Work-In-Progress : ChromiumOS on the GPD-Pocket Mini Laptop

Work-In-Progress : ChromiumOS on the GPD-Pocket Mini Laptop

Is that a Chromebook in your pocket or are you just happy to see me? I am a huge fan of Chromebooks and absolutely love ChromeOS, this should really come as no surprise to anyone who reads my blog. I have been the owner of a first generation GPD-Pocket Laptop for  a while now and was wondering if it would be possible to get ChromiumOS to run on the GPD-Pocket. Sadly it is not as simple as downloading one of the pre-made forks of ChromiumOS and booting as essentially nothing works out of the box (but it does boot). I rolled up my sleeves this morning and started building my own custom fork of ChromiumOS.

Before you get too excited, this is not suitable for use a daily driver. Booting into my build of ChromiumOS is incredibly slow however the performance of the device after it has booted is impressive. There are several things that do not work on the GPD-Pocket as of this writing (work in progress).

Technical Details

  • ChromiumOS Build – R75-11902.0.2019_03_09_1557-a1
  • Linux Kernel – 4.19 (vs the standard 4.14). I am working on 5.0

What Does Not Work

  • Touchscreen
  • Sound
  • Fan
  • Google Drive Integration
  • The Battery Indicator
  • USB-C/HDMI Out

What works

  • WiFi (2.4GHZ/5GHZ) – To date, I know this does not work on FideOS / CloudReady or other ChromiumOS custom builds
  • Bluetooth – To date, I know this does not work on FideOS / CloudReady or other ChromiumOS custom builds. Technically audio will work over Bluetooth, just not the built in speakers
  • GPU Acceleration of the IntelHD GPU
  • Keyboard
  • Mouse
  • Chrome Web Store
  • Crostini – Yes, this works beautifully!
  • OTA Upgrades – Seamless upgrades, just like ChromeOS (Server needed)

Annoyances

  • Very long boot times – I am seeing boot times exceeding 15 minutes.
  • Much of the OS is rotated the wrong direction, this can be fixed in the settings screen, I am working on hard coding this.

Release Information

I do not currently have a build that I am ready to make public at this time. If you are a reviewer who owns a tech site and you would like a build to test, feel free to get in contact with me. There are a few logistical issues that I need to figure out if I decide to host a download for this build (mainly bandwidth and compute costs to build the OTA deltas) I am open to ideas, feel free to contact me if you have any.

I do fully intend to make the custom board-overlay open source along with instructions for anyone who would like to make a custom build. This will be released once I iron out a few bugs. I will also be releasing a few custom scripts used on the build server to modify the sources for the GPD Pocket. It goes without saying that the Kernel stuff will also be open sourced. You will need a pretty beefy machine to build this from source.

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