The stock/factory firmware on many Chromebooks and Chromeboxes contains a legacy boot payload capable of running Linux out of the box.
Three types of custom firmware are also available, which can fix factory firmware bugs and/or add the ability to boot Linux to those models that otherwise cannot:
- RW_LEGACY - updates/replaces the stock legacy boot payload (SeaBIOS) that supplements the ChromeOS / secure boot payload; does not require disabling the firmware write-protect, and carries no risk of bricking the device
- BOOT_STUB - replaces the ChromeOS payload (and therefore the ability to boot ChromeOS) with a legacy boot payload; removes white developer boot screen, but requires write-protect screw to be removed
- Full Firmware - replaces both the hardware init component (coreboot) and payload components (BOOT_STUB, RW_LEGACY) of the stock firmware with updated and/or customized versions of each; cannot boot ChromeOS, but offers the best support for booting all other OSes (including Windows).
There are several custom firmware options available, depending on your Chromebook/box model class, and the features you require:
|Link||ARM||Pineview||Sandy/Ivy Bridge||Haswell||Broadwell||Bay Trail||Braswell||notes|
|CoolStar||No||No||No||Full Firmware (Chromebooks)||Full Firmware (Chromebooks)||No||No|| • Fixes factory firmware bugs|
• Boots Linux, Mac OS X, and Windows!
• Install Guide: Haswell, Broadwell
• Firmware build scripts
|johnlewis.ie||No||No||Full Firmware, BOOT_STUB (all)||Full Firmware, BOOT_STUB, RW_LEGACY (all)||RW_LEGACY (all)||BOOT_STUB (all)||No|| • Fixes factory firmware bugs|
• General purpose firmware for Linux
• Single script works for all supported models
• Firmware build scripts/configs not published
|MattDevo||No||No||Full Firmware (Chromeboxes)||Full Firmware (Chromeboxes), RW_LEGACY (all)||Full Firmware (Chromeboxes), RW_LEGACY (all)||BOOT_STUB (Chromeboxes)||No|| • Fixes factory firmware bugs|
• Headless boot support for servers
• PXE booting support
• Supports integration of Kodi Media Center
• Firmware source/build scripts and payload source
Additions and corrections, please let us know: