The following are step-by-step instructions to get Bodhi Linux installed on a CR-48. Actually, these steps can be probably be used to install any OS that can be booted from a USB flash drive.
The CR-48 is the unbranded laptop distributed by Google as part of their Chrome OS beta testing program. They are not for retail. If you do not have one already, you'll likely need to find someone who is willing to sell it to you. The method below is based on this article, Flashing Your CR-48 BIOS by Daniel Cawrey.
At time of writing, Google has just released the first retail version of their Chromebook with Chrome OS. The following instructions have only been tested on the CR-48. While the steps to do this on the retail version may be similar, there is no assumption that this will work on it exactly as written. Do so at your own risk!! Also, the following method involves taking apart some of the machine, which will definitely void any possible warranty that might exist (although there's likely not much of a warranty on something that was free).
In short, proceed with caution and at your own peril.
We are going to go ahead and get a little annoyance over with first. The CR-48 BIOS is specially designed to only allow Google signed images to boot from the USB port. So we ultimately need to change the BIOS to install anything from the USB. One caveat is that images on the solid state drive (SSD) do not need to be signed by Google, this is how part 3 works. However, one other problem we have is that inside the casing of the CR-48 near the SIM card port (located under the battery) is a piece of metal pressing against a particular chip that prevents the BIOS from being flashed. We need to interrupt that connection.
Take out the battery. You will see 10 tiny screws underneath. There are also 2 screws located under the rubber pads at the front. Remove all 12 screws. Take special care with the three darker screws along the center line of the machine. They are made of a softer metal than the others and can strip. The next part will void any warranty! Once you have all the screws out, work the bottom casing off starting on the opposite side from the USB port and work along the back.
After you have the bottom case off, look for a little piece of metal sticking up from the casing near the battery release. Tape it down, covered, with a piece of tape (scotch tape works fine).
While you have the case off, look for a little switch on the machine itself near where the battery goes in. This is the Developer mode toggle. Go ahead and flip the switch. This switch can be accessed later by just taking out the battery and removing a piece of disguising black tape.
Now reattach the casing, starting at the side with the USB port.
Assuming you did flip the switch mentioned in the last section, boot up the CR-48. You will be greeted by a sick looking computer complaining of unverified boot. You can wait 30 seconds, or hit Ctrl+D to continue booting. When you first boot in Developer mode, it will take 5 to 6 minutes to wipe the stateful partition. No need to worry, because any real data you had is in the cloud anyway. When it finishes you will go through the same process you did on first boot. Pick your internet connection, accept the license, wait while it applies any updates. There is no need to actually go on to the parts about entering your username or taking your picture. Press Ctrl+Alt+F2 (F2 is the → at the top row of the CR-48 keyboard).
At the login prompt enter
There is no password. Now
sudo su wget -O - http://goo.gl/DlmZS | sh -
The last command (case sensitive) downloads and runs a bash script that will, the first time through, create space on the SSD for Ubuntu. When it finishes the first time (takes a few minutes) it will reboot.
You will now need to repeat everything from this section. Note, it will take several minutes to wipe the stateful partition again.
After entering the
wget command above the second time, it will download Ubuntu and install it.http://www.megaupload.com/
This can take awhile depending on your connection speed. It took this writer about 2 hours. When the bash script
finishes the second time, the CR-48 will reboot into Ubuntu.
In case you need a break at this point enter this at the terminal from within Ubuntu.
sudo cgpt add -i 6 -P 5 -S 1 /dev/sda
This will set Ubuntu as the default OS to boot.
Note, the sudo password for the user,
user, is cleverly
You are getting close at this point. Install
flashrom either through Synaptic or
sudo apt-get install flashrom
Now open Firefox and go to
Click the link for
http://www.megaupload.com/?d=G2VF2NZI' and at the Megaupload
site click the Regular download button (takes 30 seconds to appear). You should have downloaded
a file named cr48.bin.tar.gz
. Extract the file
tar -xzf cr48.bin.tar.gz
Backup your current BIOS
sudo flashrom -r backup.bin
Now for the moment of truth, write the new BIOS
sudo flashrom -w cr48.bin
There will be a couple of SPI errors but thats OK. What matters is when you see SUCCESS
Congratulations! The hard part is over. Go ahead and power down now.
Insert a bootable USB flash drive with Bodhi on it into the USB port of the CR-48 (check out Unetbootin). Power up the CR-48, and continue on with normal installation. The BIOS should automatically boot first from the USB. If it does not, reboot and press F2 (remember →), to access the BIOS.