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.
- First flash a coreboot build to your Chromebook.
- Install fedora 19. (I prefer the more traditional “Mate” desktop to smelly new Gnome 3)
- Create your VM using Virt-Manager. Making sure to select a Virtio disk image (otherwise performance is poop). You will need to download and attach the latest “guest” drivers ISO as a CDROM so that Windows 7 can detect and install the Virtio disk driver, to enable install to complete
- Install Windows!
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:
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