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Can't get Kali Linux USB or SD to boot on Chromebook


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Hi all,

I have successfully run Kali from a persistent USB and SD card on a Chromebook in the past, however I unfortunately didn't take down how I did it. Silly me!

I have enabled Developer Mode and run;

crossystem dev_boot_usb=1 dev_boot_legacy=1
dev_boot_signed_only=0
sudo chromeos-firmwareupdate --mode=todev

All completed without error.

However, on loading my Chromebook and pressing CTRL+U, it fails to boot from USB or SD. I just get a low-frequency beep.

On pressing CTRL+L, it also fails to read any SD or USB and I get 2 high-frequency beeps.

I'm at a loose end, as searching around the net only yields the above.

Anyone have any ideas?

Cheers.

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I'm interested in purchasing a tablet that will run a full linux distro like mint or ubuntu...

Is chromebook the one for me?

Maybe redownload and checksum... reinstall..

I'll give it a try.

Chromebooks aren't ideal - For example, they don't produce enough power through their USB slots to power an external wifi card. And I've had teething issues with some Linux programs such as Tor.

However, if you have £200 to spare, they make a very nice portable hacking tool that's much cheaper than a laptop. Just takes a bit more setting up. I like being able to switch between ChromeOS and Linux on this and then I keep Windows on another laptop.

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Which chromebook? I don't think all of them will boot linux.

Acer Chromebook 13.

I know it does work though, because I had it loading successfully around 6 months ago. I unfortunately lost the memory stick and my Chromebook has been wiped since then. Should have written down what I did really :/ I'm trying the 32bit version of Kali instead, maybe the Chromebook doesn't handle 64bit.

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Kali provides simple builds for Chromebooks https://www.offensive-security.com/kali-linux-vmware-arm-image-download/

Some Chromebooks are ARM so x86 won't run

Acer Chromebook 13.

I know it does work though, because I had it loading successfully around 6 months ago. I unfortunately lost the memory stick and my Chromebook has been wiped since then. Should have written down what I did really :/ I'm trying the 32bit version of Kali instead, maybe the Chromebook doesn't handle 64bit.

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That single beep means that the drive/partition you're asking it to boot from isn't bootable (no bootloader, no kernel, etc. etc.). Inspect the media with fdisk and maybe re-write the kernel/bootloader to the partition/drive.

(written from my Samsung XE303C12 Chromebook running Gentoo)

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That single beep means that the drive/partition you're asking it to boot from isn't bootable (no bootloader, no kernel, etc. etc.). Inspect the media with fdisk and maybe re-write the kernel/bootloader to the partition/drive.

(written from my Samsung XE303C12 Chromebook running Gentoo)

Got it working. I was dd'ing the .img file to the USB/SD card using a Linux system. I decided to try using my Windows PC and USB Installer, as per this article;

http://null-byte.wonderhowto.com/how-to/install-kali-live-usb-drive-with-persistence-optional-0162253/

This worked for me. dd'ing, for whatever reason, wasn't creating the USB correctly, even though the file system looks the same after each.

Cheers guys.

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Zero out the drive with:

dd bs=512k if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sdx

Before running dd to create the media will clean the drive and remove remnants that might be causing issues. Might help with any issues.

I kinda wish dd had a verbose option that would show percent complete.

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Zero out the drive with:



dd bs=512k if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sdx

Before running dd to create the media will clean the drive and remove remnants that might be causing issues. Might help with any issues.

I kinda wish dd had a verbose option that would show percent complete.

Try ee - https://github.com/snare/ee

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  • 1 month later...

Hi haze1434, what kali iso did you put on the usb?

I've just got an acer chromebook 13 as well and have managed to dd the "Acer Chromebook (Nyan)" iso to my usb. However, after booting up and pressing ctrl+u i get some text on screen then it just freezes :[

I'm currently downloading just the regular "Kali Linux 32 bit" iso however I have my doubts that this work.

