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Author Topic: TC native on Asus ChromeBOX m004u!  (Read 563 times)

Offline PDP-8

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TC native on Asus ChromeBOX m004u!
« on: April 19, 2017, 07:09:03 PM »
Got TC up and running in a minimal way on my Asus m004u ChromeBOX!  My objective was to run natively from a usb boot, and NOT inside a chromeos chroot (crouton).

Mostly notes and a big gotcha' where smarter guys may want to take it follows:

As usual, it needs to be put into developer mode, and the usb boot enabled.  I also had to reset the SEAbios.  Details here:

https://www.chromium.org/chromium-os/developer-information-for-chrome-os-devices/asus-chromebox

So far so good.  BUT due to a lack of my own knowledge on how to put a sysconfig together properly for the image, (despite the great faqs) AND a keyboard-bug during boot (chrome hardware issue, not tc's), the following may be amusing....

Burning the iso for usb boot:
Unfortunately, bmarkus' awesome usb burning utility doesn't detect my external pendrive.

We all know that 3rd-party burners, like unetbootin and other don't properly recognize the TC layout (or work at all), but I forged ahead.

Using RUFUS as the burner, this allowed for booting from the usb drives - BUT of course it does not know about the TC requirements.  But at least I'm on the air so to speak - minimally.

KEYBOARD PROBLEM with boot!
When presented the boot option splash screens in sysconfig, none of the keys work!  The only thing you can do is wait for the default timeout as your only option.  Not tc's problem.  Even an Acer chromebox keyboard did not work.

For reference:  A Knoppix 7.7 usb stick provided to me also booted *eventually*, but at the boot splash screen where you can specify custom bootcodes / cheatcodes, the keyboard too was disabled.  So one had to accept the defaults.  But I want to run TC, not Knoppix.

Keeping in mind I'm not using a tc-specific layout burner, but a generic 3rd party Rufus utlity, here is what happens:

Tinycore images - all defaults just timeout and reboot the machine to dev mode.

Core images - YES!  Still, no keyboards, but at least after the timeout, I'm up and running with a TC cli - and by then the keyboard *does* work.

Notes:
Core 7.2 - boots after timeout no problem.
Core 8.0 - causes reboot
PureCore64-8.0 - boots after timeout no problem.

Smart guys will want to put together their own syslinux configuration, with all the options they want up front (since the non-functional keyboard during syslinux boot) to get up and running.

Until I get smarter, I'll just be putting persistence on another usb stick.
« Last Edit: April 19, 2017, 07:19:51 PM by PDP-8 »

Offline PDP-8

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Re: TC native on Asus ChromeBOX m004u!
« Reply #1 on: April 21, 2017, 11:51:31 PM »
TC installed no problem now!

I made it too hard for myself.  Here's how to install in about 3 minutes after enabling dev-mode and usb-boot. (we're booting the Chromebox from an sd card actually).

1) Download, burn and run COREPLUS on another machine with installer extension.
2) Install to SD card.  Include wireless and firmware and any other bootcode you like.
3) Reboot on Chromebox, hit CTRL-L at the scary warning screen, sit back for timeout and enjoy.

Yes - time for decaf!  Seriously, once again TinyCore rocks and thanks to the team for making it sooo easy.
« Last Edit: April 21, 2017, 11:55:37 PM by PDP-8 »

Offline polikuo

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Re: TC native on Asus ChromeBOX m004u!
« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2017, 06:52:16 AM »
1) Download, burn and run COREPLUS on another machine with installer extension.
2) Install to SD card.  Include wireless and firmware and any other bootcode you like.
3) Reboot on Chromebox, hit CTRL-L at the scary warning screen, sit back for timeout and enjoy.

So ~~
Does the newer installer work with SD card?
I did a few test before submitting the extension, but I never get a feedback from another user.
Would you mind help me test the latest tc-install extension before releasing ?
https://github.com/polikuo/tc-install

My laptop literally smoked and burnt a few days ago....  :'(
I can't find a hardware to perform a SD card installation test.
« Last Edit: April 22, 2017, 06:53:57 AM by polikuo »

Offline PDP-8

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Re: TC native on Asus ChromeBOX m004u!
« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2017, 12:33:30 PM »
Yes, CorePlus is the ideal installer for the non-arm Chromebox - as long as you do the burn on a different x86 machine first!  Not TinyCore's fault.

The problem is that ANY bootable image on this chromebox that has an optional menu for boot options is locked out due to the non-functional keyboard during the boot process, and only the timeout works.  Not a TC thing.

In my case, CorePlus installer on another machine was the ticket.  And totally configurable for what you want to do.

I boot from a micro-sd card, (with an adapter/holder) and also keep any persistence there as well.  Something CorePlus understands.  I did NOT want to touch the ssd filesystem inside the box, other than having to put it into dev mode, usb boot, and legacy boot.  And reset the bios.  But I wanted none of my TC data stored on it, so if I do want to return to the normal chromeos system (albeit in dev mode now), it is pristine.

I'm essentially running it like a piCore off a fast micro-sd card.  I did try a usb-stick, and that worked well, but my sticks aren't really that fast, despite the ports being usb-3.0.

CorePlus' configurability is *ideal* for chromebook/box/base installs.  In my situation I wanted a hands-off to the original filesystem.  But, others may actually want to use the internal ssd (and all that goes along with that), and this is where CorePlus' configurability would shine in that arena.

I'll have to take a look at your install script when I get a chance.  If it has a menu / optional choice setup, then those options will be ignored by the 'box.  At least this model.
« Last Edit: April 22, 2017, 12:43:31 PM by PDP-8 »