Running Ubuntu 14.04 LTS On The Acer C720 Chromebook

Written by Michael Larabel in Operating Systems on 9 March 2014. Page 1 of 4. 18 Comments

One of the favorite systems reviewed in the last quarter of 2013 was the Acer C720 Chromebook. This Acer Chromebook features an Intel Celeron "Haswell" processor with performant and open-source friendly graphics while the ChromeOS installation can easily be replaced with Ubuntu. Our early tests of the Chromebook were running Ubuntu 13.10 while this weekend we tried it out on a development snapshot of Ubuntu 14.04 LTS.

Like Ubuntu 13.10, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS was a breeze to install on the Acer C720 Chromebook. The Xubuntu version of the Trusty Tahr 14.04 LTS was used due to the lighter weight desktop. The install went easily and required no special steps with having already enabling the legacy SeaBIOS mode on the lightweight, low-power laptop.

The only major issue that remains with the Acer C720 running Ubuntu is that even with the 14.04 LTS release the touchpad doesn't work by default... Non-default kernel modules need to be built for enabling the touchpad support. More details on getting the touchpad to work on the C720 can be found via the Arch Wiki. On that Arch Wiki page is also other useful information for the C720 on Linux.

For the benchmarks in this article our old Ubuntu 13.10 configuration for the Acer C720 Chromebook was compared to a clean install of Ubuntu 14.04. Following the benchmarks of Ubuntu 14.04 on the Chromebook with the Linux 3.13 kernel and Mesa 10.1-rc1, we then tested the Chromebook with the xorg-edgers repository installed to have Mesa 10.2-devel and other new X.Org packages. With the Ubuntu 14.04 install and xorg-edgers packages, we lastly tested the system when upgrading to the Linux 3.14 kernel. All benchmarking was handled via the Phoronix Test Suite software for the Celeron 2955U laptop.

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