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Thread: Can Ubuntu be installed on a MediaTek MT8183 Chromebook

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    Can Ubuntu be installed on a MediaTek MT8183 Chromebook

    I'm not familiar with this processor, but it seems to be neither Intel nor AMD(?)

    Is it straightforward to install Ubuntu on this kind of machine, or no?

    https://www.bestbuy.com/site/hp-11-6...?skuId=6448756

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    Re: Can Ubuntu be installed on a MediaTek MT8183 Chromebook

    No, Chrome books are proprietary and don't allow other Linux operating systems to be installed. The only option is coruton which is use at your own risk.
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    Re: Can Ubuntu be installed on a MediaTek MT8183 Chromebook

    Quote Originally Posted by Frogs Hair View Post
    No, Chrome books are proprietary and don't allow other Linux operating systems to be installed. The only option is coruton which is use at your own risk.
    This isn't strictly correct. Chromebooks have protections to block running other OSes, but those protections can sometimes be removed and a different boot firmware can be loaded to allow booting any CPU-compatible OS. After making the physical changes to boot a different OS, chromeOS will never install or run on that system again.

    I think that CPU isn't generally used, so there will be little effort put into supporting it by anyone other than the vendor.
    I wouldn't buy any non-Intel chromebook and before I bought, if I were planning to run a Linux desktop, I'd do research on all the required steps for the specific device. Every model is different. Some models cannot run Linux. Start here: https://mrchromebox.tech/ Look for the exact model ... the ending 'a, b, c' matters too. I don't see MT8183 in the supported devices, but I didn't look for any specific model - because none was provided.

    BTW, I've run Ubuntu with a lite window manager on 2 chromebooks beginning in 2012. I played with Crouton in the beginning, but found it lacking in a key capability that I required. I haven't used a chromebook in about 3 yrs. Cheap, used, off-lease, laptops without the massive limitations that all chromebooks have are much more capable and easily acquired where I live for 50% off the "new" price. I switched from a nice, but limited Toshiba CB2 3550 ($430 - Core i3, 4G RAM, 16G storage) to an Asus laptop with 8G RAM, 1TB HDD, Core i5 and all the other normal laptop capabilities for $305. Over twice the performance, twice the RAM, ooodles more storage, for over $100 less money.

    As tempting as chromebooks are, if you aren't already a Linux power user, I wouldn't suggest attempting this feat. Get a cheap laptop instead. You'll be happier.
    Last edited by TheFu; July 25th, 2021 at 05:02 PM.

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    Re: Can Ubuntu be installed on a MediaTek MT8183 Chromebook

    Quote Originally Posted by TheFu View Post
    This isn't strictly correct. Chromebooks have protections to block running other OSes, but those protections can sometimes be removed and a different boot firmware can be loaded to allow booting any CPU-compatible OS. After making the physical changes to boot a different OS, chromeOS will never install or run on that system again.

    I think that CPU isn't generally used, so there will be little effort put into supporting it by anyone other than the vendor.
    I wouldn't buy any non-Intel chromebook and before I bought, if I were planning to run a Linux desktop, I'd do research on all the required steps for the specific device. Every model is different. Some models cannot run Linux. Start here: https://mrchromebox.tech/ Look for the exact model ... the ending 'a, b, c' matters too. I don't see MT8183 in the supported devices, but I didn't look for any specific model - because none was provided.

    BTW, I've run Ubuntu with a lite window manager on 2 chromebooks beginning in 2012. I played with Crouton in the beginning, but found it lacking in a key capability that I required. I haven't used a chromebook in about 3 yrs. Cheap, used, off-lease, laptops without the massive limitations that all chromebooks have are much more capable and easily acquired where I live for 50% off the "new" price. I switched from a nice, but limited Toshiba CB2 3550 ($430 - Core i3, 4G RAM, 16G storage) to an Asus laptop with 8G RAM, 1TB HDD, Core i5 and all the other normal laptop capabilities for $305. Over twice the performance, twice the RAM, ooodles more storage, for over $100 less money.

    As tempting as chromebooks are, if you aren't already a Linux power user, I wouldn't suggest attempting this feat. Get a cheap laptop instead. You'll be happier.
    Thanks very much for the detailed response and that link. My needs from a laptop are unusual -- I want it small and light with very long battery life and almost entirely offline use. I am a longtime user of Ubuntu, and have made many involved changes just by googling how it's done -- don't know if that makes me a 'power' user, but I'm not afraid of a command line.

    Will probably stick to an Intel machine -- where did you get your Asus? I have an i5 laptop with both OS-es, but it's older, too heavy and short battery life. I basically just want a portable word processor for writing.

    It does seem that installing Ubuntu on chromebooks is well-documented and common. https://ubuntu.com/tutorials/install...ook#1-overview

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    Re: Can Ubuntu be installed on a MediaTek MT8183 Chromebook

    My knowledge could be out of date. The last time I had chromeOS on any of my devices was early 2016.

    Chromebooks can work off-line.

    Also, chromebooks have a "guest" login, so you don't need to have a gmail account to use it. I ran crouton from a guest account about 3 months. Just have a USB flash drive to store any documents.

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    Re: Can Ubuntu be installed on a MediaTek MT8183 Chromebook

    Quote Originally Posted by TheFu View Post
    My knowledge could be out of date. The last time I had chromeOS on any of my devices was early 2016.

    Chromebooks can work off-line.

    Also, chromebooks have a "guest" login, so you don't need to have a gmail account to use it. I ran crouton from a guest account about 3 months. Just have a USB flash drive to store any documents.
    My only hesitation with a regular laptop is battery life -- unless I'm missing something, the low-power CPUs on chromebooks contribute to the long battery life -- 15hrs vs maybe 5hrs. I'm not picky about OS -- ideally it would be an even lighter linux OS -- I once used lubuntu for example.

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    Re: Can Ubuntu be installed on a MediaTek MT8183 Chromebook

    Again, my data could be out of date, but my Core i5 8th gen gets 8 hrs of battery, which is a little less than my 2015 Core i3 chromebook.
    Neither has ever left me without power in the middle of a work day. Most of the time, in power saving config under battery, the screen dims quickly and I think about the lowest I've seen either in typical use is 40% battery.

    Of course, I'm not doing video transcoding on either of these. For editing in a full-page text editor (avoid the GUI!!!!), I can't imagine power use being that much assuming you don't use a bloated DE or bloated editor.

    Now, if you forget to plug in and recharge overnight - who's fault is that?

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