Install Linux on Chromebook Pixel 2 (Samus)

I’ve run crouton on my Chromebook Pixel 2  (2015, codename Samus) for some time now but I’ve found myself wanting more. Virtualbox, kernel access, graphics, and more don’t perform well in a chroot. Thankfully it’s actually pretty easy to dual boot Chrome OS and Linux on your chromebook thanks to chrx (pronounced “marshmallow”?)


The first part of installation is identical to setting up crouton:

  • Enter developer mode:
    Press ESC, Refresh, power simultaneously (when the chromebook is on)

    • Every time you power on the chromebook from now on you’ll get a scary screen. Press CTRL-D to bypass it (or wait 30 seconds)
    • If you hit space on this screen instead of CTRL+D it will powerwash (nuke) your data
      A scary screen will pop up saying the OS is missing or damaged. Press CTRL D, then press Enter when the OS verification screen comes up.
  • Wait several minutes for developer mode to be installed. Note it will wipe your device to do this.

Enable SeaBIOS:

Open up a shell (CTRL + ALT + T, shell, enter) and enter the following

sudo crossystem dev_boot_usb=1 dev_boot_legacy=1

and reboot.

Next, download and run the chrx script twice. The first run will partition and powerwash your system; the second run will actually install GalliumOS (or Ubuntu or Fedora) alongside ChromeOS.

cd ; curl -Os && sudo sh go

reboot after partition, run shell again. You can specify a number of arguments to the go script; I wanted to use Cinnamon on Fedora so these are the ones I used:

cd ; curl -Os && sudo sh go -d fedora -e cinnamon -r latest -H <hostname> -U <username> -Z <timezone>

Fedora took quite a long time to install (1 hour in my case.) Just let the script do its thing. Once complete you can reboot and press CTRL + D for chromeOS or CTRL + L for Linux.

After that, reboot into your new linux environment!

Cleaning up

There were a few samus-specific things I needed to do.


For some reason my locale was set to an African country.  Correct by doing this:  (thanks to here) I added SELinux commands because for some reason I was getting permission denied errors.

sudo setenforce 0
localectl set-locale LANG=en_US.utf8
sudo setenforce 1

Audio doesn’t work (no sound)

This issue stems from the fact that the sound card is not presented as the first available card. The system defaults to HDMI sound instead. Fortunately this page has instructions on how to fix this. If you’re running GalliumOS default you can follow the instructions from the link above. In my case I had to get a bit creative.

  1. Download the samus patches from here
  2. Extract subfolders inside said zip file to root directory
  3. Reboot
  4. run the following:
    1. cp -r /etc/skel/.config $HOME
      sudo samus-alsaenable-speakers
      sudo samus-touch-reset

Success! You can now dual boot between Full blown Linux and ChromeOS on your Chromebook Pixel.

Touchpad / touchscreen stop working after resume

Occasionally my touchpad and touchscreen stop responding after resuming from sleep. The galliumOS-samus fix mentioned above has a handy reset script that fixes this. Simply run:

sudo samus-touch-reset

and your touch functionality is restored. I bound this command to a key shortcut to make things easier.

Virtualbox won’t start

After installing virtualbox I got a strange error message when trying to start VMs:


I found this mention saying that /usr has to be owned by root. Easy enough of a fix:

sudo chown root:root /usr/

Simple network folder mount script for Linux

I wrote a simple little network mount script for Linux desktops. I wanted to replicate my Windows box as best as I could where a bunch of network drives are mapped upon user login. This script relies on having gvfs-mount and the cifs utilities installed (installed by default in Ubuntu.)

#Simple script to mount network drives

#Specify network paths here, one per line
#use forward slash instead of backslash

#Create a symlink to gvfs mounts in home directory
ln -s $XDG_RUNTIME_DIR/gvfs ~/Drive_Mounts

for mountpoint in "${FOLDER[@]}"
  gvfs-mount smb://$mountpoint

Mark this script as executable and place it in /usr/local/bin. Then make it a default startup application for all users:

vim /etc/xdg/autostart/drive-mount.desktop
[Desktop Entry]
Name=Mount Network Drives

Voila, now you’ve got your samba mount script starting up for every user.

Monitor your servers with phpservermonitor

I have a handful of servers and for years I’ve been wanting to get some sort of monitoring in place. Today I tried out php server monitor and found it was pretty easy to set up and use.


The installation process was pretty straightforward.

