What to do with a Chromebox?At google IO 2012 every delegate got a free Samsung Chromebox. Personally I already have a laptop, desktop, tablet and smart phone. Why would I need a cut down desktop? It would probably be great for your Nan who has no idea what they're doing and just wants to email the grandkids.
So what should I do with this piece of hardware? Well my xbox classic is struggling to play some high def media files, it is over 10 years old, how about I use my free chromebox.
Enable Developer ModeEssentially flip a switch and erase all user data. Here's how.
Install ChrUbuntuI only had one problem following these instructions, me, I didn't follow them. You must leave your box in developer mode, meaning that boot time takes almost a minute because of the developer mode warning.
Install XBMCXBMC has been accepted into debian.
sudo apt-get install xbmcBOOM!
Install VNC and SSHInvaluable, otherwise you'll be plugging in your keyboard and mouse every time you get a problem.
Enable Remote Desktop Connections
Run xbmc on startupI had a slight issue with xbmc starting just before the window manager had fully started. This was causing xbmc to start in a windowed state. Instead I wrote a small script to pause for 2 seconds then start xbmc.
#!/bin/shchmod +x and then add the file into the script to startup programs.
SummaryIn total it took me about 90 minutes. My main annoyance is the beep you get on startup. I connected it to my TV through the dvi port. It handled 720p files with no problems, just need to test with some 1080p files.
Just waiting on my display port -> HDMI cable so that I can give it a proper testing.
Would I recommend buying one explicitly for this purpose, no, unless the price tag is brought down significantly.