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Comment: Debian on a C740 is no longer unstable, works well!
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## page was renamed from InstallingDebianOn/Acer/C740

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DebianOn is an effort to document how to install, configure and use Debian on some specific hardware. Therefore potential buyers would know if that hardware is supported and owners would know how get the best out of that hardware.

The purpose is not to duplicate the Debian Official Documentation, but to document how to install Debian on some specific hardware.

If you need help to get Debian running on your hardware, please have a look at our user support channels where you may find specific channels (mailing list, IRC channel) dedicated to certain types of hardware.

Models covered
Acer Chromebook 11 C740

This lightweight Acer Chromebook comes with a Broadwell processor, user upgradeable SSD, Linux support for all hardware, coreboot and 10+ hours of battery life for less than 300€/300$.

It does, however, require some setup (and you'll probably want to run Debian Unstable for now).


SKU Model Region
NX.EF2AA.002 C740-C4PE US 4 GB 16 GB SSD
NX.EF2AA.001 C740-C3P1 US 2 GB 16 GB SSD
NX.EF2ED.004 C740-C406 Scandinavia 4 GB 32 GB SSD
NX.EF2ED.003 C740-C1VL Scandinavia 4 GB 16 GB SSD
NX.EF2EG.002 C740-C3DY Europe 2 GB 32 GB SSD

All sub-models have the following configuration:

  • CPU: Intel Celeron 3205U (Broadwell) Dual-core 1.50 GHz
  • Screen: 11.6" (1366 x 768) 16:9
  • WiFi: Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 7260

  • Bluetooth: Intel 7260 Bluetooth
  • GPU: Intel HD Graphics Broadwell GT1
  • SSD: 22mm x 42mm M.2 SSD (user upgradeable to 512GB or more)

Overall Status

Core Components



Boot Standard Kernel:



Detect hard drives:



Extra Features

CPU Frequency Scaling






Sleep / Suspend






- OpenGL



- Resize-and-Rotate(randr)



Switch to External Screen




- Built-in (Touchpad)












Keyboard's Hotkeys



Legend :
{OK} = OK ; {X} Unsupported(No Driver) ; /!\ = Error (Couldn't get it working); [?] Unknown, Not Test ; [-] Not-applicable
{i} = Configuration Required; X-( = Only works with a non-free driver and or firmware

Important Note

{X} Before Debian can be installed, the legacy boot payload (SeaBIOS) needs to be updated and firmware boot options need to be changed

  1. Disable the firmware write protect by removing the 13 screws on the bottom, then pry off the plastic cover (start at the back)
  2. Remove the write protect screw (flat black screw close to the SSD)
  3. Enable developer mode:
    1. Power on the device
    2. Press and hold Esc + F3 (Refresh) + Power buttons to enter recovery mode

    3. Press Ctrl + D to enter developer mode, you will be asked to confirm and the system will be wiped

    4. Press Ctrl + D at the white boot splash to boot ChromeOS

    5. On the login-screen, enable wifi (select ssid and input password) or use another method to make sure, the system has internet access (e.g. use a usb ethernet adapter). The BIOS update procedure will need internet access.
  4. Access the superuser shell:
    1. Once booted, press Ctrl + Alt + F2 (Forward)

    2. Login with username chronos (no password)

    3. Type sudo bash

  5. Use the setup-firmware.sh script from Matt DeVillier: https://github.com/MattDevo/scripts. Download the script on another computer, save it to a usb stick, insert it to the C740, mount it, and run the script.

    1. In the menu, select "Update Legacy Boot Payload"
    2. Then select "Set Firmware Boot Options"
  6. Power off the machine, optionally install a new SSD
  7. Attach a USB stick prepared with the DebianInstaller (if you plan to install via WiFi, use an appropriate netinst image, e.g. the netinst jessie 8.1 non-free CD images with firmware). You may prefer the i386 flavour which will save some space on the limited ssd.

  8. Power on the machine and press Esc at the SeaBIOS prompt and select the USB stick

  9. When you select Install at the DebianInstaller menu, you will most likely get an error message: Undefined video mode number: 314

    1. Press enter

    2. Type 7 to select the VESA mode and press enter

  10. Install as usual
  11. Once you've booted into your new Debian Jessie install, an upgrade to Debian unstable is highly recommended. Alternatively, you can run jessie with a 4.2 (or newer) kernel from ubuntu-mainline, which will solve all the kernel related problems reported in the following.



Intel HD Graphics Broadwell GT1 using the i915 kernel driver

{X} Gnome in Jessie doesn't start (instead the "uh oh something went wrong" screen is displayed). Switching to Unstable fixes it

{X} GRUB will fail to setup a graphical terminal, so edit /etc/default/grub and uncomment the GRUB_TERMINAL=console line then run update-grub. If you want a graphical grub screen, put "GRUB_TERMINAL_OUTPUT=gfxterm" and "GRUB_GFXMODE=1024x768x16" into /etc/default/grub and run update-grub.

