brunch

by sebanc

sebanc / brunch

Boot ChromeOS on x86_64 PC (supports most Intel CPU/GPU or AMD Stoney Ridge)

656 Stars 65 Forks Last release: about 1 month ago (r85-k4.19-testing-20200919) GNU General Public License v3.0 34 Commits 13 Releases

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Brunch framework

Overview

First of all, thanks goes to project Croissant, the swtpm maintainer and the Chromebrew framework for their work which was actively used when creating this project.

The Brunch framework purpose is to create a generic x86_64 ChromeOS image from an official recovery image. To do so, it uses a 1GB ROOTC partition (containing a custom kernel, an initramfs, the swtpm binaries, userspace patches and config files) and a specific EFI partition to boot from it.

Warning: As Brunch is not the intended way for ChromeOS to work, at some point a ChromeOS script could potentially behave badly with Brunch and delete data unexpectedly (even on non-ChromeOS partitions). Also, ChromeOS recovery images include device firmware updates that a close enough device might potentially accept and get flashed with the wrong firmware. By installing Brunch you agree to take those risks and I cannot be held responsible for anything bad that would happen to your device including data loss. It is therefore highly recommended to only use this framework on a device which does not contain any sensitive data and to keep non-sensitive data synced with a cloud service.

Hardware support and added features

Hardware support is highly dependent on the general Linux kernel hardware compatibility. As such only Linux supported hardware will work and the same specific kernel command line options recommended for your device should be passed through the GRUB bootloader (see "Modify the GRUB bootloader" section).

Base hardware compatibility: - x8664 computers with UEFI boot support, - Intel hardware (CPU and GPU) starting from 1st generation "Nehalem" (refer to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IntelCore), - AMD Stoney Ridge (refer to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ListofAMDacceleratedprocessing_units), only with "grunt" recovery image (older AMD CPU and Ryzen models are not supported), - Nvidia graphic cards are also not supported.

An alternative procedure exist for bios/mbr devices (however note that the dual boot method is not supported). Follow the same procedure as described below but after extracting the brunch release, extract in the same folder the "mbr_suport.tar.gz" package that you will find in this branch (master).

Specific hardware support: - sensors: an experimental patch aims to allow intel ISH accelerometer and light sensors through a custom kernel module, - Microsoft Surface devices: dedicated kernel patches are included.

Additional features: - nano text editor - qemu (with spice support)

ChromeOS recovery images

2 types of ChromeOS recovery images exist and use different device configuration mechanisms: - non-unibuild images: configured for single device configurations like eve (Google Pixelbook) and nocturne (Google Pixel Slate) for example. - unibuild images: intended to manage multiple devices through the use of the CrosConfig tool.

Contrarily to the Croissant framework which mostly supports non-unibuilds images (configuration and access to android apps), Brunch should work with both but will provide better hardware support for unibuild images.

Currently: - "rammus" is the recommended image for devices with 4th generation Intel CPU and newer. - "samus" is the recommended image for devices with 3rd generation Intel CPU and older. - "grunt" is the image to use if you have supported AMD hardware.

ChromeOS recovery images can be downloaded from: https://cros-updates-serving.appspot.com/ or https://cros.tech/

Install instructions

You can install ChromeOS on a USB flash drive / SD card (16GB minimum) or as an image on your hard disk for dual booting (14GB of free space needed).

Install ChromeOS from Linux (the easiest way)

Requirements

  • root access.
  • pv
    ,
    tar
    and
    cgpt
    packages/binaries.

Install ChromeOS on a USB flash drive / SD card

  1. Download the ChromeOS recovery image and extract it.
  2. Download the Brunch release corresponding to the ChromeOS recovery image version you have downloaded (from the GitHub release section).
  3. Open a terminal, navigate to the directory containing the package.
  4. Extract it:
    tar zxvf brunch_< version >.tar.gz
    
  5. Identify your USB flash drive / SD card device name e.g. /dev/sdX (Be careful here as the installer will erase all data on the target drive)
  6. Install ChromeOS on the USB flash drive / SD card:
    sudo bash chromeos-install.sh -src < path to the ChromeOS recovery image > -dst < your USB flash drive / SD card device. e.g. /dev/sdX >
    
  7. Reboot your computer and boot from the USB flash drive / SD card (refer to your computer manufacturer's online resources).
  8. (Secure Boot only) A blue screen saying "Verfification failed: (15) Access Denied" will appear upon boot and you will have to enroll the secure boot key by selecting "OK->Enroll key from disk->EFI-SYSTEM->brunch.der->Continue". Reboot your computer and boot again from the USB flash drive / SD card.

