peppermint does the "idea" better
and
b) can turn existing hardware into a Chromebook Plus

As Chromebooks are "fairly" new .. I guess most owners are neither interested in changing the OS for guarantee reasons, are  unaware they can, and/or are unaware of Peppermint.

Maybe we need to get a tutorial up somewhere .. I've noticed that when you google "install linux chromebook" nearly ALL returns are about Ubuntu
(but then we'd need someone with an x86 Chromebook .. anyone ?)
Title: Re: Chomebooks? Any thoughts concerning them?
Post by: perknh on June 11, 2014, 03:25:43 pm
Quote
Maybe we need to get a tutorial up somewhere .. I've noticed that when you google "install linux chromebook" nearly ALL returns are about Ubuntu (but then we'd need someone with an x86 Chromebook .. anyone ?)
--PCNetSpec

I think the idea of a tutorial is an excellent idea.  I've seen instructions how to install Ubuntu to a Chromebook, and I know that Bodhi Linux has a download specifically made for Chromebooks.  I know this because I've put a Chromebook edition of Bodhi Linux onto a flash drive, and I've also discussed this briefly with Jeff Hoogland, within the Bodhi Linux forum.  But that's all of I've seen so far for those of us who use Linux. A tutorial for Peppermint is an excellent idea.  At least we'd be keeping up with the Joneses around here!

I know that one can turn Windows 8,1  into a faux Chromebook --  if Chrome is set as the default browser within Windows 8.1.  But I would think that this doesn't count for much, because all Chrome is doing is riding on top of Windows.   Still, it does look like a Chromebook when one is finished with the process.  But it would still be a fake Chromebook -- that's for sure.  There would only be whispers of Linux found within the Chrome browser itself.   :D                                                               
Title: Re: Chomebooks? Any thoughts concerning them?
Post by: PCNetSpec on June 12, 2014, 09:20:54 am
It'd still be wide open to viruses/malware too  ::)
Title: Re: Chomebooks? Any thoughts concerning them?
Post by: perknh on June 13, 2014, 03:33:08 pm
PCNetSpec,

If you're going to go for an Acer, I see here that its processor is slated for an upgrade soon -- might want to wait awhile.

I just found his link this morning.

http://www.slashgear.com/this-is-acers-core-i3-chromebook-06327850/

And something I just found this afternoon:

http://www.gizmag.com/2014-chromebook-comparison-guide/32518/

I think, to bottom line it, we should continue to wait.  We would best be served if we waited and put our upcoming Peppermint 5 release onto the same devices we are using right now for our Peppermint 3, and our Peppermint 4, releases.  Hardware is about to get better for Chomebooks, but the hardware components for Chomebooks are not quite as developed as we might like right now.  From all I've read, the hardware in Chomebooks will soon be getting better.  Let's all save ourselves a couple hundred bucks right now! 

As for Linus Torvalds thoughts as to why Linux has not been competitive on the desktop, and why projects like Google Chromebook may offer some hope for changing this, please take a look at this short 3 1/2 minute video called  Q&A session with Linus Torvalds: Why is Linux not competitive on desktop? 

What Linus Torvalds says here is pertinent to our discussion concerning Chromebooks.

To watch this video one needs to click onto the arrow below in YouTube, and then when within YouTube, click the link that says, Watch this video on YouTube.  After this, the video will start playing at Youtube's official site.

Enjoy!


http://youtu.be/KFKxlYNfT_o (http://youtu.be/KFKxlYNfT_o)
Title: Re: Chromebooks? Any thoughts concerning them?
Post by: zoolkeeper on September 22, 2014, 07:27:54 am
I have just bought a 16Gb Acer C720 Chromebook and have a 32Gb MSata card to upgrade it to. I intend if possable to dual boot this with Peppermint 5 and Chromeos.

