Converting a Dell Chromebook to a Linux HAM Shack

 

I love my Dell Chromebook 11 but being my only PC, and not having any ChromeOS apps available for HAMS, means I had to install Linux so I could at least have fldigi to run digital.

While I’ve only ran digital via Android Apps in the past, there is a lot to be said for having a keyboard and the little Dell Chromebook 11 is a great candidate for a shack computer due to it’s 12vdc supply spec and relatively low power consumption.

For field use, I’ll stick with my Samsung 7 phone and a Wolphi-Link, but while checking WSPR spots, logging calls, checking QRZ.com for lookups can all be done on the Android, the Chromebook makes the process faster and much more convenient.

I first tried installing Ubuntu via Crouton and while successful, I soon found that going this route created an unstable computer as well as only allowing outdated versions to be installed thus many software libraries were not supported like Google Chrome.

Enter GalliumOS!  Gallium is designed for Chromebooks and just plain works.  It is ran as a “legacy” product and in dual boot configuration with ChromeOS.  It can be installed by command line using CHRX and the process is simple enough for even non-Linux guys like myself to follow.

If you are interested in installing a full service Linux distro on you Chromebook, I encourage you to try GalliumOS.

Installing GalliumOS:

Below are the steps I took to do so on my own Chromebook.  If you have a Dell Chromebook 11 “WOLF” model it will work for you also.

  1. Prepare yout drive for install using the instructions at https://wiki.galliumos.org/Installing/Preparing
  2. Check compatibility at https://wiki.galliumos.org/Hardware_Compatibility
  3. Go read about using CHRX to install via command line. https://wiki.galliumos.org/Installing
  4.  After install in a terminal window type:
    • sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install -f (update everything)
    • sudo apt-get check (make sure all are updated)
    • sudo apt-get synaptic (get the best package installer)
  5. Install HAM software from Synaptic:
    • Fldigi
    • Flrig
    • CHIRP
    • gnome-clocks
  6. Install other software
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