Hack the Chromebook

PR0 Challenge 5.1 [30pts]

omnignorant


Before we can dive into the wonderful world of Arduino, we will need to prepare our computers to be compatible with these devices.

Unfortunately, the Chromebooks are designed to be very simple machines that connect mainly to the internet. The good news is that this provides us with a really cool opportunity to hack them! Fortunately, while the Chrome OS that comes installed on the Chromebooks is a little too basic, the good people at Google have kept it possible for us to access the hardware and do our own thing.


STEP 1: Enter Developer Mode

approx. 10 minutes

Developers are Hackers and Google has created a special place for them. Developer mode is a special environment built into Chrome OS where many of the security restrictions have been removed. This will allow us to install custom software designed by some seriously cool hackers, but it also means that the machines are more vulnerable to security breaches. It's a good thing we're not keeping any personal data on them and we're only using this for learning.


1. Hold down esc+refresh+power at the same time, keep holding.

1. Hold down esc+refresh+power.

2. When you see the yellow exclamation mark, hold down ctrl+d then press enter.

2. When you see the yellow exclamation mark, hold down ctrl+d then press enter.

3. When you see the "To turn OS verification OFF, press ENTER" prompt, press enter;

3. When you see the "To turn OS verification OFF, press ENTER" prompt, press enter;

4. Take a 4 minute break while Developer Mode is activated!

4. Take a 4 minute break while Developer Mode is activated!

5. When you see the "OS Verification is off" prompt and red exclamation mark press ctrl+d;

5. When you see the "OS Verification is off" prompt and red exclamation mark press ctrl+d;

STEP 2: Download Crouton

approx. 3 minutes

Crouton stands for: ChRomium Os Universal chrooT envirONment. It's a piece of software designed by a staff person at Google that will allow us to install another operating system instead of Chrome. We'll be installing a version of something called Linux

Open the Google Chrome browser and navigate to http://goo.gl/fd3zc to download crouton;

STEP 3: Install Crouton

approx. 30 minutes

Now things get trickier...


1. Press Ctrl+Alt+t to open a crosh terminal window in Chrome;

1. Press Ctrl+Alt+t to open a crosh terminal window in Chrome;

1. a crosh terminal window in the Chrome browser.

2. Type shell at the chrosh> prompt and hit enter to call the shell prompt;

2. Type shell at the chrosh> prompt and hit enter to call the shell prompt

3. At the chronos@localhost / $ command line type:

sudo sh -e ~/Downloads/crouton -t xfce

...and press enter;

3. Type sudo sh -e ~/Downloads/crouton -t xfce at the chronos@localhost / $ command line and press enter;

4. Now, take a 30-minute break while crouton does its thing…


5. When it is finished installing, you will be asked to:
Please specify a username for the primary user:

… please enter:

  • username: stemscholar
  • password: use the usual hackshop password

STEP 4: Enter Ubuntu

If you are not already in a chrome browser, open one up! If you are not already in a crosh tab/window, follow the instructions from Step 3 to enter Crosh (hit Ctrl + Alt + t). If you are in Crosh, type shellchrosh> prompt and hit enter to call the shell prompt.

Now, we are going to launch a new window manager environment that will run alongside of the Chrome OX window manager you have been using the last three weeks. This new window manager is called xfce4.

xfce4 will allow us to access the foundational operating system on your chromebook, which is called Linux and the version we will be using is called Ubuntu Linux! This is an operating system like Mac OSX or Microsoft Windows that will allow us to install and run programs. The Chrome OS is based on Linux too.

We will no longer be limited to the ChromeOS programs, we can now use any open source software that we want!

1. In your crosh window, type:

sudo enter-chroot startxfce4

at the chronos@localhost / $ command line… but DO NOT PRESS ENTER!!!!

entering Ubuntu from crosh
Make sure to CHECK that there are no spaces between enter, the hyphen and chroot.

2. When you hit enter, you will switch away from Chrome and switch into Ubuntu! When you are ready to return, you will have to hit: Ctrl + Alt + Shift + F1

OK, now hit Enter!

3. When you end up in Ubuntu, you'll be prompted to create a new panel. Choose Use default config.

Ubuntu default config panel