The GRUB menu should appear, select ChromeOS and after a few minutes (the Brunch framework is building itself on the first boot), you should be greeted by ChromeOS startup screen. You can now start using ChromeOS.

Dual Boot ChromeOS from your HDD

ChromeOS partition scheme is very specific which makes it difficult to dual boot. One solution to circumvent that is to keep ChromeOS in a disk image on the hard drive and run it from there.

Make sure you have an ext4 or NTFS partition with at least 14gb of free space available and no encryption or create one (refer to online resources).

  1. Perform the steps 1 to 4 as described in the previous section (Install ChromeOS on a USB flash drive / SD card), boot to Chrome OS and open crosh(Chrome OS terminal).
  2. Mount the unencrypted ext4 or NTFS partition on which we will create the disk image to boot from:
    mkdir -p ~/tmpmount
    sudo mount < the destination partition (ext4 or ntfs) which will contain the disk image > ~/tmpmount
    
  3. Create the ChromeOS disk image:
    sudo bash chromeos-install.sh -src < path to the ChromeOS recovery image > -dst ~/tmpmount/chromeos.img -s < size you want to give to your chromeos install in GB (system partitions will take around 10GB, the rest will be for your data) >
    
  4. Copy the GRUB configuration which appears in the terminal at the end of the process (between lines with stars) to either:
  5. your hard disk GRUB install if you have one (refer to you distro's online resources).
  6. the USB flash drive / SD card GRUB config file (then boot from USB flash drive / SD card and choose "boot from disk image" in the GRUB menu),
  7. Unmout the destination partition
    sudo umount ~/tmpmount
    
  8. (secure boot only) Download the secure boot key "brunch.der" in this branch (master) of the repository and enroll it by running the command:
    sudo mokutil --import brunch.der
    
  9. Reboot your computer and boot to the bootloader with the modified GRUB config.

The GRUB menu should appear, select "ChromeOS (boot from disk image)" and after a few minutes (the Brunch framework is building itself on the first boot), you should be greeted by ChromeOS startup screen. You can now start using ChromeOS from your HDD.

Install ChromeOS from Windows

Requirements

  • Administrator access.

Install ChromeOS on a USB flash drive / SD card

  1. Download the ChromeOS recovery image and extract it.
  2. Download the Brunch release corresponding to the ChromeOS recovery version you have downloaded (from the GitHub release section).
  3. Install the Ubuntu WSL from the Microsoft store (refer to online resources).
  4. Launch Ubuntu WSL and install pv, tar and cgpt packages:
    sudo apt update && sudo apt install pv tar cgpt
    
  5. Browse to your Downloads folder using
    cd
    :
    cd /mnt/c/Users/< username >/Downloads/
    
  6. Extract the package:
    sudo tar zxvf brunch_< version >.tar.gz
    
  7. Make sure you have at least 14gb of free space available
  8. Create a ChromeOS image:
    sudo bash chromeos-install.sh -src < path to the ChromeOS recovery image > -dst chromeos.img
    
  9. Use "Rufus" (https://rufus.ie/) to write the chromeos.img to the USB flash drive / SD card.
  10. Reboot your computer and boot from the USB flash drive / SD card (refer to your computer manufacturer's online resources).
  11. (Secure Boot only) A blue screen saying "Verfification failed: (15) Access Denied" will appear upon boot and you will have to enroll the secure boot key by selecting "OK->Enroll key from disk->EFI-SYSTEM->brunch.der->Continue". Reboot your computer and boot again from the USB flash drive / SD card.
  12. The GRUB menu should appear, select ChromeOS and after a few minutes (the Brunch framework is building itself on the first boot), you should be greeted by ChromeOS startup screen. At this stage, your USB flash drive / SD card is incorrectly recognized as 14GB regardless of its actual capacity. To fix this:
  13. At the ChromeOS startup screen, press CTRL+ALT+F2 to go into a shell session.
  14. Login as
    root
  15. Execute the below command:
    sudo resize-data
    
