ChromiumOS for the GPD Pocket 1

Welcome to ChromiumOS for the GPD Pocket

Welcome to the first dedicated port of ChromiumOS for the GPD Pocket 1 ultra-portable computer. This page will provide a overview of the features of the ChromiumOS build including what works, what does not work and any known issues. There will also be a list of frequently asked questions towards the bottom of the page that should help new users. Please read and understand everything on this page before installing the build on your own hardware.

This build is currently in a Public Preview and while I firmly feel that as long as you understand the known issues, it is stable enough to use as a daily driver. I have personally been testing builds on my GPD Pocket for the past several weeks and can say that it is incredibly stable and not prone to crashing. With this all said, please ensure that you always have a backup of your data as I will not be responsible in the unlikely event of data loss. During this period, there will be a higher frequency of updates while I work on ironing out all of the problems. Please feel free to contact me with any feedback or post any issues on the official GitHub Project Page.

Please note that this port took over 400 hours of work to produce and test. While I am providing the builds/updates for FREE, I am personally paying for the dedicated servers that are responsible for building and providing over the air updates to devices running this build of ChromiumOS. I am also personally paying for the bandwidth on the servers out of pocket. With that said, donations are highly appreciated.

High Level Features

This dedicated build sports several selling features that make it a very capable operating system for the GPD Pocket 1 including:

  • Buttery Smooth Performance – The GPD Pocket with ChromiumOS easily allows you to juggle several demanding tasks such as watching high definition video, running desktop Linux applications and  browsing demanding web pages. While the GPD Pocket is powered by an Atom Processor, it sure wont feel like it.
  • Lean – Lets face it, Windows is bloated and consumes a large portion of your GPD Pocket that can be better suited for applications and other important data. A full install of Windows with all Windows Updates will consume around 26 GB of total space while a full build of my ChromiumOS for the GPD Pocket consumes around 8.5 GB – that includes Crostini.
  • All Day Battery –  Battery Life on the GPD Pocket has always been fairly impressive however ChromiumOS for the GPD Pocket takes things to the next level with battery life that should get most people through an entire 10-14 hours depending on use. If you are going to be putting an exceptionally heavy workload on your device, you can easily expect to get 6 hours of heavy use. Of course, you can always connect a USB Battery Pack.
  • Security First – ChromiumOS is an incredibly secure operating system that is resilient to most malicious attacks. All browser processes are run in a jail to make it nearly impossible for a malicious website to compromise your computer or harvest data from other web pages.
  • Linux Application Support – Easily run one of the millions of Linux Desktop Applications in Crostini such as GIMP, LibreOffice and Blender. You can even run Android Studio, Visual Studio Code, Wine and other development applications. If you are really wanting to push the hardware, it is even technically possible to do some lightweight gaming in steam if frame-rates are not too important – GPU Acceleration can be enabled for the virtual machine!
  • Rolling Updates – One of the best features enjoyed by Chromebook owners has been carried over to ChromiumOS for the GPD Pocket, rolling updates. You can rest assured knowing that your ChromiumOS instance for the GPD Pocket is always up to date with the latest bug fixes, features and security patches offered by ChromiumOS with weekly updates.
  • Dedicated Build and Test Infrastructure – OSLab, our dedicated build infrastructure automatically performs periodic builds of our custom ChromiumOS build for the GPD Pocket. This build process includes several automated comprehensive tests to ensure stability and reduce regressions. Only if a build passes all tests is it promoted to production. When a build has been scheduled for release, it will automatically be rolled out to all GPD Pocket Units.
  • You are always in control – You will always have root access to your device to allow you to hold all of the keys. The custom build of ChromiumOS is very friendly to those who wish to modify the base OS and add whatever features you wish (note, some modifications may break the OTA upgrades)
  • Try It Before You Buy It –  Don’t worry, the operating system is free, this statement simply means that you can Live Boot into ChromiumOS for the GPD Pocket and test the build before you install it. If you do not like it, simply remove the flash drive and reboot your GPD Pocket to go back to Windows. Of course, if you do like it, simply complete the steps to install the operating system to replace Windows.
  • Free Software/Open Source – Your operating system is the most powerful piece of software on your computer and you should be able to trust that it has not been tampered with in any way. The only way this can be done is to ensure that the Operating System is fully Open Source to give users the freedom to read, modify and even fork or re-distribute the operating system without permission from me. All custom code is on GitHub and the instructions to build the OS from source will be provided. The way I see it is that if you cannot see the source code, how can you trust the product.

Comprehensive Features

Feature Status Notes
WiFi (2.4/5.8 GHZ) Works WiFi works out of the box without any modifications
Audio Works Works as of June 9th, 2019 with R77-3818-0 OTA, users on older builds can perform an over the air update to get the latest build.
Touchscreen Works The Touchscreen works flawlessly including support for multi-touch and pinch to zoom.
Keyboard Works The Keyboard works flawlessly with all keys correctly mapped
Touch Nub Works The touch nub works without issue
Crostini Works You can run any x86_64 Linux Desktop or Command Line application with full root access and access to the apt package manager
GPD Fan Works The GPD Fan is fully functional
Over the Air Updates Works ChromiumOS for the GPD Pocket will automatically update itself to the latest version weekly. Of course you can disable this behavior if you wish by following the steps in the Frequently Asked Questions
Suspend Works You can suspend your GPD Pocket by simply closing the lid. The OS will resume automatically when opened. WiFi is disabled when suspended.

Known Issues

There are a few known issues with this build that I am working to resolve

Issue Status Required for Final Release Notes
Boot Screen hangs on “ChromiumOS” In-Progress

Workaround In Place

Yes There is a known issue in which the GPD Pocket hangs on the ChromiumOS screen after each boot. This can be fixed by repeatedly tapping on the tab button the keyboard until the login screen is displayed. From there, you can use the device as normal.
Bluetooth not Functioning In Progress Yes Bluetooth is currently not functional
chrome://flags is blank Researching Yes This issue seems to be related to the TPM, working on a fix
Screen Brightness Not Working In-Progress No Addressing in next build
Setup Rotated Pending No You will need to perform the initial setup with the screen rotated. You will need to manually rotate the screen from the ChromiumOS Settings Application once the setup has been completed. This change will only need to be done once and will survive all reboots. I will try to address this in a future build.
Mouse Cursor Rotation Cosmetic No The mouse cursor icon will be rotated by 90 degrees on each fresh boot. Closing the GPD Lid and re-opening it will fix the rotation. This is purely cosmetic as the cursor still works as intended with the rotated graphic.
No Android Support N/A No The Android Runtime for ChromeOS (ARC) is currently not open source and as such is currently out of scope for this project. This may change in the future with the new ARCVM project.  I will report on that as soon as I know more.
No Google Drive Sync N/A No The Google Drive mount in the File Manager is currently not open source and Google currently has no plans to change this. The web based version of Google Drive does work as well as third party applications such as InSync in Crostini.

Donations

All work, hardware and infrastructure is currently being paid directly out of my pocket. I want to try to keep this operating system free and accessible to as many users as possible however the cost to run this service is roughly $150 per month and this does not include time. Any donations are appreciated and will go directly to help with maintaining the infrastructure, improving the operating system and porting the operating system to more boards.

You can contribute in any of the following ways with either a one time donation or a reoccurring donation. I do accept several Crypto Currencies if you wish to remain completely anonymous, you can sign up for a free wallet at Coinbase if you need one.

  • Android Pay (KeithIokepaMyers@GMail.com)
  • PayPal (OneTime | Subscribe)
  • Pateron
  • Bitcoin – 1C1oLhxJqrKRN7cPiPtNHEw7kq6Mzi2GkS
  • Litecoin – LMFxhCruyzsQ4ZJfabQdnRrgRkxdzqCmNg
  • Etherium – 0x7BfA3b020607266502c5b7160813D974358Cc16D

You may also use/bookmark my Amazon Affiliate Link which automatically donates a small amount with each purchase that you make on Amazon.com –

If you would like to donate any hardware, please contact me directly.

Thank You!

Requirements

In order to run or install this build, you will need the following:

Installation

Please read the following agreement

By downloading and installing this image, I understand that Keith I Myers, is not responsible for any damages caused by data loss, time loss, etc. A lot of work and testing goes into each and every test image to ensure that they are safe to install however it is important to maintain backups of all data on a removable disk or cloud storage in the unlikely event of data loss.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will this work on the GPD Pocket 2, GPD Win, GPD Win 2 or other similar units?

