November 23, 2012

Running Linux on the Series 3 Chromebook

Last month Google and Samsung released the first commercially available product using the ARM® Cortexâ¢-A15 SoC design: the new Series 3 Chromebook. Not only does the Chromebook have the new Samsung Exynos 5250 providing the core compute power, but it also has the new ARM Maliâ¢-T604 providing the power to move all those pixels around. As with previous Chromebooks, it uses a custom operating system known as ChromeOS (which is based loosely on Gentoo Linux). If you've ever used either the Chrome or Chromium browser from Google you'll have no issues, as everything is orientated around the browser.

I'm not going to be doing a review of the new Chromebook, there are plenty of those available. What I am going to talk about is getting a full blown Linux environment onto the Chromebook. Why would someone wish to do this, instead of just using Chrome OS? The reasons will be wide and varied, my own reasons for doing so are for development and testing of applications and other items on the ARM architecture. ARM Cortex-A15 introduces some new extensions to the ARM architecture that many developers would find interesting, like support for hardware virtualization. To be able to leverage these extensions and to explore what the hardware can do, one needs to have a development environment that can facilitate such work. This is where having a full Linux environment comes in.

Read More at the ARM Blog.

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