In the UK Morgan Computers have them on special offer see http://www.morgancomputers.co.uk/product_detail/14874/Acer-Chromebook-Aspire-C720-2GB-16GB-SSD-11-6-inch/ (http://www.morgancomputers.co.uk/product_detail/14874/Acer-Chromebook-Aspire-C720-2GB-16GB-SSD-11-6-inch/)
Title: Re: Chromebooks? Any thoughts concerning them?
Post by: perknh on September 22, 2014, 08:07:39 am
Hello zoolkeeper,

So you're the brave soul amongst us!  ;)

I'm in the States, but I keep looking for any new models that might be coming out for Christmas.  There's nothing new here yet at Walmart -- no new models, no deals, nothing.

I'd be curious to hear how it goes for you with your duel-booting idea.  Is there enough hard drive space for the two OSes?  I suspect with 16 Gbs there is. (I used to run Peppermint 3 on an 8 Gb flash drive.)

Please tell us how you end up liking your Chromebook -- if you figure you need to use EFF's Privacy Badger, or AdBlock, anything....

Thanks for telling us, zoolkeeper, and please keep us posted.

perknh

Title: Re: Chromebooks? Any thoughts concerning them?
Post by: zoolkeeper on September 22, 2014, 11:30:49 am
So I can keep what I have i was going to order a 30Gb mSata off amazon
Title: Re: Chromebooks? Any thoughts concerning them?
Post by: PCNetSpec on September 22, 2014, 11:48:58 am
I suppose that depends on how much of that 16GB is already being used by ChromeOS .. and what you intend to do with Peppermint and ChromeOS.

Personally I'd want the extra space.

That said I can't really see the point in ChromeOS *and* Peppermint .. I'd just backup ChromeOS then replace it with Peppermint.
Title: Re: Chromebooks? Any thoughts concerning them?
Post by: perknh on September 22, 2014, 02:34:48 pm
Hello, PCNetSpec!

How would you back up ChromeOS from the Chromebook?

It's true that if zoolkeeper had Peppermint 5 installed, and then downloaded Chrome browser for Linux, he'd have more functionality than if he just had ChromeOS alone.  But how would he be able to back up the entire OS?  Is this process like Windows -- where you get one shot to make a recovery drive?  Would he just copy ChromeOS to a flash drive, and then be able to re-install ChromeOS when, or if, he ever needed or wanted to?

This is something I've never tried with Linux.  It's so easy to re-install Peppermint, but how would zoolkeeper get his mitts on ChromeOS?  Would a Chromebook have an option similar to a Windows recovery option?

perknh
Title: Re: Chromebooks? Any thoughts concerning them?
Post by: PCNetSpec on September 22, 2014, 04:38:24 pm
See the first things first section of this:
http://www.linux.com/learn/tutorials/764181-how-to-install-linux-on-an-acer-c720-chromebook

or you could use a Clonezilla or Redo Backup & Recovery LiveUSB to create an image of the SSD
Title: Re: Chromebooks? Any thoughts concerning them?
Post by: perknh on September 22, 2014, 05:02:18 pm
Okay, got it!

This is another useful Peppermint forum thread to bookmark.  :)

Thank you,

perknh

Title: Re: Chromebooks? Any thoughts concerning them?
Post by: zoolkeeper on September 23, 2014, 08:25:37 am
To backup ChromeOS all you do is launch Chrome and navigate to chrome://imageburner. This will download if not already installed the recovery image from Google and write it to a USB stick or SD card. You need to use a minimum of 4Gb stick / card.
Title: Re: Chromebooks? Any thoughts concerning them?
Post by: perknh on September 23, 2014, 10:08:53 am
Thanks zoolkeeper.  Yesterday PCNetSpec showed me how to back up ChromeOS too.  I appreciate this information from both of you.

I'm thinking that my wife, Mrs. perknh, is a perfect candidate for a Chromebook.  She doesn't like Windows, and she doesn't use Skype, and she does everything through the browser.  And, when it comes to updating... well, Mrs. perknh has me do all of that too.

During this last summer we became a Windows-free household, and Peppermint and Android are the primary Linux systems we use here. (Actually, Mrs. perknh uses Android, not me.  My job is only to fix her Android devices if something goes wrong them!) What I've noticed when putting Peppermint on our Toshiba laptop Windows computers is that the Wi-Fi doesn't come in as well as the Android devices do.  So these are the primary reasons why I believe Mrs. perknh would be best served by owning and using a decent Chromebook.

