12 March 2013 Karim Elatov

The update process is not as smooth as the install process which I blogged about here. Most of the instructions are laid at the following two sites:

1. Update Using the Aptitude Repositories

Let’s get to it, first let’s point the Aptitude repositories to point to the “Raring” release:

sudo sed -i 's/precise/raring/g' /etc/apt/sources.list

Then update the repositories cache:

sudo apt-get update

Then start the upgrade process:

sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

The process will actually fail at the end of the update, but that is okay we can just force it:

sudo apt-get -f install

In the process some packages will be removed unintentionally, so re-install them:

sudo apt-get install ubuntu-desktop gnome-control-center nautilus nautilus-share nautilus-sendto eog unity libgnome-desktop-3.4 gnome-settings-daemon

2. Finishing Touches

Let’s enable the Chromebook Hacker PPA and install the Chomebook utilities and updates:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:chromebook-arm/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install cgpt vboot-kernel-utils linux-image-chromebook
sudo apt-get autoremove
sudo apt-get remove flash-kernel

Let’s sign our kernel:

echo "console=tty1 printk.time=1 quiet nosplash rootwait root=/dev/mmcblk1p7 rw rootfstype=ext4" > FILE

Notice my device is the external SD card (mmcblk1), now for the signature:

sudo vbutilkernel --pack /boot/chronos-kernel-image --keyblock /usr/share/vboot/devkeys/kernel.keyblock --version 1 --signprivate /usr/share/vboot/devkeys/kerneldatakey.vbprivk --config FILE --vmlinuz /boot/vmlinuz- --arch arm

Also let’s copy our signed kernel to the SD Card:

sudo dd if=/boot/chronos-kernel-image of=/dev/mmcblk1p1 bs=4M

Now reboot and you will boot into ChrUbuntu 13.04.

3. Fix the Window Manager

When the Chromebook reboots, it won’t be able to start it’s window manager and we have to pick a new one. So press CTRL+ALT+F1 and log in with the user/user credentials and first install the new video driver:

sudo apt-get install xserver-xorg-video-armsoc

Then I installed icewm:

sudo apt-get install icewm

I, then, made IceWM the default window manager by editing the /etc/lightdm/lightdm.conf file and making it looks like this:


then I updated the rest of the packages:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade

I rebooted one more time, and I was then able to login into IceWM without issues.

4. Fix Post-Update Issues

After I rebooted, my sound stopped working for some reason. The alsamixer settings were correct but it seemed like pulseaudio was messing up my sound, so I removed pulseaudio and alsa-base like so:

sudo apt-get remove --purge pulseaudio alsa-base

and then I just re-installed the alsa-base package:

sudo apt-get install alsa-base

and then my sound started working without issues. Another issue I ran into was with my touchpad, the double tap and triple tap functionality was reversed (ie tripped tap was right click and double tap was middle click) not sure why. After messing around with synclient, I discovered the following settings fixed it:

synclient | grep -i TapBu
TapButton1 = 1
TapButton2 = 3
TapButton3 = 2

To make those permanent, I added the following :

Option "TapButton1" "1"
Option "TapButton2" "3"
Option "TapButton3" "2"

to the /usr/share/X11/xorg.conf.d/10-synaptics.conf file.

The last issue that I ran into was Chromium stopped playing HTML5 audio for some reason. I ran across this post, and I fixed the issue by running the following:

sudo apt-get install chromium-codecs-ffmpeg-extra

just for reference here is my chromium version:

chromium-browser --version
Chromium 22.0.1229.94 Built on Ubuntu 12.10, running on Ubuntu 13.04

5. Some keyboard tweeks

I wanted to use the volume up and volume down keys on the keyboard (they corresponded to F9 and F10), since I was using IceWM it was pretty easy. I just added the following into my ~/.icewm/keys files and they worked great:

key "F8" amixer -c 0 set Speaker toggle
key "F9" amixer -c 0 set Speaker 1%-
key "F10" amixer -c 0 set Speaker 1%+
key "Ctrl+F8" amixer -c 0 set Headphone toggle
key "Ctrl+F9" amixer -c 0 set Headphone 1%-
key "Ctrl+F10" amixer -c 0 set Headphone 1%+

This allowed me to modify the HeadPhone and Speakers volume with the keyboard shortcuts that I defined.

I also wanted to have the brightness keys work as well (those corresponded to F6 and F7). I tried the package xbacklight but it didn’t work. Later I found that the /usr/lib/gnome-settings-daemon/gsd-backlight-helper worked without issues. So I wrote this quick script:

[email protected]:~$ cat /usr/local/bin/chbr
cur_bri=$(/usr/bin/pkexec /usr/lib/gnome-settings-daemon/gsd-backlight-helper --get-brightness)

if [ $1 == "up" ] ; then
    /usr/bin/pkexec /usr/lib/gnome-settings-daemon/gsd-backlight-helper --set-brightness $(($cur_bri+100))

if [ $1 == "down" ] ; then
    /usr/bin/pkexec /usr/lib/gnome-settings-daemon/gsd-backlight-helper --set-brightness $(($cur_bri-100))

and if you pass in up or down it decreases or increases the brightness by 100. My max brightness was at 2800 so this worked out for me (you can check out the max brightness by running /usr/lib/gnome-settings-daemon/gsd-backlight-helper --get-max-brightness). Then I added the following to my ~/.icewm/keys file:

key "F6"    /usr/local/bin/chbr down
key "F7"    /usr/local/bin/chbr up

I also noticed that the keyboard button right below the “Tab” key (the Search Key) was functioning as a “Windows” Key. That is usually the “Caps_Lock” key, so I changed the mapping for it to actually be the “Caps_Lock” key. Initially I used xev to find out what is the keycode of the keyboard button and then I added the following to my ~/.Xmodmap file:

[email protected]:~$ cat .Xmodmap
keycode 133 = Caps_Lock

Another thing I noticed was the “Disable Keyboard While Typing” Option wasn’t working. Starting up the syndaemon fix the issue for me. Here is what I added to my ~/.icewm/startup file to start the daemon on startup:

[email protected]:~$ grep syn .icewm/startup
syndaemon -t -k -i 1 -d

Lastly, I didn’t have the “Delete”, “PageDown”, or “Home” keys. In ChromeOS the following keyboard shortcuts existed that helped me.

Page up                Alt and the up arrow
Page down              Alt and the down arrow
Home                   Ctrl+Alt, and the up arrow
End                    Ctrl+Alt, and the down arrow
Delete                 Alt and Backspace

You can see the full list here: To get this working we first need to install xbindkeys and xvkbd.

[email protected]:~$ sudo apt-get install xbindkeys xvkbd

then create a ~.xbindkeysrc file with the following contents:

"xvkbd -xsendevent -text '\[Delete]'"
Alt + BackSpace

"xvkbd -xsendevent -text '\[Home]'"
Alt + Left

"xvkbd -xsendevent -text '\[End]'"
Alt + Right

"xvkbd -xsendevent -text '\[Page_Down]'"
Alt + Down

"xvkbd -xsendevent -text '\[Page_Up]'"
Alt + Up

then start xbindkeys by running:


We can add the above command to the ~/.icewm/startup file, if we want it to auto-start upon login into IceWM. There are other alternatives to the keyboard shortcuts:

And that’s it. Last note, you can check the status of your battery with the upower utility:

[email protected]:~$ upower -d | grep -E 'time|percent|state'
    state:               charging
    time to full:        1.4 hours
    percentage:          34.1355%

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