New Install / Setup for ChromeOS/Linux

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New Install / Setup for ChromeOS/Linux

Postby anthroslave » Mon Nov 25, 2013 7:31 pm

Just wanted to post this up for anyone having issues running on an OS other than Windows, because lets face it... computers are like A/C units. They both stop working when you open windows....

So, I bought a new Chromebook as it was less expensive, did not need or come with a Windows licence that I wouldn't use, and had nice specs with a decent SSD, and I knew I could mod the hell out of it.

First thing I had to do though, as ChromeOS is admittedly limited in its ability to run actual programs, was to either dual boot or chroot linux into it. I decided a chroot would be best for me as it would:
a) keep the sweet boot time
b) allow me to switch at will between ChromeOS and Linux at will for developing, coding, testing and research
c) drastically reduce (to almost nil) the boot time for Linux (which when combined with the almost nil boot of ChromeOS means I am fully up and running before any other system)

(From this point it will be specific to my setup on the Acer C710 but is compatible with any other ChromeOS or, where applicable, Linux install with only minor variations)
ChromeOS Specific
So I started with Crouton. The first step was to enable Developer Mode on the Chromebook as this is what will allow you to access the Linux terminal within ChromeOS as well as do a few other nifty things. To enable developer mode on most models hold down the ESC and Refresh keys and tap the Power button, but you can also refer to documentation for you model to find this ability. At the recovery screen, press Ctrl+D, agree to the prompt, and you'll boot into developer mode. When you transition to developer mode, your Chromebook's local data will be erased (just like when you unlock a Nexus Android device), and whenever you boot your Chromebook you'll see a warning screen, just press Ctrl+D to continue booting.

Next is to get Crouton from on your Chromebook. Once this is downloaded open a browser and press Ctrl+Alt+T to open the crosh terminal and type

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this command only works in Dev Mode. I chose to use the Unity interface for Ubuntu, as I just prefered it to the others in this case, but there are other options. To use Unity simply enter

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sudo sh -e ~/Downloads/crouton -t unity
at the shell prompt. You can see the other options from

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sh -e ~/Downloads/crouton
and then replace unity with the option of your choice. This installs Crouton with the chosen desktop and an encrypted chroot for security.

Once the install completes (it may take a little time as it does a fresh install and gets the latest files, which I think is nice instead of using a prebuilt image) you can hop right in with

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sudo startunity
(or change unity to your previous choice). To switch between environments simply press:
ALT+CTRL+F1(Back) while in ubuntu to go back to ChromeOS
ALT+CTRL+F2(Forward) and then ALT+CTRL+F3(Reload) while in ChromeOS to go to Ubuntu
This may be different for a few Chromebooks but if it doesn't work there is documentation for each model that will tell you how to switch back and forth.

If you decide you're done with Linux, you can easily get rid of the scary boot screen and get your internal storage space back.

Just reboot your Chromebook normally to get back to the scary warning screen at boot-up. Follow the prompts on your screen (tap the Space bar and then press Enter) to disable Developer Mode. When you disable Developer Mode, your Chromebook will clean everything up, restoring you to a clean, safe locked-down Chrome OS system and overwriting all the changes you've’ve made to your Chromebook’s software.

Linux Specific
Now that we have a fully functional linux install we can get ready for Neverwinter and Sinfar fun.

First we will not be using the Linux NWN Client... I know silly right? but we will be wanting to attach the sinfarx.dll so we need the Windows install. Since this is the case we will need Wine, but not just any Wine... the default version in the repositories, and the 1.5+ versions do not play nice with NWN so we will get the 1.4 version. This is fairly straightforward, just open the terminal and type

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sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntu-wine/ppa sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install wine1.4 driconf make
do not worry if it cannot get the ppa key (the first time I installed it did and the second time it didn't, just a network hiccup). If it does not get the key it will say that there are unverified packages and ask if you want to install them. Just agree and let it go on its merry way.
This will also install driconf (and make you will likely need later) which we will use to get the graphics just right.

Next you will want to go ahead and download a filter for Wine from ... 9.2.tar.gz. I got this file from the Ubuntu forums and posted it to Dropbox so that no one would have to sign up on the other forums. Just leave this file in your home directory and we will clean it up soon.

Now we need the NWN game. I used my previous windows install, but believe a fresh install should also work. Since I did not do a fresh install I needed to make my local dir (it will need to run from inside the wine dir as NWN looks for its directory based on a Windows setup). So we will need to issue

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mkdir ~/.wine/drive_c/Program\ Files/nwn
to make our install folder and then simply copy all files from our Windows install into that folder. If you do not already have the sinfarx.exe and sinfarx.dll files grab them and drop them in the nwn dir as well. I have not gotten it to work with nwncx.exe, but the sinfarx.exe works fine. I suggest running the nwnconfig.exe just to make sure your resolution is set right (and not at 800x600).

At this point the game will function but not be pretty... lots of white textures and missing all robes. To get the textures we run driconf (just search the launcher for dri and it will come right up) and enable S3TC even if the software does not seem to support it.

Lastly was the robes, which that filter we downloaded will cure. so we

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tar zxvf filter_ext-0.9.2.tar.gz cd filter_ext make cd .. mv ~/filter_ext ~/.filter_ext rm filter_ext-0.9.2.tar.gz
when you issue the make command it will give a message about the LD_PRELOAD variable, make note of this... it should be something like "LD_PRELOAD=/home/user/filter_ext/" this will change to "LD_PRELOAD=/home/user/.filter_ext/" (note the period after user/) so that we don't have to always look at that folder. Once this is done we are good to go. To start nwn you will

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cd ~/.wine/drive_c/Program\ Files/nwn export FILTER_EXT=GL_NV_vertex_program export LD_PRELOAD=whatever-the-notation-is-with-the-change wine start sinfarx.exe
which can also be loaded into a bash script and placed on the desktop to give a single file game launcher.

The only issue I currently face is that if you allow the initial movies to play, the initial menu will be black until you press ALT+ENTER to change from fullscreen to windowed (or vise versa). After than you can change back if you want and all will be fine.

Hope this helps someone as it took a while to find all the little bits scattered through the interwebs and forums :mrgreen:

Have fun and hope to see you in game.
Last edited by anthroslave on Tue Feb 11, 2014 5:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: New Install / Setup for ChromeOS/Linux

Postby CorruptionOverwhelming » Tue Nov 26, 2013 7:09 pm

A pretty good guide for the more technical minded people who play. I personally think it's an awful lot of work to put in to get a fast boot time, but I guess we all have our hobbies huh?

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