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Old 08-28-2015, 10:59 AM   #1
russhollander
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Unable to boot from USB on Lenovo Thinkpad 11e Chromebook


Hello,
I got a Lenovo Thinkpad 11e Chromebook with the intention of installing Fedora Linux on an SD card to run it. I read several articles beforehand. Most talked about installing Ubuntu or Bodhi, or installing Xubuntu alongside Chrome OS using Crouton, though I did see one article about installing Fedora on a Chromebook Pixel. Guess I shouldíve done some more research on this particular Chromebook ahead of time, or just bought one of the models that people commonly installed Linux on. It seemed at the time like the main thing to do was to pick one with an Intel chip, but I guess thereís possibly more to it than that.

I like the device well enough with Chrome OS, but still really prefer to have a Linux option as well. The problem Iím encountering is that I canít figure out how to get the device to boot from the flashdrive I have Fedora on.

I made a backup of ChromeOS, switched the device to developer mode, and Iíve tried a couple things to get ďlegacy bootĒ to work, but no joy so far. Upon booting, Iíve tried hitting CTRL+L to get legacy boot and then hitting ESC to see a list of options as several articles suggested, but that didnít work. I havenít been able to find any specific documentation on this particular model.

I did find an article that showed me how to set the dev_boot_usb=1 and dev_boot_legacy=1 as shown in the screenshot I've linked to below. I set these parameters by hitting CTRL+ALT+=> (with => being the forward arrow, or what would be the F2 key on a normal keyboard) and running the following commands after logging in as the user ďchronosĒ

sudo crossystem dev_boot_usb=1

sudo crossystem dev_boot_legacy=1

http://www.russellhollander.com/wp-c...828_090259.jpg

I just canít figure out where to go from here to get an option to boot from the usb. I checked the USB and was able to boot another laptop with it, so that doesnít seem to be the issue. Iím sure Iím missing something embarrassingly obvious.

Anybody have any suggestions?
 
Old 08-29-2015, 09:07 AM   #2
Keruskerfuerst
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Hardwareinfo?
 
Old 08-29-2015, 09:21 AM   #3
fatmac
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Welcome aboard.
 
Old 08-29-2015, 09:25 AM   #4
russhollander
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It's a Lenovo Thinkpad 11e Chromebook, specs below. If you're looking for something a bit more specific, please let me know and I'll try to find the answer. Thanks!

http://shop.lenovo.com/us/en/laptops...tab-tech_specs

DESCRIPTION THINKPAD YOGA 11E CHROMEBOOK

Processor
Intel Celeron N2930 Processor

Operating System
Google Chrome

Graphics
Integrated HD Graphics

Memory
4.0GB PC3-10600 DDR3L 1333 MHz

Display
11.6" HD LED Anti-Glare (1366 x 768)

Dimensions (W x D x H)
11.81" x 8.5" x 0.87"

WIMAX / WIFI
Intel 7260 2 x 2 AC + Bluetooth 4.0 combo

Weight
3.1 lbs with 4-cell battery

Webcam
720p HD webcam

Storage
16GB eMMC

Battery
Up to 8 hrs

I/O (Input / Output ports)
HDMI 1.4, USB 3.0, USB 2.0, 4-in-1
 
Old 08-29-2015, 09:28 AM   #5
rokytnji
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Have you looked into core boot/seabios yet?

http://www.coreboot.org/Chromebooks

https://johnlewis.ie/custom-chromebook-firmware/faq/

https://johnlewis.ie/custom-chromebo.../rom-download/

Better be careful. I almost bricked this one.

Code:
CHROMEOS_RELEASE_DESCRIPTION
7077.134.0 (Official Build) stable-channel parrot_ivb
These Chromebooks can be easy to trash if you are not sure of what you are doing. Make sure the model number for the one lenovo rom matches your Chromebook. If not. Do not use it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Py4rdoab3xk

Last edited by rokytnji; 08-29-2015 at 09:40 AM.
 
