Linux Mint on Acer C720 Chromebook

A friend of mine recently was struggling to install Linux Mint on his Acer C720 Chromebook.

I took on the challenge and succeeded.

Here’s a summary of my steps I performed to succeed at this:

  • Setup the system for developer mode using google’s documentation
  • Create a Linux Mint bootable USB
  • Login to chromebook with your google credentials
  • Get to a shell by pressing CTRL-ALT-RightArrow (basically the former F2 key)
  • Login with root (use root as the password)
  • Type in crossystem dev_boot_usb=1 dev_boot_legacy=1
  • Type in reboot (system will reboot)
  • Once it comes to life, you’ll see the regular “Yellow Exclamation” screen, during which you can press CTRL-L
  • You’ll get a prompt asking you to press ESC to change boot sequence, go ahead
  • At this point you should see the Linux Mint boot screen, press TAB
  • replace — with mem=1G
  • Continue with the installation of Linux Mint as normal
  • Once its setup, every time you boot up the system you will have to press CTRL-L on login screen on the Red Exclamation screen to boot from the hard drive and skip the chromeos check up front

The key I found was in the mem=1G and the crosssytem commands.

I also read that Google’s newer models will have better support for installing other distros.

But since my friend had an older model, I thought I’d give it a go. I’m glad I did.

He now has a full blown Linux system on his chromebook and is happy as a clam!

Chromebook specs:

  • peppy c6a-v3c-a86
  • acer c720 chromebook (7077.95.0)
  • memory: 1988M 9767 MB/s
  • SeaBIOS version -20131018_145217-build121-m2
  • SC2 M2 SSD ATA-10 Hard-Disk (57241 MiBytes)

Thought I’d write this up for the other 100s of folks that would rather stick with their working chromebooks and enjoy Linux Mint on them 🙂

Edit: After posting this post, I cross posted this to reddit and another redditor advised of an alternate solution by an image creator called distroshare:


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