But, all and all, Peppermint 5 work flawlessly for us.  So good in fact, I hardly have ever any problems to report.

zoolkeeper, I am finding your reports on your thoughts and experiences with your Chromebook very interesting.  Please keep them coming.

Thank you.

perknh

P.S.

And here's a fun discussion, on YouTube, between Alexis Moussine-Pouchkine and François Beaufort about Chromebook's stable, beta, and dev channels:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=85bDTDsfXGk (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=85bDTDsfXGk)
Title: Re: Chromebooks? Any thoughts concerning them?
Post by: zoolkeeper on September 24, 2014, 10:39:49 am
Had a glitch last night, went to order a 32Gb Msata SSD chip and found the "normal" ones do not fit the C720 Chomebooks. What you need to get is a M2 (NGFF) SSD which is slightly different. I have now ordered a 128Gb one from Amazon (http://www.amazon.co.uk/128GB-ZTC-Armor-Solid-ZTC-SM201-128G/dp/B00IZNYDBG/ref=sr_1_1?s=computers&ie=UTF8&qid=1411569520&sr=1-1&keywords=NGFF+Solid+State+Disk (http://www.amazon.co.uk/128GB-ZTC-Armor-Solid-ZTC-SM201-128G/dp/B00IZNYDBG/ref=sr_1_1?s=computers&ie=UTF8&qid=1411569520&sr=1-1&keywords=NGFF+Solid+State+Disk)

Im away this weekend, so hoping it arrives soon, I will try next weekend to restore ChomeOS onto it and then Peppermint 5
Title: Re: Chromebooks? Any thoughts concerning them?
Post by: perknh on September 24, 2014, 10:58:16 am
Hello zoolkeeper,

While you're going through the University of Hard Knocks learning the particular ins and outs of Chomebooks;  we, in Peppermint forum, are learning a lot from your experiences.

I may end up doing what you're doing here -- upgrading the hard drive -- when, or if, I get my wife a Chromebook next Christmas.

After Halloween, some newer tech stuff should be appearing on the shelves of Walmart, Best Buy, and Staples over here.

Thank you,

perknh

P.S.

Here's an interesting article about Chromebooks, from PCWorld, entitled 5 powerful things you didn't know Chromebooks could do by Chris Hoffman:

http://www.pcworld.com/article/2691209/5-powerful-things-you-didnt-know-chromebooks-could-do.html (http://www.pcworld.com/article/2691209/5-powerful-things-you-didnt-know-chromebooks-could-do.html)
Title: Re: Chromebooks? Any thoughts concerning them?
Post by: perknh on May 24, 2016, 08:36:53 am
The MacBook Eclipsed: Best Chromebook Picks

By Brooke Crothers ,  a contributor to Forbes

Quote
Despite being around since 2011 and despite being really cheap, the Chromebook has remained largely a niche product, popular in education settings and, to a smaller extent, business. But wait. Market researcher IDC now says laptops with the Chrome operating system eclipsed Apple’s Mac platform for the first time ever in the first quarter of this year. --Brooke Crothers

http://www.forbes.com/sites/brookecrothers/2016/05/23/the-macbook-eclipsed-best-chromebook-options/#2ebac8c74047

Title: Re: Chromebooks? Any thoughts concerning them?
Post by: rajeev2631007 on May 24, 2016, 09:24:00 pm
Hi perknh ,

I'm sharing some of youtube videos they may be help for you.

Acer Chromebook C720 Review


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TFusVar_Z-c (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TFusVar_Z-c)

HP Chromebook 11: Unboxing & Review

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AqUjIs0pw_U (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AqUjIs0pw_U)

How to Install Linux on Chromebook

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7KGcd9sSQok (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7KGcd9sSQok)

Install Ubuntu 14.04 on Chromebook

http://www.davebennett.tech/install-ubuntu-14-04-on-chromebook/ (http://www.davebennett.tech/install-ubuntu-14-04-on-chromebook/)

Install Linux On A Chromebook!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FTdyedW1XlE  (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FTdyedW1XlE)

These Chromebooks are available in ARM and X86 boards. I think Peppermint 6 is not support ARM motherboards may be Peppermint 7.  The above videos showing how to install Ubuntu their may be some steps are different for Peppermint Linux Which I don't know? I don't found any tutorial which tell how to install Peppermint Linux on Chromebooks. I think we should have one tutorial on this topic in this forum. Can somebody do this who knows enough on this concept. 


