Chromium OS on HP Mini: xf86-video-modesetting

When I was choosing my netbook, I knew that I will install Linux on it, so, I put attention on its hardware.
Having noticed that it has an Intel videocard, I though that it’s perfectly supported by xf86-video-intel driver. Au contraire! The netbook had an Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 3600 without native Linux drivers. So, I used VESA driver on Gentoo (oops!).

People, be extremely careful when you choose hardware. Remember that even a good vendor can have badly supported series.

Anyway, distros like Ubuntu and Fedora chosen xf86-video-modesetting driver with quite satisfying video quality. My experimental Chromium OS had no xf86-video-modesetting driver, therefore it used VESA with its pale colors. It’s not a big deal to build the driver manually.

First, we get Chromium OS source code. Second, we enter chromium chroot environment on the development notebook.

alessio@toshiba ~/chromiumos $ ./chromite/bin/cros_sdk
(cr) ((0d65d49...)) alessio@toshiba ~/trunk/src/scripts $ 

Now we use emerge-${BOARD} command, where BOARD can be x86-generic, amd64-generic, etc. depending on target platform.

(cr) ((0d65d49...)) alessio@toshiba ~/trunk/src/scripts $ emerge-x86-generic -a x11-drivers/xf86-video-modesetting

These are the packages that would be merged, in order:

Calculating dependencies... done!
[ebuild   N    ] x11-drivers/xf86-video-modesetting-0.5.0 to /build/x86-generic/

Would you like to merge these packages? [Yes/No] 

When the package is built, we copy /build/x86-generic/packages/x11-drivers/xf86-video-modesetting-0.5.0.tbz2 tarball to the netbook and unpack it to /.

For some reason, Xorg server on Chromium OS doesn’t choose modesetting driver automatically. Let’s specify it explicitly in /etc/X11/xorg.conf:

Section "Device"
    Identifier "DefaultDevice"
    Option     "monitor-LVDS1" "DefaultMonitor"
    Driver     "modesetting"

Reboot and enjoy!

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