Baytrail Release

IMG_20150620_153449As some of you on the G+ community are aware, I made a bit of a breakthrough with Baytrail last weekend. I’ve spent a lot of time this week trying to build the BOOT_STUB CBFS in such a way as to get reasonable behaviour, and I’ve gone about as far as I’m going to at this point in time. I think it’s probably best to list the things which are known not working, so you are going in with your eyes wide open:

  • T̶h̶e̶ ̶b̶o̶o̶t̶ ̶m̶e̶n̶u̶ ̶w̶o̶n̶’̶t̶ ̶b̶o̶o̶t̶ ̶a̶n̶y̶t̶h̶i̶n̶g̶ ̶u̶n̶l̶e̶s̶s̶ ̶y̶o̶u̶ ̶p̶r̶e̶s̶s̶ ̶a̶ ̶k̶e̶y̶.̶
  • T̶h̶e̶ ̶p̶a̶y̶l̶o̶a̶d̶ ̶w̶i̶l̶l̶ ̶n̶o̶t̶ ̶r̶e̶c̶o̶g̶n̶i̶s̶e̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶e̶M̶M̶C̶ ̶d̶e̶s̶p̶i̶t̶e̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶C̶h̶r̶o̶m̶e̶O̶S̶ ̶S̶e̶a̶B̶I̶O̶S̶ ̶b̶r̶a̶n̶c̶h̶ ̶h̶a̶v̶i̶n̶g̶ ̶p̶a̶t̶c̶h̶e̶s̶ ̶s̶p̶e̶c̶i̶f̶i̶c̶a̶l̶l̶y̶ ̶f̶o̶r̶ ̶e̶M̶M̶C̶/̶S̶D̶.̶
  • O̶n̶ ̶s̶o̶m̶e̶ ̶m̶o̶d̶e̶l̶s̶ ̶b̶o̶o̶t̶i̶n̶g̶ ̶f̶r̶o̶m̶ ̶S̶D̶ ̶d̶o̶e̶s̶ ̶n̶o̶t̶ ̶w̶o̶r̶k̶ ̶a̶t̶ ̶a̶l̶l̶ ̶d̶u̶e̶ ̶t̶o̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶c̶o̶n̶t̶r̶o̶l̶l̶e̶r̶ ̶b̶e̶i̶n̶g̶ ̶i̶n̶ ̶A̶C̶P̶I̶ ̶m̶o̶d̶e̶ ̶a̶n̶d̶ ̶S̶e̶a̶B̶I̶O̶S̶ ̶n̶o̶t̶ ̶c̶u̶r̶r̶e̶n̶t̶l̶y̶ ̶c̶a̶t̶e̶r̶i̶n̶g̶ ̶f̶o̶r̶ ̶t̶h̶a̶t̶.̶
  • Sound does not yet work in Linux (although the hardware is recognised, possibly a sound “profile” issue).
  • It may have issues with certain models of USB stick, and possibly some SD cards too (although it was happy enough with the 2GB, 8GB MicroSD, and 32GB SD cards I have).

Having said all that, what does work:

  • It will happily boot from many SD/USB cards/sticks.
  • If you’ve kernel >= 4.x  the mouse works OOTB.
  • It’s more or less usable (except for the aforementioned sound).

Go, have fun, but most of all DON’T ask me to fix any of it, because I’m not a coder. Once some more code is added to ChromeOS SeaBIOS (there hasn’t been a commit since December), I will happily update the payload to see if anything’s been fixed.

39 thoughts on “Baytrail Release”

  1. 1.) Thanks! Looking forward to giving this a go!
    2.) Is this something that will only boot Linux?

  2. Sweet, using Fedora on Toshiba Chromebook 2 (swanky), can’t seem to get it to boot of the few SD cards I’ve got – but can with my plethora of USB keys. Any chance you can share the make/model of an SD card that worked for you?

    1. Okay, I will have a look when I get back home. Actually I can’t see what the make of the biggest one is, because it’s wrapped in black insulation tape following a break.

  3. This is what I’ve been waiting for — a way to straight boot the Toshiba CB2 (Swanky) into Linux. But will probably wait until next iteration of SeaBIOS, as sound is important to my use case.

    Matt Thomas: can you please confirm that the listed “known not working” all apply to the Tosh CB2?

    Thanks JL for your work on this.

    1. The sound issue isn’t down to SeaBIOS. Check out the Arch Chromebook Wiki, or alternatively copy the asound.state from ChromeOS into the appropriate place in your distro.

  4. Sweet!!! :) Cheers John, can confirm Asus C300MA is working after taking screw out :) Shame SSD isn’t working :(
    Any idea why that is?