Regards,

Rajeev Gautam
Title: Re: Chromebooks? Any thoughts concerning them?
Post by: perknh on May 25, 2016, 08:43:23 am
Hi rajeev2631007,

Take a look at this link.  lend27 achieved Superstar status from AndyInMokum in Pepprmint forum for writing a tutorial which shows us how to install Peppermint 6 to a Chromebook!  It's an amazing tutorial ;)

https://forum.peppermintos.com/index.php/topic,2173.msg21083.html#msg21083 (https://forum.peppermintos.com/index.php/topic,2173.msg21083.html#msg21083)

My wife, mrs.perknh, HAS a Acer Chromebook C720.  In the evening, I can't separate her from the thing.  The thing just goes and goes and goes nonstop.  I've never seen anything get the use that Acer C720 has gotten.  She told me a couple of nights ago that she always wants to have a handy little Chromebook, an Android smartphone, and a laptop computer --to run Peppermint Linux OS, of course!  ;)

I also have a friend here who goes back decades with computers, but since he gotten a Toshiba 2 Chromebook, he's pretty much turned his Windows computer into music server of sorts.  He's nearly forgotten about his Windows computer since he got a Chromebook.  He, too, has to have his Chromebook and his Android smartphone.  But, unlike my wife who only uses Linux, I suspect my friend could live without his Windows computer now.

I usually go to McDonald's a couple times a week for morning coffee.  There's a fellow there, who I see quite frequently, busy with a Chromebook.  And, I have another friend, a senior citizen, he has his 15" Acer Chromebook.  This is his second Chromebook:  His first was an 11" Samsung Chromebook.

I was in Wal-Mart last year in the early Fall --at the beginning of school shopping  I, along with mrs.perknh, saw a group of middle school/high school girls shopping.  I thought to myself, this is the group to ask about Chromebooks.  I asked, "Girls, do you know about Chromebooks?"  Oh, yeah.  Their heads were all nodding.  When I told them that my wife had a Chromebook, I could see that my wife had suddenly become part of the in crowd.  And, finally, our public schools have bought Chromebooks, as has my public library.  Chromebooks are all over this place right now.

What a phenomenon!  The world is going Chromebook crazy!! :)

perknh
Title: Re: Chromebooks? Any thoughts concerning them?
Post by: PCNetSpec on May 25, 2016, 09:01:51 am
I think they should be sued under the consumer protection act .. they're neither Chrome or a Book.

Is it possible to buy a chrome chromebook ? .. I bet it is, somewhere...
Title: Re: Chromebooks? Any thoughts concerning them?
Post by: scifidude79 on May 25, 2016, 10:06:45 am
I don't know, sounds like heavy reading to me, Mark. :))

Seriously, I see no point and have never seen a point to Chromebooks.  I mean, it's a computer where the entire OS literally runs from a web browser.  So, I'd imagine it always has to be online.  Why?  What's the use?  If you want something portable, look at Android.  At least it can run stuff offline.  Even putting Linux on a Chromebook is pointless to me because the drives are always so tiny.  Just my two cents.
Title: Re: Chromebooks? Any thoughts concerning them?
Post by: perknh on May 25, 2016, 11:40:14 am
I don't know, sounds like heavy reading to me, Mark. :))

 :))  Too much of it for sure!  ;)

If you want something portable, look at Android.  At least it can run stuff offline.  Even putting Linux on a Chromebook is pointless to me because the drives are always so tiny.  Just my two cents.