Officially no however if I am able to obtain any of these units, I will be more than happy to add support for these. If you want to donate anything to help with this, please see the donation section of this page or reach out to me directly. If you are a manufacturer who wishes to see if I can port this over to their hardware, please contact me directly.

Can I install the Google Play Store?

Technically there are methods to install the Google Play Store on ChromiumOS, these are not officially supported by myself or Google. There is no reason why it will not work but I cannot provide support for these tools but as you own your device, you are free to try. I also have no plans to distribute modified builds with the Google Play Store pre-installed as this technically requires a special license from Google.

Is it possible to Dual Boot Windows and ChromiumOS?

It is not easy to do this and is unsupported. I do not recommend attempting to use this in a Dual Boot environment.

Is it possible to Dual Boot Linux and ChromiumOS?

It is not easy to do this and is unsupported. I do not recommend attempting to use this in a Dual Boot environment.

Does Google or KMyers.me Provide Over the Air Upgrades?

KMyers.me provides the Over The Air Upgrades, not Google. Google’s Chromium team provides updates to the source code, our OSLab Infrastructure pulls these upstream changes to our servers where they are built, tested and ultimately deployed to your device.

Does KMyers.me collect any data from the ChromiumOS for GPD Pocket Build?

Not directly. We have no way or desire to track any data that users of our platform have on their device. We do not run any telemetry services on ChromiumOS for the GPD Pocket and neither I or GPD have access to any of your personal data. With all of this said and to be fully transparent with our users, we do have the ability to see the IP Addresses of any device that queries our build server to check for over the air updates. We do not have the ability to tie these IP addresses back to any user and all records of these updates are destroyed every Sunday.

What were the modifications that make this build special?

All efforts were made to ensure the build of ChromiumOS is as vanilla as possible and thus follows all of the Chromium Team’s best practices. I did not make any modifications to the upstream version of ChromiumOS. All custom code has been contained to a custom board overlay that is responsible to building a modified kernel and building the core operating system with a few modifications to reflect the hardware of the GPD Pocket. All of my code is open source and available on GitHub.

Does Google Provide Technical Support for ChromiumOS for the GPD Pocket?

No, please do not contact Google’s support for assistance with ChromiumOS builds, You may either contact me directly or post any questions on the GitHub Issues Page.

Am I allowed to Fork or make a derivative of this work?

Yes, all code is released under the GPLv2. I would appreciate getting some credit for the build but it is important that I cannot provide end-user support for people on derivative builds.

When are Over The Air Updates Released?

Our build infrastructure has a scheduled job that runs every Saturday Night to build and test new releases of ChromiumOS for the GPD Pocket.

What ports/websites are used for the OTA Upgrade?

If you are on a restrictive network, you will need to have access to the following website for the Over the Air Upgrade

http://oslab.kmyers.me on port 1985 – this houses the ChromiumOS Over The Air Update Server.

How much bandwidth is used by the OTA Upgrade Process?

Our systems perform delta upgrades which consume an average of 440 MB each upgrade. These may be larger or smaller depending on the amount of changes that are in the image.

How can I disable Automatic Updates?

While this is not advised, If you do not wish to have Automatic Updates enabled on your device, simply follow these instructions. You will need to read a short tutorial on the vi text editor if you are unfamiliar with it in order to edit the files.

  1. Boot into ChromiumOS for the GPD Pocket
  2. Press ALT+CTRL+T to access the ChromeOS Shell
  3. Type “shell” followed by the enter key to access a bash shell
  4. Type “sudo su” to enter a root shell (You will need to enter the root password that you set during the initial installation)
  5. Enter the following commands
    sudo mount -o remount,rw /
    sudo mount -o remount,exec /mnt/stateful_partition
    sudo mount -i -o remount,exec /home/chronos/user
  6. Now use vi to edit /etc/lsb-release and remove the values for
    CHROMEOS_DEVSERVER=http://oslab.kmyers.me:1985
    CHROMEOS_AUSERVER=https://oslab.kmyers.me:1985/update
  7. Reboot your GPD Pocket to finalize the change. You can re-add these lines in the future if you wish to re-enable over the air updates. A powerwash will restore the default values that enable over the air updates.

How can I build this myself?

Coming Soon

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