This article is intended as a list of reference materials for Chromium OS Troubleshooting. Chromium OS is a community project intended to make the Google Chrome OS available for hardware not specifically designed to run the official operating system. The official Chromebooks aren’t likely to suffer from the issues listed below, therefore the fixes should not be attempted.
The list is comprised of things I’ve learned and found while using Chromium OS for the first time and trying to come to grips with how the operating system works. As always, remember that these are guidelines and results are not guaranteed. By following any instructions within this guide, you acknowledge that you do so at your own risk and that Laptop Repair Pro is not responsible for any damage resulting from following the instructions herein.
Troubleshooting Google Drive
If your Google Drive is blank or shows the contents of the Downloads folder when you click on it, try the following:
- In Chrome, open: chrome://drive-internals/
- Under Connection Status, clear the following
- Has refresh token
- Has access token
- Under Local Metadata, click: Clear local data and reload
> Troubleshooting Google Drive not syncing data
If your Google Drive is not syncing data, try the following:
- Create APIs: //www.chromium.org/developers/how-tos/api-keys
- Open a new Crosh screen Ctrl + Alt + T in chromium browser
- Type: shell
- Type : sudo su
- And enter the password usually “password” without quotes
- Mount your system as read write
- Type: mount -o remount,rw /
- Type: cd /etc
- Type: vi chrome_dev.conf
- Go to the first line and insert your keys
- Then sign out and sign un.
> What do API keys and authentication details look like?
Obtained from: //console.developers.google.com/apis/credentials
The keys have been modified for security:
- Google API Key: XXxxSyCPYES0zq8fB5BC1-1Mq4k_n4ckvYKiuJ0
- Google Default Client ID: 123443493733-6go3xxxxjn0l5mo41pcibdchbfkv8nap.apps.googleusercontent.com
- Google Default Client Secret: xxxXCxYNw1PGpS7f8kUqlKsM
> If nothing else works…
It’s likely that even after all the above, Google Drive will still refuse to work. If that happens, to save yourself future trouble, do the following:
- Open Settings
- Open Advanced Settings
- Under Downloads, check “Disable Google Drive on this device”
- Download the Google Drive application here:
WiFi not working (No networks appearing, WiFi slider in off position)
If you’ve installed Chromium OS on an old machine with an old Broadcom WiFi card, you may find it’s not functional. Due to the security features of the operaing system, you’ll also find it a nightmare to install any drivers. To install drivers, you need to remount your root directory, download your drivers and then configure the kernel to use them – use this for reference: //www.chromium.org/chromium-os/how-tos-and-troubleshooting/kernel-configuration.
If you have an older Broadcom WiFi card, download the Broadcom Special Edition build:
After you’ve installed Chromium OS and you’re at the desktop, do the following:
- On your keyboard, press CTRL + ALT + T to get into the terminal
- Type the command “shell” and press Enter to get a normal Linux command prompt
- Type the command “sudo su” and press Enter
- If you’re using the build above and you’re asked for a password, type “password” and press Enter
- Run the following commands (you can copy and paste the entire block below, right click on the terminal to paste)
mount -o remount, rw /
sudo echo “blacklist b43” >> /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf
sudo echo “blacklist b43legacy” >> /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf
sudo echo “blacklist ssb” >> /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf
sudo echo “blacklist bcma” >> /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf
sudo echo “wl” >> /etc/modules
sudo touch /etc/modprobe.d/wl.conf
sudo echo “alias wlan0 wl” >> /etc/modprobe.d/wl.conf
sudo insmod /lib/modules/3.4.0/kernel/net/wireless/cfg80211.ko
sudo insmod /lib/modules/3.4.0/kernel/net/wireless/lib80211.ko
sudo insmod /lib/modules/3.4.0/kernel/net/wireless/lib80211_crypt_ccmp.ko
sudo insmod /lib/modules/3.4.0/kernel/net/wireless/lib80211_crypt_tkip.ko
sudo insmod /lib/modules/3.4.0/kernel/net/wireless/lib80211_crypt_wep.ko
sudo insmod /lib/modules/3.4.0/kernel/drivers/net/wireless/wl.ko
sudo depmod -a
- Assuming everything went well, you should now see all the available Wireless networks in the WiFi menu
Synaptics touchpad not working
If your laptop has a Synaptics touchpad and after installing Chromium OS you find that it’s not supported, follow the instructions below.
- Press CTRL + ALT + T to get the terminal
- Type “shell” to get the command line interpreter
- Type “sudo su” to get elevated privileges. If asked for a password, unless you’ve previously set a password it’s either blank, “password” or “facepunch”.
- Run the following commands:
mount -o remount, rw /
cp /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/50-touchpad-cmt.conf /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/50-touchpad-cmt.conf.bak
If for whatever reason this doesn’t work, try it again in the development shell by pressing CTRL + ALT + F2 in step 1, then repeat the process. The above should be easier though, as it allows you to open this page on the Chromebook and paste the commands in rather than typing them out.
Printing is difficult… you either need a Google Cloud Print enabled printer or another PC/Mac capable of sharing a “Classic Printer”. The reason is that for security reasons, the Chromebook is not allowed to run code outside of HTML, CSS and anything else which can run inside a browser window. It also can’t install anything to the disk with the exception of Google Apps and Chrome Extensions. Since printer drivers are programs, it’s up to the manufacturers to create an app or extension to drive their respective printers. The Google Help article detailing how to add a printer can be found here: //support.google.com/cloudprint/answer/1686197
Alternately, you can try one of these:
- HP Print for Chrome: //chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/hp-print-for-chrome/cjanmonomjogheabiocdamfpknlpdehm
- Ricoh Print for Chrome: //chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/ricoh-print-for-chrome/ioofdkhojeeimmagbjbknkejkgbphdfl
- WiFi Print Driver for Chrome: //chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/wifi-printer-driver-for-c/hhcgnlnhaapiekdelngjichnccjfkbnc
- Xerox Mobile Print Portal: //chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/xerox-mobile-print-portal/loogjlgbbongeniiagbonilajlchgmmb
In the end, it’s probably easiest to buy a printer which supports Google Cloud Print natively. A list of printers is available here: //www.google.com/cloudprint/learn/printers.html
Update to official Chrome OS
If your laptop is compatible (or compatible enough) with the build specs of a genuine Chromebook, you may want to consider flashing it with the official Chrome OS. This is a good thing to try before you’ve got your Chromium OS all customised exactly how you want it. To do this, follow these instructions:
- Confirm that your build has a dev install by entering the terminal (CTL+ALT+T) and entering the command: Shell
- Open the Dev terminal (CTL+ALT+F2, you may need to hold CTL and alternate pressing ALT and F2).
- Run the command: sudo su
- Log in using ‘chronos’ as the username, no password should be required, but if so it is “password” or “facepunch”.
- Run the command: bash <(curl -s -L //goo.gl/8v1ZkV)
- The script will run and automatically find your build and download the relating build and install it over the top. If it does not, you may need to manually select which build is most like the laptop you’re using from a list of around 100 entries.
- Allow sufficient time for Chrome OS to install.
- At the end of the process, you may get a ‘time completed’ message, in which case you should reset the laptop by holding the power button until it’s off and turning it back on. Alternately, your laptop may just reboot and try to finish the installation.
- Once you reboot, if you get a message stating “Unpacking Linux failed. System Halted”, you’ll need to reinstall Chromium and restart this process and try a different build from the list in Step 6.