Many thanks,

and thanks to the other guys in this thread as well! :)

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When I check the hardware for an Acer Chromebook 13 the page I get is about the CB5-311-T0Z8 which uses an NVidia Tegra K1 processor. That's a specific target not in any way related to Intel, which would be the default for something called 'Linux ??-bit'.

Got a specs page for your device?

Edit: The CB5-311-T4L3 is also a K1 so, yeah, verify the hardware.

And maybe worth pointing out: Written from my Chromebook at 32C3.

Edited by cooper
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Yeah I knew it was a Tegra K1 ARM processor before I bought it and thought it would work with the ARM Kali ISO. I also saw that haze managed to get it working so I went ahead and bought it as it was on sale.

Looking at the /proc/cpuinfo it says the model name is "ARMv7 Processor rev3 (v71)" and uname -m returns "armv71".

Do you think this could work with kali? I'll give it another shot with the ARM ISO and see how I get on.

Cheers! :)

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They made a Kali version for my Snow (Samsung ARM chromebook) which is also an ARMv7. It would surprise me if they didn't make one for your device.

You were right with the Nyan thing so maybe just re-download and try again.

Edited by cooper
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Well I think they have, its on the same list as your snow one on the download page. That's the one I've been trying. I'll keep trying with it.

This is my last post of the day so if I do get this working I'll post back tomorrow to let anyone else know who's interested.

Thanks for the help!

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After many different approaches and attempts since my original post;

I found the best way is to CHROOT in to Kali SANA using my Acer Chromebook 13.

Download Crouton.

Open shell using CTRL+ALT+T and typing shell.

Use...

sudo sh -e ~/Downloads/crouton -r sana -t xfce    (amend as required)

... to install.

You can use...

sh ~/Downloads/crouton -r list

... to check the list of Linux distros available, sana was the one I went with as it was the latest available at the time I originally installed, there may be a later version now.

Once installed, use...

sudo startxfce4

... to load Kali.

If you have space left, install all of Kali with...

sudo apt-get install kali-linux-full

(probably not a good idea on a Chromebook, not much space on the SSD. I only install the programs I need).

It's really that simple. Took me a while to find it though. You might be able to use a different Kali version name in place of 'sana', I didn't bother checking that out too much as sana is great anyway.

The only thing I couldn't get working within the chrooted Kali was Tor. Doesn't seem to load no-matter what I try. Everything else works great.

*edit*

I unfortunately never did get Kali to boot on a Chromebook from a USB. Not the Chromebook 13, anyway. As cooper stated, it's down to the chip. The later Chromebooks with the Intel chip will boot USB Kali with no problems, but the Acer Chromebook doesn't seem to like it. If you do get it working, please let me know how! The above is a nice workaround though, as chances are you won't be using multiple Chromebooks you need a persistent Kali between. I assume.

Edited by haze1434
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I know Kali is the flavor du jour but I highly recommend Arch Linux. You can run it on any tablet, computer, I have even seen it run on a phone. It is extremely versatile. I have it running on a raspberry pi right now as well. It is a great operating system that will run anything you need.

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I know Kali is the flavor du jour but I highly recommend Arch Linux. You can run it on any tablet, computer, I have even seen it run on a phone. It is extremely versatile. I have it running on a raspberry pi right now as well. It is a great operating system that will run anything you need.

Arch is OK, the issue is that it's optimized for the i686 and x86-64 architectures, which the Chromebook doesn't have. It uses a Tegra K1.

Kali also better supports pentesting tools across a wider field.

*Edit* You can also run Kali on anything. I have it on my phone as well.

Edited by haze1434
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Thanks for getting in touch haze, it worked! :D

I followed the tutorial in the link you provided to install crouton on my usb then I installed kali sana using

sudo sh -e ~/Downloads/crouton -r sana -t xfce

liked you said, then it worked!

I'm still playing around with it but it seems to be working fine.

Also my pineapple nano arrived today so I can fart around with that as well :)

Thanks again!

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