Thursday, January 24, 2013

How to install Ubuntu on Samsungs new Chromebook (notebook 303C)

 By Sloan Miller
Following these steps will result in Ubuntu 12.04 LTS for arm processor being installed on a new Samsung Chromebook 303C.   The sticker on the bottom shows 'Model code WE303C12'.

This $249 Google Chromebook is covered below

I wrote this blog post because I found relevant information scattered around the web and knew it would be useful to have much of the relevant information in one How To Guide.

The install guide shows clearly the step by step process with other very important information like the sudo password once installed.  Remember Ubuntu does not come with a root password set.

These are instructions to install Chrubuntu on the new Samsung Chromebook. When finished you will have Chrubuntu installed on a spare SSD Drive that plugs into the left side of the Samsung. The ChromeOS SSD will still contain the ChromeOS alone. To boot into Chrubuntu you will press CTRL-U.

I removed all partitions with fdisk on the SD-card. Chrubuntu would not install when there were partitions on the sd card. Your mileage may vary.

The Chromebook needs to be in developer mode.  This step will reset the Chromebook to factory default settings.  This did not appear to affect anything as all work I do is in the cloud and all of my browser settings are stored by Google for Chrome.

Steps to enter developer mode:

To invoke Recovery mode, you hold down the ESC and Refresh keys and poke the Power button.

To enter Dev-mode (developer mode) you first invoke Recovery, and at the Recovery screen press Ctrl-D (there's no prompt - you have to know to do it). It will ask you to confirm, then reboot into dev-mode.
Dev-mode works the same as always: It will show the scary boot screen and you need to press Ctrl-D or wait 30 seconds to continue booting into ChromeOS.

More info related to developer mode:


I was in developer mode when the installation was performed.

Boot up to the first Chrome OS graphical screen aka Login Screen. Don’t login to the OS. Make sure that the Chromebook had associated with the wifi Access Point. This is done by clicking on the wireless icon in the lower right corner. As we need to download packages during the install process.

Log in as a guest and open the Chrome browser. Once the browser is open hit the ctrl + alt + 't' keys. That is hold down the ctrl key, the alt key and the letter t key all at the same time.

You will then see a:


prompt. I'll bet this stands for Chrome Shell. If you type in shell you will be inside the shell for the ChromeOS.


and you will see

chronos@localhost / $

This is the prompt to the Operating System.

The wget command is used is as root to download the Chrubuntu packages. This step takes 30-45 minutes. Be very careful when entering the /dev/mmcblk1, if you do not follow the directions closely enough you can install on the internal SSD drive and that will result in needing to reinstall the ChromeOS.

wget ; sudo bash 34v87 /dev/mmcblk1

chronos@localhost / $  wget ; sudo bash 34v87 /dev/mmcblk1

Once install is complete on reboot hit CTRL-U immediately. This will boot into chrubuntu. The root or sudo password in chrubuntu is user.

You can open a terminal to update Ubuntu. This is a good idea as a good number of packages were updated.

sudo apt-get update

You can also update Ubuntu via the GUI.

Then to listen to audio in the headphones and not on the speakers I turned on audio with alsamixer. I decided not to play audio through the speakers due to warnings on various webpages discussing the fact that internal speakers may melt. I also read that melting the samsung speakers may not longer be an issue but I decided not to risk it.

open a terminal and type

sudo alsamixer

Then scroll through the options with right arrow until you come across

“Left headphone Mixer Right DAC1” press letter m on keyboard to activate audio

“Right headphone Mixer Left DAC1”

Then press the letter “m” on your keyboard to activate. Its possible to do this for the built in speakers. It would be best to search for people who have melted their speakers before you proceed that turning on the builtin speakers.

After install I noted that the Unity Interface puts a large amount of overhead on the System. I decided to go with the Gnome Interface.

sudo apt-get install gnome

On reboot you will need to click on the small Ubuntu Icon near the login window. This is where you select Gnome.

Some of the info in this post is from the two links below, the Cromeos-cr48 blog and the ChromeOS wiki.

======================== Some working Notes ======================
ChromeOS Wiki Install Instructions
After install fdisk shows the GPT filesystem was formatted by the install script.

Disk /dev/mmcblk1: 31.9 GB, 31914983424 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 3880 cylinders, total 62333952 sectors
Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x000aec26

Device Boot              Start     End          Blocks         Id       System
/dev/mmcblk1p1               1    62333951    31166975+  ee      GPT

CR 48 Internal Photos.  This is not the same model but the photos are somewhat representative in that there is no Hard disk and the RAM amount is the same.  


Samsung Dual Core Processor info


  1. Hi, i tried to install this, and just could not get it to download. I looked at different sites with the wget line that you must run in shell, and some have spaces after certain commands, some don't. Any way you can make it absolutely clear how to type the whole string of command. I tried different ways of typing it, spaces, no spaces etc etc. Please help...i really want crubuntu on my chromebook!!! If possible e-mail it to me @ Thanks !

    1. What you need to do is to use the actual name of the downloaded file in the command - the author mistakenly used the abbreviated URL again.

      Try this instead:

      wget ; sudo bash ./ /dev/mmcblk1

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. I'm trying to install on an SSD with a GPT partition table instead of one with the old MBR. I've been banging my head on this for a couple days - no luck. Did your SSD have an MBR?

  4. how can i use ; on terminal screen?

  5. How to install Ubuntu on Samsungs new Chromebook (notebook 303C) ...

  6. What would i have to do, if i want to remove the chrome OS and replace it by ubuntu. thanks in advance