Running Windows on a Chromebook.

There are those who have expressed an interest in running Windows on their Chromebooks. Having looked into the issues (missing ACPI bits, and drivers for the cyapa touchpad, amongst others) it seems the best current way to do so is by flashing your Chromebook with a coreboot build, Install Fedora 19 (Ubuntu’s kernel is too old and creaky to run cyapa), and install Windows inside a KVM VM (ably setup by Virt-Manager).

The sound is a bit choppy, but the performance isn’t a huge leap behind native, and it will even play Netflix watchably. Take a peek at the video.

It’s worth noting if you’re using a USB key to do the install, as opposed to an ISO file, that Virt-Manager defaults to emulating an NEC USB 1.0 controller which Windows 7 doesn’t recognise. Simply change “Controller USB” from “default” to “USB2”, otherwise Windows 7 will not be able to install.  Make sure all the drivers are installed correctly, especially the QXL graphics driver (this is so that remote-viewer will automatically adjust the guest resolution to fit your screen correctly if you go into full screen mode). Your device manager should look like this:

Screenshot-spice:--127.0.0.1:5900 (1) - Remote Viewer

Then you can enable the Windows VM to start by default at boot

virsh autostart Windows7

and connect using remote-viewer

remote-viewer spice://127.0.0.1:5900 -f

Enjoy!

2 thoughts on “Running Windows on a Chromebook.”

  1. I know this is old but it would have been nice if you just had a bit more explanation of how to set up the virt-manager to actually do the install.
    Like many tech people, you talk like a magician – “and it just happens!” And anyone who has a question is supposed to be amazed.
    I do te h work and don’t know everything but I can explain to people what I am doing and how it can screw up if they are interested.
    Oh, and in a past life I did work with some real magicians and I understand why they are so secretive. Computer/Linux/Mac/Windows techs don’t have to be.
    Errors getting access to SD card with Win10 preview iso and installing to target on USB 3 flash drive.
    Maybe if this was all on one big linux formatted drive it would be like “magic”.
    It is so simple!!!

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