Pixelbook

Spent a big chunk of today preparing for, and attempting to upgrade my Pixelbook to Gallium OS.

I imaged it, then made a file backup of my home directory, before installing the OS, overwriting my Ubuntu, then restoring the home directory backup into the newly installed OS and then chowning the directory to me.

As a habit, I then imaged the laptop at this state.

I prepared a semi-automated script to install apps that I had installed on my Ubuntu, which included things like virt-manager, virtualbox, google-chrome and the like.

However, I soon found out that VirtualBox 6.1 seems to crash the mouse driver on reboot and the mouse pointer no longer moves and Gallium doesn’t even seem to see a pointer device when you check the mouse and touchpad option. I had to revert back to the image just after the file copy.

There is always the option of installing VirtualBox 6.0 from the Ubuntu repositories rather than the Oracle repositories, which uses a different installation setup. Maybe that will result in a different outcome.

Eventually, I restored back to my original Ubuntu installation so I can retry again tomorrow.

EDIT: Retried again the next day, and found out the sound wasn’t working, even on the live disk. Better find out what’s the deal with that…

EDIT2: Found out that my Pixelbook model doesn’t have working sound drivers on GalliumOS. I guess I will have to wait until that is fixed before using that. I guess I’m staying on Ubuntu. In the meantime, I’m going to see if I can compile a later version of the kernel to see if I can somehow get VirtualBox working better.

Pixelbooks and Ubuntu 20.04

After using my Pixelbook Eve on Ubuntu Eoan (19.10), my Ubuntu has started notifying me for an upgrade to 20.04 LTS. So, based on my past experiences of Ubuntu upgrades and how they always break things, I went through the process of backing up my files and making a Clonezilla image of my Pixelbook before even starting to do anything.

Then I went through the upgrade. It went through without any problems, but when it went to reboot afterwards, I was black screened after the Ubuntu splash screen.

I suspect it’s because my Pixelbook contains some tweaks via this GitHub repo, and that is still using a 4.x kernel. Last update was in 2019, so maybe it’s out of date.

Before restoring my old image back on, I installed GalliumOS which is an Ubuntu-based distro specifically aimed at ChromeOS devices. Then made a backup image of that before restoring the old image back on.

I might try installing Ubuntu 20.04 from clean and see if that has any better Pixelbook support than the older versions of Ubuntu, and make it so I don’t need to use the hacks. Bear in mind the hacks used the ChromeOS kernel, and I couldn’t do some things like use ufw or gufw. Using GalliumOS should fix that since I wouldn’t be using tweaks.

However, there’s still an annoying quirk GalliumOS has on my Pixelbook and that’s the jumpiness of the mouse pointer — touch the touchpad and the pointer jumps to that part of the screen, as if the touchpad was a representation of the screen, not a touchpad. It’s a quirk that can be gotten used to, but it is still annoying.

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