Friday, November 27, 2009

Google Chrom OS Image With Wi-Fi Support For DELL Mini

Chrom OS Bootable USB Image
One of the Dell folks ( DELL-Doug A) has gone through the pains of getting device drivers working with Dell Mini and created a USB drive image. WIth the sprit of Chome OS which is not much of an experience without network connection, the working Broadcom drivers come as a blessing.
To get the image working, you will need a USB key of at least 8GB and a method to get the image on to the USB key in a bootable format. Just copying the image on to a USB key will not work.
If you are on a Lunux machine, you could use the "dd" command to get the image on to an USB key;
dd if=ChromiumOS_Mini10v_Nov25.img of=/dev/sdb  
provided that your USB key is the device sdb. (it could easily be sda or sdc depending on how many storage devices you have on your machine. Take care not to over write one of your hard drive in the process. (You can run "fdisk -l" to list the devices you have).
The image comes with all the goodies as well as some caveats;

  • It will take more than 5-10 *minutes* for the ChromiumOS network connection manager to "see" the access points and allow you to select and connect - be patient.
  • Wired connections appear to work fine and appear quick to connect.
  • There are currently issues with both the connection manager as well as the underlying components (wpa_supplicant) that can easily break or get hung. When in doubt, reboot and give it another try.
  • Use this image at your own risk - it comes to you totally unsupported and very minimally tested.
 Once you get the image on to an USB key and reboot the machine with it plugged in to boot from it. If you are successful in geting the image working please be aware of the following;
  • The user name to login is "dell". The desktop login window will complete the user name by adding "" to the end
  • The user password is "dell"
  • The root password is set to "dell"
  • I've included a script in /etc called "" to allow root (or sudo) to remount the root partition for updates/changes/whatever you like.
 I have just downloaded the image but have not tried it yet.
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