Android apps are coming to a Chromebook near you really soon.  Whether or not they be able to run offline, I don't know.  :-\

Source: 

It’s official: Android apps are coming to Chromebooks

By Jimmy Westenberg for ANDROID AUTHORITY

http://www.androidauthority.com/android-apps-on-chromebooks-693696/ (http://www.androidauthority.com/android-apps-on-chromebooks-693696/)
Title: Re: Chromebooks? Any thoughts concerning them?
Post by: scifidude79 on May 25, 2016, 12:57:05 pm
I have a tablet and a phone for running those.  ;)
Title: Re: Chromebooks? Any thoughts concerning them?
Post by: perknh on June 13, 2016, 07:44:53 am
First batch of Chromebooks reach End Of Life and get no more support or updates

By Mark Wilson for betanews

http://betanews.com/2016/06/10/google-chromebook-end-of-life/ (http://betanews.com/2016/06/10/google-chromebook-end-of-life/)
Title: Re: Chromebooks? Any thoughts concerning them?
Post by: scifidude79 on June 13, 2016, 09:45:55 am
It's OK.  If you have an "end of life" Chromebook no longer receiving security updates, you can always just disable the Internet and use it purely as an offline computer.  Oh, that's right, you can't do that.

Well, there's always Linux, assuming it has a large enough SSD to take a Linux distro.
Title: Re: Chromebooks? Any thoughts concerning them?
Post by: zebedeeboss on June 13, 2016, 11:36:37 am
Hi All

Hang on a minute.  Say $250 to buy it 5 years ago - that's $50 a year and that's less than $1 a week for computing power.

What's the problem here ? Especially as it still works - they just wont update it any more, security wise.

Regards Zeb...
Title: Re: Chromebooks? Any thoughts concerning them?
Post by: PCNetSpec on June 13, 2016, 11:40:45 am
It's a bit like Ubuntu selling you a computer with 12.04 installed. but when 12.04 reaches EOL you can't upgrade to (or install) 14.04 or 16.04, etc.

Heck even Microsoft don't (beyond making Windows ever hungrier) obsolete hardware like that.



I'm a bit baffled by this .. if ChromeOS uses the Linux kernel to access the hardware, and the kernel isn't dropping hardware/driver support .. how are they able to (and why would they want to) disable software updates for specific hardware ?
(security updates should be hardware independent, the kernel does all the translation between software and hardware  :-\ )
Title: Re: Chromebooks? Any thoughts concerning them?
Post by: scifidude79 on June 13, 2016, 10:30:23 pm
My laptop is from 2012 and cost me a bit more than a low end Chromebook from the time. (understandable, as it has more power) If you told me that I couldn't keep using it safely next year just because it's five years old, I'd be mad.  Of course, it has Peppermint installed, so no worries there, but the point remains the same.  Running a system with out of date security on the internet is a really bad idea.
Title: Re: Chromebooks? Any thoughts concerning them?
Post by: PCNetSpec on June 13, 2016, 11:09:23 pm
What's baffling me is this...

Surely if they keep updating ChromeOS, these old devices will benefit from those updates as long as the kernel supports the hardware

so...

if they're going to stop security updates for them, they would have to ACTIVELY single them out for blocking  ???
Title: Re: Chromebooks? Any thoughts concerning them?
Post by: scifidude79 on June 14, 2016, 09:40:04 am
What's baffling me is this...

Surely if they keep updating ChromeOS, these old devices will benefit from those updates as long as the kernel supports the hardware

so...

if they're going to stop security updates for them, they would have to ACTIVELY single them out for blocking  ???

Yeah, I don't get that either.  Unless the Chromebooks from that era are using an older version of Chrome OS and there's no way to update it?  If that's the case, it's not any better.  Even Macs let you update your OS to newer versions.
Title: Re: Chromebooks? Any thoughts concerning them?
Post by: PCNetSpec on June 14, 2016, 12:58:33 pm
It's starting to sound to me like intentional nobbling to push you towards a new purchase .. what ever happened to "do no evil" ?

To answer my own question .. Google went public, that's what happened.
Title: Re: Chromebooks? Any thoughts concerning them?
Post by: scifidude79 on June 14, 2016, 06:23:56 pm
Yeah, people running 5+ computers and having a perfect time using them is good for users but bad for shareholders.