[linux-armv7] kernel 5.10.16 to 5.11.0 cant boot chromebook

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[linux-armv7] kernel 5.10.16 to 5.11.0 cant boot chromebook

Postby m040601 » Fri Feb 19, 2021 2:00 pm

- [linux-armv7] kernel upgrade 5.10.16-1 to 5.11.0-1 cant boot chromebook
- solution: package downgrade from 5.11 to 5.10.6
- suspected cause: changes in kernel "config"

After these 2 packages update


my Samsung Chromebook,
https://archlinuxarm.org/platforms/armv ... chromebook,
cant't boot any more.

I strongly suspect these big set of changes,
https://github.com/archlinuxarm/PKGBUIL ... mv7/config
made to the kernel config file "config". But I am not an expert here.

This has happened already before in the last years with similar botched kernel updates. Usually it's a blank screen. The issue gets solved in the next package releases.

But this time, it's not even that. It doesnt even tries to boot.
It seems it cant find the kernel, and the message

"Chrome OS is damaged or missing"

shows up. Example image here, https://www.howtogeek.com/190645/how-to ... wont-boot/

chrome os missing or damaged
miss.jpg (30.38 KiB) Viewed 478 times

The problem can be mitigated by booting a USB stick with a rescue arch installation. Mount the root partition and use arch-chroot.
Downgrading these packages from 5.11 to 5.10.16 and the system reboots again.

On my chromebook Arch is installed on the internal emcc. and has been running for years
- kernel partition is on /dev/mmcblk0p1.
- root partition is on /dev/mmcblk0p2
- never flashrom'd or touched anything else (mmcblk0boot1/0), Google still owns my bootloader
Posts: 18
Joined: Tue Jan 28, 2020 6:36 pm

Re: [linux-armv7] kernel 5.10.16 to 5.11.0 cant boot chromeb

Postby macbaze » Sun Feb 21, 2021 9:09 am

To save some others time i'll post a bit more detailed info on how to downgrade XE303 to 5.10.16 kernel if you don't have bootable ChromeOS (broken Arch Linux is in emmc)
Creation of recovery USB was exactly the same as described in wiki, but i did it on x86_64 Arch linux and of course there was no cgpt. Got it with vboot-utils from AUR.
My chromebook for some reason was unable to boot from USB (two beeps after pressing Ctrl+U).
I see no other way to restore flags than using Chrome recovery removable. Prepared USB drive as described here https://dev.chromium.org/chromium-os/de ... n-dev-mode
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2021 12:31 pm

Re: [linux-armv7] kernel 5.10.16 to 5.11.0 cant boot chromeb

Postby m040601 » Mon Feb 22, 2021 7:58 am

Just saw that there were some new updates to these not working packages,

https://archlinuxarm.org/packages/armv7 ... -armv7/log
https://github.com/archlinuxarm/PKGBUIL ... inux-armv7

The updates were from version linux-armv7 5.11.0-1, to, version linux-armv7 5.11.0-2.
It seems it was only this little change in file "config"

Code: Select all

I already tested them. On the rescue USB stick of course, not on the main chromebook.

No change in the situation.
The same boot problem continues.

PS: The above commit seems to be totally unrelated to this problem, but still interesting.

I am not very knowlegdeable about "who" and "how" these kernel packages updates work.

Could someone who knows, describe these proceses better, to us end users ?

This might be one of those, "this is obvious". Well it might be "obvious" to you if you are a maintainer, developer working daily on this stuff.I cant seem to form a picture of how the "system" works just by reading what is available on the main site, archlinuxarm.org

I am really curious about how all these important big kernel changes, in the end affect my laptop and my raspberry pi running arch arm. Where do those updates come from ? "Upstream" linux? The Raspberry Foundation linux kernel fork ? Individual Arch arm developer changes ? Who is a "commiter" and who is an "author" ? Why do these changes break the system sometimes ? Arent they automatically tested ?

In this case, let me have a go trying to understand it with this example.

Alexandru Stan seems to be a google employee, https://hypertriangle.com/~alex/resume/
With a personal fork of the PKGBUILDS, https://github.com/amstan/PKGBUILDs .
His changes , https://github.com/amstan/PKGBUILDs/commits/master , seem to be regularly merged into the official PKGBUILDS

He had this interesting pull request, https://github.com/archlinuxarm/PKGBUILDs/pull/1856

...I was finally able to get my qemu going for linux-armv7

that was accepted . And so now it is apparently possible to boot a arm qemu image an x86 with with other qemu options:

Code: Select all
[code]qemu-system-arm -machine virt -m 4G -drive if=none,file=image_file,format=raw,id=hd0 -device virtio-blk-device,drive=hd0 -kernel boot/zImage -nographic -append "root=/dev/vda1 rw" -initrd boot/initramfs-linux.img[/code]
Last edited by m040601 on Mon Feb 22, 2021 12:19 pm, edited 4 times in total.
Posts: 18
Joined: Tue Jan 28, 2020 6:36 pm

Re: [linux-armv7] kernel 5.10.16 to 5.11.0 cant boot chromeb

Postby m040601 » Mon Feb 22, 2021 8:18 am

To confirm and expand what macbaze has said on these two separate issues:

...Creation of recovery USB ...

... chromebook for some reason was unable to boot from USB ...

1. ...Creation of recovery USB ...

This is a must have, having a working backup bootable rescue system on a usb stick is an essential tool.
Whatever you are booting from regularly, emmc or other external sd card or usb stick.

On a fast rolling release like Arch Arm, the kernel updates break the system much more often than on x86.
Leaving you with an unbootable, unaccesible storage device like the Chromebook.

2. ... chromebook for some reason was unable to boot from USB ...

This is a separate issue. It might happen or it might not happen.

It is is the famous:

Chromebooks was dev-mode ..., it forgets the flags ... and locking you out of your own device.

It might happen or it might not happen.

In any case, I can second macbaze recommendation to go and read,

https://dev.chromium.org/chromium-os/de ... n-dev-mode

It is long, cumbersome but important. I can personally confim it works and I have tested it some time ago.

I would also not trust Google to keep maintaining online for many more years, https://www.google.com/chromeos/recovery
where you find the shell scripts and recovery images for the old chromebooks

Better have your own image and scripts offline in a usb stick as welll
Posts: 18
Joined: Tue Jan 28, 2020 6:36 pm

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