Ubuntu 13.04 Will Have Better Exynos 5 Chromebook Support
Written by Michael Larabel in Hardware on 5 February 2013 at 02:30 PM EST. Add A Comment
Ubuntu 13.04 will feature better support for the Samsung Chromebook that's powered by the Samsung Exynos 5 Dual ARM SoC.

The Samsung Series 5 Chromebook is one of my favorite pieces of hardware right now since it's one of the first PCs using the Samsung Exynos 5, or more particularly an ARM Cortex-A15 SoC. The Cortex-A15 is very fast when compared to the Cortex-A9 and even some Intel x86 CPUs. Ubuntu Linux runs very fast on the ARM Cortex-A15 and overall I've been enjoying the performance and feature-set out of this latest generation SoC from Samsung.

For any developers looking for an ARM development platform or any ARM hardware in general, I highly recommend the Samsung Chromebook as its one of the few devices in the marketplace at the moment to sport an A15 dual-core processor. The price also isn't bad (circa $250 USD), which is basically priced the same as the Exynos 5 ArndaleBoard.

Anyhow, Ubuntu 13.04 will improve support for this latest ARM Chromebook to run Google's OS. The Ubuntu 13.04 repository just received ARM's new universal X.Org graphics driver, a.k.a. the xf86-video-armsoc DDX. This is a generic ARM SoC DDX driver for the X.Org Server originally derived from the xf86-video-omap driver.

Samsung already provides in the upstream kernel its Exynos DRM driver for kernel mode-setting.

Also coming to the Ubuntu "Raring" repository is a "linux-chromebook" package for having dependencies on the necessary support packages for the Samsung Series 5 hardware.

Also bettering up the support state is the forthcoming "vboot-utils" package. The vboot-utils package provides the Chrome OS verified boot utilities required to sign kernels. This is for signing custom Linux kernels using vbutil_kernel in order to get them booted by Chrome OS devices without needing to change the firmware to ignore the kernel signature checks.

It's also possible we may see the necessary (closed-source) OpenGL ES driver appear within the Ubuntu 13.04 repository too.

This Samsung Chromebook status support update for the next Ubuntu release was shared on Marcin Juszkiewicz's blog, an embedded Linux developer and one of those working to improve the Linux support for the Google Chromebook.

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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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