Enabling Developer mode on HP A11 G8 EE Chromebook (Barla)

Hi all, I received my HP 11A G8 EE chromebook yesterday, and my plan is to install linux on it; specifically puppy linux since it’s lightweight, but when I try to enable developer mode using esc+refresh and power button, I get a screen that says “please insert a recovery usb stick or sd card.” For anyone with this chromebook or has ran into this screen before, could you explain to me why I’m getting this screen? When I hit power button again, it boots ChromeOS as normal, I’m just wondering what I’m doing wrong to bring up this screen. Thanks in advance for any help, and apologies if this isn’t the right sub forum to post this to.

**Edit: I checked it again, and tried pressing ctrl+d on that screen, and I think it might be the screen for enabling developer mode, but I’m not really sure, so again if anyone can confirm this I would really appreciate it. **

Yes, that is what you’re supposed to do.

I’m new to this so I wasn’t sure if that was the right way to do it. Last thing I wanna do is potentially brick it, but hey progress at least.

So, I created the iso for puppy linux; I went with Bionicpup, and created a backup of chromeos using the recovery utility, so after enabling dev mode, do I download the firmware utility script and run it, or do I need to disable the the write protection first? for my model it says battery, or can the utility remove protections?

  1. Disable write protection
  2. Run the firmware utility script
  3. Install Linux

You have to disable hardware write protection yourself, the script only disables software write protection.

Also you do realise that Bionic Beaver is 6 years old right? We’re currently on Noble Numbat.

So I have to unplug the battery, and booting the device just using the charger to remove protections for my model according to the site. thank you for the steps/help it’s much appreciated. Also, I’m not sure what you mean by the last comment, I downloaded the latest version of bionic pup directly from the site.

Just a bit of an update: I was able to disable the protections and use the firmware to boot bionic pup, and I learned that bionic pup is indeed outdated just like you said; I was having issues connecting to the internet once booted via usb, so I went to the puppy forums and they told me it’s outdated and possibly missing other firmware, so I’m gonna see what is the most maintained os and go from there. I figured all of them were actively maintained. I guess not. Anyway, thanks again for the help.

The recommended distros for this project are listed here: Installing Linux | Chrultrabook Docs

Post Install will also be useful to you.

1 Like

Thanks, I guess the iso i downloaded was ubuntu based too, so that probably didn’t help the cause either, i’ll just go with one of the recommended here, and hopefully be the end of that.

Ok, so I went ahead and installed ultramarine linux since it was one of the recommended distros to use, and while setup was fine, I’m having trouble with the audio and trying to use that fix command; everytime I tried to enter it into the terminal, I get the error " git: command not found" even though I installed gitg (closest thing I could find for git), and I have the chromebook linux audio downloaded to my desktop. Could someone please tell me what I’m doing wrong? I tried running the command as sudo too but still nothing.

Edit: Yes I did update the system too using sudo dnf update before trying this too, and still nothing.

**Edit 2: I was able to get help with installing the script on the ultramarine discord, and successfully ran it, but after rebooting I still have no sound; I did remember that before rebooting that it said it still might not work after installation, so I have to install a custom kernel, and there was a website so I’ll check that out and hopefully it helps. **

**Edit 3: Some users on the ultramarine discord was able to help me find the necessary kernel needed for my chromebook, which I’ll post the link to here: https://fs.nightcore.monster/chromebook/stoney/kernel/latest.tar.xz **

Edit 4 4-16-2024: Audio has been fixed!! A BIG thank you to the users of the ultramarine linux discord who had the patience of saints in helping me troubleshoot, and eventually solving the issue. Junefish, jade, eepy mado, and lerm. Thank you! I’m gonna try and make a guide soon, so this can hopefully help someone with the same chromebook and issues I had.

Glad you got it working! As a fellow BARLA owner, welcome to the pain train.

1 Like

Thanks! No pain no gain! Definitely gained a lot from this though, and especially feels good to repurpose something that would otherwise gather dust or worse end up in a landfill.