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I like the specs, feel, and the price of the current Chromebooks, unfortunately ChromeOS won't cut it for me. I've heard of people installing Ubuntu on the CR-48 model, is this possible on the Acer AC700 or the Samsung Series 5? Is the hardware supported, ie. wifi, 3g?

Does this seem reasonable, or is there a similar class machine (size, weight, price) that I'm missing that would be better suited to install Ubuntu?

Edit: The Samsung Series 5 is $430, with a 1.66 GHz Intel Atom dual-core and 2gb of RAM that weights 3.3 pounds.

My uses include editing text files, running a browser, and basic development utilities. Just standard Ubuntu fare.

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To able to give a reasonable answer to this question you should add the relevant hardware specifications for the computers you're looking at and what you plan to do on the computer (so we can know what kind of support you need). –  N.N. Jun 28 '11 at 18:10
    
@N.N. - To be fair, he did provide the models he wants information on. The details are a bit much for putting in a comment, but I found the following links that should have the relevant information: amazon.com/Acer-AC761-1099-AC700-Chromebook-Wi-Fi/dp/B00507ALBG samsung.com/us/computer/chromebook/XE500C21-A03US –  Shauna Jun 28 '11 at 18:24
    
Well, I found a video of someone doing it, so it looks possible. If it's reasonable is still undetermined. –  Marcus Booster Jun 28 '11 at 20:26

5 Answers 5

Just an FYI to save other hassle: It's my understanding that unless you want to install a BIOS chip you're stuck with the chrome OS kernel, and can only replace the userspace with Ubuntu. Depending on what you need/want this may be enough, or it may not be. But if you're expecting to just make a normal Ubuntu install, don't. Chrome OS netbooks apparently can't even boot from USB keys.

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Ubuntu does work on Atom platforms. They had at one time released a Netbook version which was tailored for Atom chips, but they have since rolled that into the 11.04 release.

https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Installation/SystemRequirements

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I would recommend checking the SSD, whether it is SLC or MLC. If it is the former, Ubuntu will probably wear the SSD drive out more quickly than Chrome OS would.

I say this having had an Acer Aspire One laptop. The SSD that it was provided with was very slow when using Ubuntu or Windows XP, but on installing Chromium OS, there was a marked speed boost as disk writes were significantly decreased.

It may be that my SSD was a previous generation; essentially if you can hold on for anecdotal evidence of Ubuntu's performance on this particular Chromebook, you could potentially save yourself some bother.

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I am also waiting for my Samsung 5 Chromebook being delivered. I have tried the Chrome OS on another same machine, and found that it is purely not designed for advanced users, at least for now. So I did some research on other OS alternatives. Here are some clues:

  • Ubuntu works on its prototype, CR-48. However the performance, energy efficiency is unknown yet.

  • Samsung 5 Chromebook has almost the same (or even superior) hardware configuration as the existing netbook. Here is the comparison between Samsung 5 chromebook and Samsung NF310 (with Win 7 Starter installed)

CPU: N570 1.66GHz - N550 1.5GHz

RAM: DDR3 2GB - (DDR3?) 1GB

HDR: 16GB SSD - 250GB HDD (5400 rpm)

DIS: NM 10 - GMA 3150

NET: 802.11 b/n/g

Here the difference:

  • disk space and speed: SSD should have better read performance than HDD. So the only case is whether the OS takes too much space.

  • video performance: some research releases that NM10 is just a re-branded GMA x3100, so it should be more-or-less the same.

So I think Win 7 will also be an option, however it may take more space than the netbook version of ubuntu.

Updated: the SSD installed is SDSA4DH-016G, which is a SLC-NAND. As mentioned by Ruairi Fullam, it may be a big problem on the fast worn-out...

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Another idea is, there should be OS designed for SSD hardwares. One of them may be the mac os x for macbook air. I don't know whether there is any optimization for SSD however... –  asksw0rder Jul 9 '11 at 19:04

http://chromeos-cr48.blogspot.com/2011/04/ubuntu-1104-for-cr-48-is-ready.html

If you read down the comments someone has stated that the same script works for the Samsung Series 5. You just have to find out where the devel switch is. I believe its actually easier to locate than that of the cr48.

I'm in the same boat you are I like the specs on the Chromebook and would rather run Ubuntu.

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