  16. Reboot your computer when requested and boot again from USB flash drive / SD card. You can now start using ChromeOS.

Dual Boot ChromeOS from your HDD

  1. Make sure you have a NTFS partition with at least 14gb of free space available and no BitLocker encryption or create one (refer to online resources).
  2. Create a ChromeOS USB flash drive / SD card using the above method (Install ChromeOS on a USB flash drive / SD card) and boot it.
  3. Open the ChromeOS shell (CTRL+ALT+T and enter
    shell
    at the invite)
  4. Mount the unencrypted ext4 or NTFS partition on which we will create the disk image to boot from:
    mkdir -p ~/tmpmount
    sudo mount < the destination partition (ext4 or ntfs) which will contain the disk image > ~/tmpmount
    
  5. Create the ChromeOS disk image:
    sudo bash chromeos-install -dst ~/tmpmount/chromeos.img -s < size you want to give to your chromeos install in GB (system partitions will take around 10GB, the rest will be for your data) >
    
  6. Copy the GRUB configuration which is displayed in the terminal (select it and CTRL+SHIFT+C), run
    sudo edit-grub-config
    , move to line 2 and paste the text (CTRL+SHIFT+V). Save and exit.
  7. Unmout the destination partition
    sudo umount ~/tmpmount
    
  8. Disable "Fast startup" in Windows (refer to online resources).
  9. Reboot your computer and boot from USB flash drive / SD card.

The GRUB menu should appear, select "ChromeOS (boot from disk image)" and you should be greeted by ChromeOS startup screen. You can now start using ChromeOS from your HDD.

Install ChromeOS on HDD from ChromeOS

  1. Boot your ChromeOS USB flash drive / SD card.
  2. Open the ChromeOS shell (CTRL+ALT+T and enter
    shell
    at the invite)
  3. Identify your HDD device name e.g. /dev/sdX (Be careful here as the installer will erase all data on the target drive)
  4. Install ChromeOS to HDD:
    sudo chromeos-install -dst < your HDD device. e.g. /dev/sdX >
    
  5. Shutdown your computer and remove your ChromeOS USB flash drive / SD card.

Note: Even if you boot from GRUB on your HDD, if you have a ChromeOS USB flash drive / SD card inserted, the initramfs will boot from it in priority.

The GRUB menu should appear, select ChromeOS and after a few minutes (the Brunch framework is building itself on the first boot), you should be greeted by ChromeOS startup screen. You can now start using ChromeOS.

Optional steps

Framework options

Some options can be passed through the kernel command lines to activate specific features which might be dangerous or not work from everyone: - "enableupdates": allow native ChromeOS updates (use at your own risk: ChromeOS will be updated but not the Brunch framework/kernel which might render your ChromeOS install unstable or even unbootable), - "androidinitfix": alternative init to support devices on which the android container fails to start with the standard init. - "mountinternaldrives": allows automatic mounting of HDD partitions in ChromeOS (android media server will scan those drives which will cause high CPU usage until it has finished, it might take hours depending on your data), partition label will be used if it exists, - "broadcomwl": enable this option if you need the broadcomwl module, - "iwlwifibackport": enable this option if your intel wireless card is not supported natively in the kernel, - "rtl8188eu": enable this option if you have a rtl8188eu wireless card, - "rtl8723bu": enable this option if you have a rtl8723bu wireless card, - "rtl8723de": enable this option if you have a rtl8723de wireless card, - "rtl8821ce": enable this option if you have a rtl8821ce wireless card, - "rtbth": enable this option if you have a RT3290/RT3298LE bluetooth device, - "acpipowerbutton": try this option if long pressing the power button does not display the power menu, - "alttouchpadconfig": try this option if you have touchpad issues, - "alttouchpadconfig2": another option to try if you have touchpad issues, - "disableintelhda": some Chromebooks need to blacklist the sndhdaintel module, use this option to reproduce it, - "internalmicfix": allows to forcefully enable internal mic on some devices, - "asusc302": applies asus c302 specific firmwares and fixes, - "baytrailchromebook": applies baytrail chromebooks specific audio fixes, - "sysfstabletmode": allow to control tablet mode from sysfs (

echo 1 | sudo tee /sys/bus/platform/devices/tablet_mode_switch.0/tablet_mode
to acivate it or use 0 to disable it), - "forcetabletmode": same as above except tablet mode is enabled by default on boot, - "suspends3": disable suspend to idle (S0ix) and use S3 suspend instead, - "advancedals": default ChromeOS auto-brightness is very basic (https://chromium.googlesource.com/chromiumos/platform2/+/master/powermanager/docs/screenbrightness.md). This option activates more auto-brightness levels (based on the Google Pixel Slate implementation).