  • Install PHP, mysql, and apache
  • Create database, user, password, and access rights for mysql
  • Download .tar.gz and extract to /var/www
  • Configure Apache site file to point to phpservermonitor directory
  • Navigate to the IP / URL of your apache server and run the installation script

The above process is documented fairly well on their website. I configured this to run on my Raspberry Pi 2. This was my process:

Install dependencies:

sudo apt-get install php5 php5-curl php5-mysql mysql-server

Configure mysql:

sudo mysql_secure_installation

Create database:

mysql -u root -p
create database phpservermon;
create user 'phpservermon'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'password';
 grant all privileges on phpservermon.* TO 'phpservermon'@'localhost'; 
flush privileges;

Extract phpservermon to /var/www and grant permissions

tar zxvf <phpservermon_gzip_filename> -C /var/www
sudo chown -R www-data /var/www/*

Configure php:

sudo vim /etc/php5/apache2/php.ini
#uncomment date.timezone and set your timezone
date.timezone = "America/Boise"

Configure apache:

sudo cp /etc/apache2/sites-available/default /etc/apache2/sites-available/phpservermon

#Modify /etc/apache2/sites-available/phpservermon server root to point to directory above, also add a ServerName if desired

sudo a2ensite phpservermon
sudo service apache2 reload

Configure cron (I have it check every minute but you can configure whatever you like)

*/1 * * * * /usr/bin/php /var/www/phpservermon/cron/status.cron.php

Navigate to the web address you’ve configured in apache and follow the wizard.

It’s pretty simple but it works! A nice php application to monitor websites and services.


Heroes of the Storm in Linux with Wine

I’ve been wanting to get some of my games to play properly in Linux with Wine. Recently I’ve been able to get Heroes of the Storm working pretty well in Arch Linux. This is what I did to get it working with my NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070.

Update 4/22/2017: Even more changes with wine 2.4-staging. This site is very helpful:

For Wine Staging release 2.3 and later

  • Change Windows Version to Windows XP
    • Open Wine configuration (winecfg) and change setting at the bottom
  • Install Visual C++ 2015 libraries (needed to update games)
    • winetricks vcrun2015
  • If you get errors about not being able to connect / login:
  • Install lib32-libldap and lib32-gnutls
Installer login Workaround:
 - Create a clean 32-bit wineprefix
 - Run the installer with default options
  * It crashes at the very end when it tries to launch, but installation still finishes and succeeds.
 - Overwrite the default config file:
  cd "$WINEPREFIX/users/$(whoami)/Application\ Data/"
  echo "{\"Client\": {\"HardwareAcceleration\": \"false\"}}" > ""
 - Set the default mimicked windows version to Windows XP
 - Run
  wine "$WINEPREFIX/drive_c/Program\ Files/\ Launcher.exe"

Update 3/31/2017: A few things have changed since I wrote this article. I’ll keep the old information for historical purposes, but the process has updated

  1. Install mainstream nvidia drivers
    yaourt -Sy nvidia
  2. Install wine-staging
    pacman -Sy wine-staging
  3. Remove / move existing wine configuration if you have one
    rm -rf ~/.wine
  4. Create new 32bit wine prefix
    WINEARCH=win32 wine wineboot
  5. Enable CSMT by going to the Staging Tab and checking “Enable_CSMT for better graphic performance”
  6. Disable DirectX11 as described in step 3 below

  1. Install beta Nvidia drivers
    1.  yaourt -Sy nvidia-beta
  2. Install wine
    1. pacman -Sy wine
  3. Disable DirectX11 
    1. run winecfg
    2. switch to tab ‘Libraries’
    3. select ‘d3d11’ in the drop-down menu or type it in and click ‘Add’
    4. click ‘edit…’ and set it to disabled
    5. click ‘OK’
  4. Install msttcore fonts
    1. winetricks corefonts
  5. Set Windows version to Windows XP
    1. winetricks winxp
  6. (Dvorak keymap users only) Set keymap to US to allow for hotkeys to work
    1. setxkbmap us

It’s not perfect. splash screens don’t load (no news, patch info) and the first few moments in the game stutter (but it’s fine after that.) Without DX11 the game doesn’t quite look as shiny but is still quite playable. I hope future versions of WINE will help with this problem, but this is what I’m using for now.


Hot swapped disk missing in FreeNAS fix

I hot removed a malfunctioning drive in my FreeNAS unit recently. The problem is its replacement would not show up in available drives. Camcontrol devlist wouldn’t reveal the device, even after camcontrol rescan all.

I found from this site that another command exists – camcontrol reset. I found out which bus to reset (instead of resetting all of them) by looking at logs and noticing the scbus number. Once obtained, I ran the following commands (the last number refers to the bus my drive was on)

sudo camcontrol reset 10
sudo camcontrol rescan 10

That did the trick! The drive was suddenly visible by the FreeNAS system once more.