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Installing GalliumOS on the Google Pixel 2015 (Samus)

Download and Write GalliumOS to USB

  1. Download the appropriate iso from here. For this tutorial, you’ll need the Chromebook Broadwell ISO.
  2. Download Win32DiskImager from SourceForge and install it. Linux/Mac users will use a terminal.
  3. Insert an empty USB drive (all data will be erased during the write process!). Run Win32DiskImager. Make sure you have the correct USB drive selected under “Device.” Click on the blue folder icon. On the bottom right you’ll see, Disk Images (*.img *.IMG). Click on it and change it to *.* Now you’ll be able to locate the GalliumOS ISO. Locate it and double-click it. Making sure that you have the correct USB selected, click on “Write.” When the USB is ready, eject it and put it aside for when you’ll need it later in this tutorial.
  4. Linux/Mac users need to follow the instructions found here.

Backup data

If you have any data stored locally on the Chromebook that you would like to keep, backup the data to either a USB drive or to Google Drive. Enabling developer mode will wipe your device.

Enable Developer Mode and Boot Flags

  1. Boot into recovery by press and hold the Esc + Refresh keys, then press the power button.
  2. At the Recovery screen press Ctrl-D. It will ask you to confirm by pressing the RECOVERY BUTTON again. It will now enable Developer Mode. It will take about 10-15 minutes to complete. During this time, your chromebook will be wiped of all user data.
  3. You’ll see a white screen after rebooting. Press Ctrl-D and you’ll boot into ChromeOS with Developer Mode enabled.
  4. Connect to the Internet and accept the terms and agreements. You don’t have to login to ChromeOS using your account (you can if you want to, but I didn’t). Login as Guest and open up a Crosh session by pressing Ctrl-Alt-T. Type shell and hit enter to open bash. The prompt should look like this: chronos@localhost / $
  5. Alternatively, you can immediately press Ctrl+Alt+F2 to get to a TTY.
  6. Type sudo crossystem dev_boot_legacy=1, then hit Enter.

Boot from USB

  1. Reboot your Chromebook
  2. Press Ctrl-L at the scary white screen.
  3. Press the Esc key when you see the prompt to do so. You’ll now be in the boot menu.(If you don’t press Esc in time just reboot and do it again.)
  4. At the boot menu you’ll see your boot options. Select to boot from USB.
  5. You’ll now get the option to live boot or install GalliumOS. You want to live boot.
  6. Test GalliumOS. Explore until you’re sure everything works fine. If you decide to install GalliumOS (and why wouldn’t you?), don’t install it while you’re live booted. For some reason that didn’t work for me, and I had to do it over again. Instead, reboot and follow the above steps until you get to the live boot or install GalliumOS menu. Choose Install GalliumOS. There’ll be a few prompts during the installation process.
    1. Disclaimer: From here on out once you install GalliumOS you will need to hit those keys after each reboot unless you are willing to open the Pixel and remove a Write Protect screw to allow you to disable that screen. Be aware you DON'T NEED TO DO THIS with that screw unless you don't want to hit those keys, the Pixel 2015 doesn't have the out of power glitch the original Pixel had and with the Developer Screen there it provides a very nice fail safe in case you severely screw up your install and want to move back to ChromeOS again.

Installing GalliumOS

  1. Installing GalliumOS is simple, but there are several options to select. Run the installer located on the desktop of the Live USB environment and follow through the prompts with your preferences (I'd recommend connecting to the internet if you can and also selecting the Download Extra Software option) until you get to Partitioning portion. This can be highly subjective on how you want to setup this partitioning BUT for me this is what I went with:
    1. After that hit the Plus Icon. This will be your main partition where everything will be run from, you can set it to be the full size of the disk if you want with no issues since GalliumOS uses zram. Set it to be formatted to "ext4" and for the Mount point select "/". Hit OK and give it a second to resize the partitions.
    2. After that hit next and a confirmation screen will ask for sure if you want to do this, select OK if you are.
  2. After that you will be prompted for Region, Keyboard, User name, yadayada you should know what to do here.
  3. At this point it will then install everything and prompt you to reboot. Reboot the unit and remove your install media at the prompt

Post-install Customization

UPDATED for new 4.7 kernel and galliumos-samus package.

First, install customization files:

sudo apt-get install galliumos-samus

After reboot, run a few more commands to configure for HiDPI, enable audio output, and fix the touchpad/touchscreen bug:

cp -r /etc/skel/.config $HOME

Speakers and touchpad/touchscreen should work immediately. You'll need to log out and back in to see the HiDPI configuration.

There are more notes about the current state of SAMUS support in the GitHub issue tracker (notably here, here, and here). These post-install steps will be performed automatically in future GalliumOS versions.


You now have GalliumOS installed. How cool is that?

If you run into problems or have any questions, the awesome people at #galliumos are happy to help in any way they can. You can also post on /r/GalliumOS.