Old 08-31-2015, 12:02 PM   #6
russhollander
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I'll have to look more closely at core boot/seabios. From reading real briefly, it sounds like if I go that route, I'll have to give up on my hopes of keeping Chrome OS around. Definitely should've done more research before buying and just got a model that wasn't going to give me these headaches. Live and learn.

I still have a suspicion I'm missing something obvious. The two commands I set to allow booting from USB and allowing legacy boot make me think it should be possible. I'll have to keep researching.
 
Old 09-01-2015, 10:49 PM   #7
russhollander
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I found another piece of the puzzle, getting closer, but still not all the way there.

Upon booting, before logging in, I hit the CTRL + ALT + => (what would be F2 on a normal keyboard) and actually read all the stuff that shows up in the terminal.

I logged in as chronos, became root, then input the following command:

enable_dev_usb_boot

Supposedly this command would let me boot from USB, or so said all the terminal info at the login prompt. From here, the instructions said to hit CTRL + U at the developer mode screen, and I should be able to boot from USB. I did so, and the device restarted rather than giving me the option to boot from USB, but I can tell I'm getting closer to the answer here. Just need the final piece.
 
Old 09-03-2015, 12:16 PM   #8
russhollander
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For further testing purposes, I tried Fedora Xfce as well as Linux Mint, and on different USB drives, just in case the USB I had really was the problem (doesn't appear to have been since it would boot on other devices) or that the problem was Fedora Workstation for some reason. I wasn't able to boot Fedora Xfce or Linux Mint on the chromebook either, so that suggests to me that whatever the issue is, it's still something on the device itself I haven't figured out.
 
Old 09-18-2015, 09:45 PM   #9
russhollander
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I'm still trying to get this figured out. Been out of town recently and haven't had time to work on it. I tried calling Lenovo technical support just now to see if they'd be willing to walk me through the process, but the lady answering the phone wasn't extremely helpful. Evidently her technician told I just have to use Chrome OS. I don't have any reason to believe that's the case, all indications are that I should be able to boot from USB. Maybe I'm on a wild goose chase, but I won't give up yet. I think my next move is to take it to the next meeting of the KC LUG. I was going to do so last week but had to unexpectedly go to San Francisco all week for work.

If anybody out there has any ideas that haven't been mentioned above yet, I'm very eager to hear them.
 
Old 09-28-2016, 03:59 PM   #10
hydrocat
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Quote:
Originally Posted by russhollander View Post
Hello,
I got a Lenovo Thinkpad 11e Chromebook with the intention of installing Fedora Linux on an SD card to run it. I read several articles beforehand. Most talked about installing Ubuntu or Bodhi, or installing Xubuntu alongside Chrome OS using Crouton, though I did see one article about installing Fedora on a Chromebook Pixel. Guess I shouldíve done some more research on this particular Chromebook ahead of time, or just bought one of the models that people commonly installed Linux on. It seemed at the time like the main thing to do was to pick one with an Intel chip, but I guess thereís possibly more to it than that.

I like the device well enough with Chrome OS, but still really prefer to have a Linux option as well. The problem Iím encountering is that I canít figure out how to get the device to boot from the flashdrive I have Fedora on.

I made a backup of ChromeOS, switched the device to developer mode, and Iíve tried a couple things to get ďlegacy bootĒ to work, but no joy so far. Upon booting, Iíve tried hitting CTRL+L to get legacy boot and then hitting ESC to see a list of options as several articles suggested, but that didnít work. I havenít been able to find any specific documentation on this particular model.

I did find an article that showed me how to set the dev_boot_usb=1 and dev_boot_legacy=1 as shown in the screenshot I've linked to below. I set these parameters by hitting CTRL+ALT+=> (with => being the forward arrow, or what would be the F2 key on a normal keyboard) and running the following commands after logging in as the user ďchronosĒ

sudo crossystem dev_boot_usb=1

sudo crossystem dev_boot_legacy=1

I just canít figure out where to go from here to get an option to boot from the usb. I checked the USB and was able to boot another laptop with it, so that doesnít seem to be the issue. Iím sure Iím missing something embarrassingly obvious.