Add "options=option1,option2,..." (without spaces) to the kernel command line to activate them.

For example: booting with "options=enableupdates,advancedals" will activate both options.

Kernel command line parameters

Those are not options, just add them on the kernel command line after "crosdebug" and before "options=...." if any: - "enforcehyperthreading=1": improve performance by disabling a ChromeOS security feature and forcing hyperthreading everywhere (even in crositini). - "console=": No text will be displayed on boot (it will not make boot faster).

Identify the installed Brunch framework version

  1. Open the ChromeOS shell (CTRL+ALT+T and enter
    shell
    at the invite)
  2. Display the Brunch version:
    cat /etc/brunch_version
    

Update both ChromeOS and the Brunch framework

It is currently recommended to only update ChromeOS when the matching version of the Brunch framework has been released.

  1. Download the new ChromeOS recovery image version and extract it.
  2. Download the Brunch release corresponding to the ChromeOS recovery version (from the GitHub release section).
  3. Open the ChromeOS shell (CTRL+ALT+T and enter
    shell
    at the invite)
  4. Update both ChromeOS and Brunch:
    sudo chromeos-update -r < path to the ChromeOS recovery image > -f < path to the Brunch release archive >
    
  5. Restart ChromeOS

Update only the Brunch framework

If you chose to use the "enable_updates" option and have updated to a new ChromeOS release, you might want to update the brunch framework to match your current ChromeOS version.

  1. Download the Brunch release corresponding to your ChromeOS version (from the GitHub release section).
  2. Open the ChromeOS shell (CTRL+ALT+T and enter
    shell
    at the invite)
  3. Update Brunch:
    sudo chromeos-update -f < path to the Brunch release archive >
    
  4. Restart ChromeOS

Modify the GRUB bootloader

From Windows

  1. Install notepad++ (https://notepad-plus-plus.org/)
  2. Look for the EFI partition in the Explorer and browse to the efi/boot folder.
  3. Edit the grub.cfg file with notepad++ (warning: editing this file with standard Notepad or Wordpad will render the file unusable and prevent GRUB from booting due to formatting issues)
  4. Add your specific kernel parameters at the end of the Linux line arguments.

From Linux

  1. Create a directory to mount the EFI partition:
    mkdir /tmp/efi_part
    
  2. Mount the partition 12 of your device to your EFI partition:
    sudo mount /dev/< partition 12 of ChromeOS device > /tmp/efi_part
    
  3. Edit the file /tmp/efi_part/efi/boot/grub.cfg with your favorite editor (launched as root).
  4. Unmount the partition:
    sudo umount /tmp/efi_part
    

From ChromeOS

Run

sudo edit-grub-config

FAQ

1) The instructions are difficult to follow as I am not familiar with Linux commands.

I cannot not go much deeper into details here for now but I will try to clarify the install process once I see the main pain points. Nevertheless, ChromeOS is based on Linux and it would probably be interesting for you to read online resources on Linux basics before attempting this.

2) My computer will not boot the created USB flash drive / SD card whereas it normally can (and I have correctly followed the instructions).

Some devices (notably Surface Go) will not boot a valid USB flash drive / SD card with secure boot on even if the shim binary is signed. For those devices, you will need to disable secure boot in your bios settings and use the legacy EFI bootloader by adding the "-l" parameter when running the chromeos-install.sh script.

3) The first boot and the ones after a framework change or an update are incredibly long.

Unfortunately, the Brunch framework has to rebuild itself by copying the original rootfs, modules and firmware files after each significant change. The time this process takes depends mostly on your USB flash drive / SD card write speed. You may try with one that has better write speed or use the dual boot method to install it on your HDD.

4) ChromeOS reboots randomly.

This can in theory be due to a lot of things. However, the most likely reason is that your USB flash drive / SD card is too slow. You may try with one that has better write speed or use the dual boot method to install it on your HDD.

5) Some apps do not appear on the playstore (Netflix...)

In order to have access to the ChromeOS shell, ChromeOS is started in developer mode by default. If you have a stable enough system, you can remove "cros_debug" from the GRUB kernel command line (see "Modify the GRUB bootloader" section) and then do a Powerwash (ChromeOS mechanism which will wipe all your data partition) to disable developer mode.

6) Some apps on the Playstore show as incompatible with my device.

Some Playstore apps are not compatible with genuine Chromebooks so it is probably normal.

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