Samsung’s $249 ARM-powered Chromebook is a dream come true for Linux enthusiasts and modders.
Indeed, we've already seen Ubuntu loaded up on the cloud-centric laptop, along with a port of openSUSE, a published guide to accessing the Gentoo Linux kernel that powers the versatile device and the coding of a Chromebook-specific flavor of Ubuntu Linux (ChrUbuntu 12.04 Alpha).
As expected, there are a number of issues associated with the Alpha build, including no sound, finicky touchpad a lack of accelerated graphics and a missing browser (Chromium can be installed). What does work? WiFi, Bluetooth and battery monitor, as well as support for the USB/SD card.
Clearly, ChrUbuntu 12.04 Alpha may take a bit of work until it is ready for public consumption. In the meantime, a developer by the name of Christopher Hewitt has posted detailed instructions for loading Fedora 17 with the Xfce desktop environment on an SD card - allowing users to dual boot Chrome OS and Fedora on the laptop.
As Liliputing’s Brad Linder notes, the basic method is pretty much the same as the one Google developer Olaf Johansson used to install Ubuntu on the Chromebook.
"When the setup is complete, you can reboot from Chrome OS into Fedora by pressing Ctrl+U to boot from the SD card," he added.
As TG Daily previously reported, Samsung's Chromebook features an 11.6 inch display, a Samsung Exynos 5 dual core ARM-based processor (Cortex-A15) and approximately 6.5 hours of battery life.
Additional specs for include 802.11n/WiFi, Bluetooth 3.0, a USB 3.0 port, a USB 2.0 port, HDMI output, a VGA camera, 16GB of storage, 2GB of RAM, 10 second boot time and instant resume from sleep.
Chrome OS can best be described as a Linux-based operating system designed to work exclusively with web applications and Mountain View's cloud-based Google Drive. The operating system was announced on July 7, 2009, with the first Intel-based Chromebooks shipping on June 15, 2011.