Anybody have any suggestions?
Did you find anything new ? I just bought the same machine and I feel the same as you..
 
Old 09-29-2016, 12:11 PM   #11
russhollander
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Distribution: Fedora
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Hi @hydrocat,

Ultimately I was able to get it working, using instructions I found here: https://johnlewis.ie/custom-chromebo.../rom-download/

I wrote up a blog post similar to this thread, and John Lewis, who runs the site linked to above pointed me in the right direction. It worked, and for several months I ran Fedora off of an SD card on the 11e chromebook, but ultimately found that I had to be pretty careful in my use. Couldn't have too many programs running at once, couldn't really play any media, or it would freeze up on me. I ultimately converted the firmware back to the standard and just run it as a chromebook, and bought the Windows 10 version of the 11e and run Fedora on that with dual booting instead. I didn't want to lose Chrome OS, so I never actually installed Fedora onto the emmc, probably would've worked better/been more stable if I had. Running it off of the sd card was definitely the weak link. I actually found the Windows 10 version cheaper than the chromebook out on Newegg, and the price was low enough I didn't mind spending the money to get a more traditional laptop with a bigger hard drive and such.

Helpful comments from John Lewis and others on my blog post: http://www.russellhollander.com/2015...ux-and-lenovo/

Good luck!
 
Old 09-29-2016, 01:26 PM   #12
rokytnji
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Yeah. I still have my C710 Celeron Acer Chromebook and am still answering questions on these proprietary units.

http://www.linuxquestions.org/questi...1/#post5610928

http://www.linuxquestions.org/questi...3/#post5610518

Mine still sees service in my motorcycle saddlebags. I like that it can use my Iphone 5S as a wifi hot spot if a tower signal is present on the side of the freeway or road I am cruising on.
 
Old 09-29-2016, 08:07 PM   #13
hydrocat
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Registered: Jun 2016
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@russhollander
Thank you for replying !
Another question is, when you followed John Lewis's instructions, did you use RW_LEGACY, BOOT_STUB or both ?
 
Old 10-02-2016, 11:44 AM   #14
Lettuce Jones
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Registered: Oct 2016
Posts: 1

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Quote:
Originally Posted by russhollander View Post
Hi @hydrocat,

Ultimately I was able to get it working, using instructions I found here:

I wrote up a blog post similar to this thread, and John Lewis, who runs the site linked to above pointed me in the right direction. It worked, and for several months I ran Fedora off of an SD card on the 11e chromebook, but ultimately found that I had to be pretty careful in my use. Couldn't have too many programs running at once, couldn't really play any media, or it would freeze up on me. I ultimately converted the firmware back to the standard and just run it as a chromebook, and bought the Windows 10 version of the 11e and run Fedora on that with dual booting instead. I didn't want to lose Chrome OS, so I never actually installed Fedora onto the emmc, probably would've worked better/been more stable if I had. Running it off of the sd card was definitely the weak link. I actually found the Windows 10 version cheaper than the chromebook out on Newegg, and the price was low enough I didn't mind spending the money to get a more traditional laptop with a bigger hard drive and such.

Helpful comments from John Lewis and others on my blog post:

Good luck!
Hi, I've had this thread bookmarked for more than a year and I've been checking it occasionally to see if there's any solutions. So you got it to work only with SD card? Can booting from USB work?

I just want to occasionally boot my Tails USB drive and browse the web anonymously.

I don't totally understand the instructions from that link.

After I run the command what next? How do I boot from usb after that? Do I need to be in developer mode before running this command?

Last edited by Lettuce Jones; 10-02-2016 at 11:46 AM.
 
  


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