    1. No problem, and it’s an eMMC not an SSD.

      Yes, lots – even though the version of SeaBIOS contained has patches specifically for eMMC/SD, eMMC won’t work. Additionally, it’s picky about the USB/SD devices it’s happy with. But of course, you already know this because you read the ROM Download page and linked documentation. ;)

      You should be able to get your distro’s installer to use an SD/USB as /boot, the eMMC as /, and also install Grub to your USB/SD. That way you can use the internal storage for your system even though SeaBIOS won’t boot from it directly.

  5. Hi John,
    Can you advise what SD cards are working for booting at all? (from your experience) :)
    I’ve tried quite a few neither of which worked :( I hateUSB sticking out of my netbook :P

  6. I’m sorry cause I’m sure I sound ridiculous but I really cannot find the download link anywhere on the rom download page. Can someone help me?

  7. Any chance of this working on the Baytrail Samsung Chromebook 2? Model is WINKY E2A-F2K-Q35…willing to test it…thanks in advance!

  8. For whatever reason, I’ve found that booting off of a flash drive lets you access the eMMC… I’m completely in the dark when it comes to how the SeaBIOS works, so even if I did find the solution I would be unable to make it work.

  9. Im sorry if this question has been addressed already, but i attempted to put windows 8 on my Asus C300 and was able to run the posted script. All of that went great (i think) and now when it turns on it goes to the SeaBIOS screen just fine, but whenever i try to boot from usb it just says booting from hard disk, and never does anything. I wasnt sure if i missed something somewhere or overlooked something. I used WintoFlash to make it a bootable USB because it allows you to select GRUB as the bootloader, but im new to all of this so its very possible i misunderstood or didnt do something right. Thanks in advanced for any help!

    1. You’d be better off using dd to create the Live USB – it tends to work more often with SeaBIOS. Most recent distro ISO’s should support doing it that way, I’m led to believe.

  10. Thanks for the help! I really appreciate all the work you put into this stuff and that you still manage timely responses :)
    When i get home ill try using dd and hope it works.

  11. So i was successfully able to dd the latest version of ubuntu to my usb and it installed perfectly, everything except the mousepad works OOTB :) Thank you so much the help!

  12. Great! Debian jessie fully working off a USB stick (except touchpad + sound as noted above) on Asus C300 quawks. My only problem is at the boot stage, when SeaBIOS passes to GRUB, GRUB tries to use a device with a spurious UUID of 31bf98b6-…etc. This is not the UUID of my USB stick; I’ve got the correct UUID in the /boot/grub/grub.cfg file on my USB stick and can’t where find this spurious UUID has come from. It goes to grub rescue> and I get it to boot properly by setting prefix and root, insmod normal, normal. But I’d rather not have to intervene in this way?! Still, it’s fantastic to have it working, thank you so much.

  13. how to install one bios on a USB device?
    I am with this problema..instalei the Seabios, but the same is the samasung … when you start one of erro..e off …

    I have to go back to setting the Chrome OS using a USB device?

  14. Thanks for your work. I was able to get fedora running on the toshiba chromebook 2 (swanky).

    I’ve found SeaBIOS to be very picky on what it boots from. My 16GB SiliconPower microSD in adaptor was not recognised, so I went out and bought a 32GB Sony card on sale, which was not recognised either :/

    I was not able to boot from a WD My Passport Ultra 3TB either, but both of my USB flash keys worked.

    I’d be interested in hearing which cards have worked for people.

    1. 2GB Toshiba from 3DS
      8GB Sandisk MicroSD
      32GB PNY SDHC

      Yes, it is picky, but I can’t work on this issue (and others) because I don’t have enough donations to buy another Baytrail Chromebook.

  15. Whoops, sorry – you are right, I just needed to redo grub-install properly to get grub to find the correct drive UUID.

  16. Bodge to get debian running from internal eMMC on Asus C300, but requiring a USB drive to be present at boot time:
    Installed debian on a USB drive then used rsync to duplicate onto eMMC drive. Used following method (grub stage 2 on USB hands over to initrd and vmlinuz on eMMC) to get it to boot debian on eMMC, and can remove USB once it’s booted:

    The same method can be used to run debian from card in SD slot, but still requires USB to be present at boot time.

    1. Yes, there are a few people on the community running this way, and it is the way I would run if I had a Baytrail Chromebook. I would also use a low-profile USB stick so that it could be left in permanently.

  17. I dont want to feel like an id10t for asking this but is there a step by step guide to flashing the shellball and loading seabios so i can run linux? Im using a Asus C200MA the write protect screw is out. Ive read forums and have been bouncing around trying to get info.


  18. Hello John,
    first thank you for your great work!
    Would it be possible to install Windows to a USB 3 stick from SD Card and than just allways boot into that os on the stick?

  19. Hello, thank you so much for you work :D
    Could you indicate me where the protection screw for the BIOS on the ASUS C300 is please ? I can’t find it !

    Thank you in advance :)

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