{X} You will not see any boot output from the kernel until the i915 module is loaded, so to make sure it is loaded as soon as possible, add the line i915 to /etc/initramfs-tools/modules then run update-initramfs -u

{X} There's a bug in the i915 driver which causes flickering (FDO Bug #85583). The bug will be fixed from kernel 4.2, until then edit /etc/default/grub and add i915.enable_ips=0 to GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT in /etc/default/grub then run update-grub


The audio is covered by the snd_hda_intel module, the specific model is alc283-dac-wcaps, no configuration is necessary with Debian Unstable or with kernel 4.2 (earlier releases might need a /etc/modprobe.d/snd-hda-intel.conf file with the line options snd-hda-intel model=,alc283-dac-wcaps)


The touchpad will not work out of the box in Jessie. It does work out of the box with Stretch. Here's how to get it working on Jessie:

{X} The Debian kernel does not have the Elan i2c driver enabled (Bug #791631). You need to compile your own kernel for now. Or, install 4.2 from ubuntu-mainline which has the driver enabled by default.

{i} Optional You might prefer using the ChromiumOS CMT input driver instead of synaptics (which is not packaged in Debian):

  1. Download and install the latest libevdevc, libgestures and xf86-input-cmt packages from Hugh Greenberg's PPA - start here

  2. Divert the synaptics config file by running dpkg-divert --divert /usr/share/X11/xorg.conf.d/50-synaptics.conf.diverted --rename /usr/share/X11/xorg.conf.d/50-synaptics.conf

  3. Copy the three config files from Hugh Greenberg's GitHub repository into /usr/share/X11/xorg.conf.d/

  4. Restart Xorg (or reboot)

Power Management

Suspend works out of the box with Debian Unstable or jessie with kernel 4.2.

Earlier releases have a TPM related bug which can be fixed by editing /etc/default/grub and adding tpm_tis.interrupts=0 to GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT (you might still want to do this under Debian Unstable if you want to avoid the kernel message saying [Firmware Bug]: TPM interrupt not working, polling instead).

If you want to lower the power usage, run powertop and look at it's recommendations.

/!\ Do not enable the SATA link power management, everything will seem normal at first and later you will get read/write errors which often end up with the kernel remounting the root filesystem as read-only.


Works out of the box assuming the latest firmware-iwlwifi package from unstable is installed (was Bug #769633).


The keyboard has no "page up", "page down" and "delete" key.

Keyboard Hotkeys

The keyboard top row hotkeys (Back, Forward, etc) generate F1 to F10 key events.

Most can be mapped to generate appropriate actions using the Gnome keyboard settings in the control panel.

If you want to map the brightness up/down, one way is to install the xdotool package and to create custom mappings in the Gnome control panel to xdotool key XF86MonBrightnessDown and xdotool key XF86MonBrightnessUp.

System Summary


00:00.0 Host bridge [0600]: Intel Corporation Broadwell-U Host Bridge -OPI [8086:1604] (rev 08)
00:02.0 VGA compatible controller [0300]: Intel Corporation Broadwell-U Integrated Graphics [8086:1606] (rev 08)
00:03.0 Audio device [0403]: Intel Corporation Broadwell-U Audio Controller [8086:160c] (rev 08)
00:14.0 USB controller [0c03]: Intel Corporation Wildcat Point-LP USB xHCI Controller [8086:9cb1] (rev 03)
00:1b.0 Audio device [0403]: Intel Corporation Wildcat Point-LP High Definition Audio Controller [8086:9ca0] (rev 03)
00:1c.0 PCI bridge [0604]: Intel Corporation Wildcat Point-LP PCI Express Root Port #1 [8086:9c90] (rev e3)
00:1f.0 ISA bridge [0601]: Intel Corporation Wildcat Point-LP LPC Controller [8086:9cc5] (rev 03)
00:1f.2 SATA controller [0106]: Intel Corporation Wildcat Point-LP SATA Controller [AHCI Mode] [8086:9c83] (rev 03)
00:1f.6 Signal processing controller [1180]: Intel Corporation Wildcat Point-LP Thermal Management Controller [8086:9ca4] (rev 03)
01:00.0 Network controller [0280]: Intel Corporation Wireless 7260 [8086:08b1] (rev cb)


lsusb -v | grep -E '\<(Bus|iProduct|bDeviceClass|bDeviceProtocol)' 2>/dev/null

Bus 001 Device 004: ID 8087:07dc Intel Corp. 
  bDeviceClass          224 Wireless
  bDeviceProtocol         1 Bluetooth
  iProduct                0 
Bus 001 Device 003: ID 0bda:57cf Realtek Semiconductor Corp. 
  bDeviceClass          239 Miscellaneous Device
  bDeviceProtocol         1 Interface Association
  iProduct                1 HD WebCam
      (Bus Powered)
  bDeviceClass          239 Miscellaneous Device
  bDeviceProtocol         1 Interface Association
  (Bus Powered)

USB Host controllers entries (without OHCI, UHCI, EHCI) are removed too.