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This guide details the generic part of installing Gentoo on a Chromebook.


Check Category:Chromebooks first, as some pages may contain additional installation methods.


Check ASUS Chromebook C201/Installing_Gentoo.


There are two main ways to run Gentoo Linux on a Chromebook - relying on stock firmware or relying on custom firmware. By default, all Chromebooks use Chrome OS (stock) firmware, which varies by Chromebook generation and processor architecture. Depending on the stock firmware, a Chromebook may be able to boot another operating system without the need to flash a custom firmware. [1] The stock firmware should only be used in case if there is a plan to use Chrome OS or if there is no custom firmware for the Chromebook. The reason is that all Chrome OS devices have an expiration date. After the expiration date, the stock firmware will not receive security updates or bug fixes.

Installation relying on custom firmware

Flashing custom firmware may result in damage to the hardware or loss of data.

Flashing requires disabling hardware write protection and enabling developer mode.

Disabling hardware write protection
Disabling hardware write protection requires physical interaction with the motherboard (except when using SuzyQable). There have been cases of people unknowingly damaging the motherboard. [2] Therefore, it is very important to find an official manual from the manufacturer that tells how to open the Chromebook.

Depending on the model, there are four possible ways to disable hardware write protection:

  • screw
  • jumper
  • CR50 (battery removal or SuzyQable)
  • CR50 (SuzyQable)

To find the appropriate method for a certain Chromebook model, MrChromebox's table can be used, or in the case of SuzyQable, another table. It is important to keep in mind that some models have incorrect CR50 implementation, for them SuzyQable will not work, only battery removal (or soldering). [3]

Enabling Developer Mode
Enabling developer mode will wipe all existing data on the disk.

To enable developer mode, follow instructions provided here.

Flashing the custom firmware
There's a chance that the Chromebook will turn into a brick.

See MrChromebox's Firmware Utility Script.

After flashing the UEFI firmware, installing Gentoo is rather straightforward: boot on a liveUSB and follow the Handbook as if installing on a regular machine.




The layout is supported by Xorg:

FILE /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/10-keyboard.conf
Section "InputClass"
  Identifier "Keyboard"
  MatchProduct "AT Translated Set 2 keyboard"
  MatchIsKeyboard "on"
  Option "XkbModel" "chromebook"

The MatchProduct section might not fit the hardware, to check the correct name, use:

user $grep "Using input driver" /var/log/Xorg.0.log
[617682.560] (II) Using input driver 'libinput' for 'AT Translated Set 2 keyboard'

Missing keys

Since some keys are missing, they are emulated with Right Alt:

  • Right Alt+Backspace = Delete
  • Right Alt+Left = Home
  • Right Alt+Right = End
  • Right Alt+Up = PgUp
  • Right Alt+Down = PgDn
  • Right Alt+Search = Caps Lock
  • Right Alt+F1 to F10 = F1 to F10

Extra keys

Search is treated as a super key (Super_L)

Multimedia keys

The multimedia keys should works as expected, except:

  • fullscreen (in the F4 spot) will be treated as F11
  • next tab/window (in the F5 spot) will be treated as F5

When used with Ctrl or Alt or Shift, these keys will behave as F1 to F10.

Example: Alt+Reload = Alt+F3


Sound does not work

Check this article.

How to reboot

Since there is no Delete key, it is impossible to use Ctrl+Alt+Delete. There is also no Sys key, making it impossible to use the Magic Keys.

Fortunately the firmware has a few keyboard shortcuts available:

  • Power for several seconds = power off
  • Reload+Power = instant reboot

Stuck at the warning screen

Try using Esc+Reload+Power to force a firmware reset

Entering or leaving Developer Mode will completely erase the Chromebook's disk drive! Proceed with this caution in mind!

If that is not enough, follow the official procedure

Unexpected reboot when coming out of suspend to RAM

This can be caused by a missing TPM (Trusted Platform Module) driver in the kernel, see in Drivers → Character Devices

See also

External resources