Realistic expectations for KANO / Acer Chromebook Spin 714 2003 / CP714-2W-5612

I had been holding back, because I saw nothing in stock LXDE indicating whether bluetooth was even on, or how to turn it off or on, or how to pair something. I was thrown - I’m more used to Raspberry Pi’s lately, with their customized LXDE, where they must have supplied their own such apps or widgets.

Now, having switched to Gnome, it was very clear how to do anything bluetooth; I paired a keyboard and it worked fine.

1. DONE F-keys  
2. usb-c (fix doesn’t work)
3. DONE audio fix
4. external monitor via hdmi (currently a lot of tearing)
5. DONE turn off the keyboard when its flipped into tablet mode
6. DONE turn off or dim the keyboard backlight (ectool does it)
7. DONE bluetooth (trivial outside of LXDE)
8. DONE ectool
9. Chrultrabook-Tools (appimage doesn’t run)

I cloned Chrultrabook-Tools and had a look around, but its not the kind of code where I have any experience, and would have a chance of building it myself. The errors I encountered have been reported in a recent issue: see on github.

Any suggestions?

So, back to the usb-c fix failing…
If I understand correctly, the problem is that a couple of modules get loaded in the wrong order? So this service tries to unload them and reload them in the right order?

The recommended debugging steps include this line:
An ExecStartPre= process belonging to unit chromebook-usbc.service has exited.

There’s only one such line in the service definition:
ExecStartPre=/sbin/modprobe -r -a cros-ec-typec intel-pmc-mux

So the module removal failed?

  1. DONE F-keys
  2. usb-c (fix doesn’t work)
  3. DONE audio fix
  4. DONE external monitor via hdmi (just works now, before ???)
  5. DONE turn off the keyboard when its flipped into tablet mode
  6. DONE turn off or dim the keyboard backlight (ectool does it)
  7. DONE bluetooth (trivial outside of LXDE)
  8. DONE ectool
  9. Chrultrabook-Tools (appimage doesn’t run)

So I can’t do anything about 9. Chrultrabook-Tools, which sounds really cool, but has already been reported as having issues on Debian, and I can’t mitigate on my own.

So, the only remaining issue is [ 2. usb-c (fix doesn’t work) ].

It seems I need to learn about modules and modprobe (he said blithely and ignorantly, setting off to learn something interesting and dangerous, like welding or high voltage or fill-in-the-blank … )

Chrultrabook-Tools hasn’t seen any updates in a while since the maintainer has been busy with life stuff.

I respect that , and wish them the best.

As to my other quest, do you know where I should look for further information about the usb fix? It’s posted on the Chrultrabook Docs site (see here) without attribution or background.

I would be very happy to do any kind of investigating if there were someone who knew what I should look for.

I don’t have any devices with this issue so I don’t know much about the issue or the fix.

I may have managed a pragmatic solution to the usb-c fix not working as given (though I really don’t understand it).

I think the fix assumes that both modules are there but not working because they’re not loaded in the in the right order - the ExecStartPre line tries to remove them, then the ExecStart line tries to add them back in the right order??

But on my system, it seems to work if I don’t try to remove anything, just add cros-ec-typec, as shown below:

@deb714:~$ sudo cat /etc/systemd/system/chromebook-usbc.service
[Unit]
Description=Enable USB-C on chromebook

[Service]
Type=oneshot
RemainAfterExit=yes
#ExecStartPre=/sbin/modprobe -r -a cros-ec-typec intel-pmc-mux
#ExecStart=/sbin/modprobe -a intel-pmc-mux cros-ec-typec
ExecStart=/sbin/modprobe -a cros-ec-typec

[Install]
WantedBy=multi-user.target

I made this change and rebooted, and now when I insert a usb-c flash drive, it gets automounted, and I can read files on it.

  1. DONE F-keys
  2. DONE usb-c (fix modified)
  3. DONE audio fix
  4. DONE external monitor via hdmi (just works now, before ???)
  5. DONE turn off the keyboard when its flipped into tablet mode
  6. DONE turn off or dim the keyboard backlight (ectool does it)
  7. DONE bluetooth (trivial outside of LXDE)
  8. DONE ectool
  9. Chrultrabook-Tools (appimage doesn’t run - futureTBD)

Thank you all, for your code and suggestions and patience. This is really a wonderful chrultrabook now.

Did you test the camera?

Not sure how. I don’t see an obvious photo or webcam app among those on the grid.

ls -l /dev/vid* returns nothing.

I installed this small camera app called pinhole.

It reports “No cameras available”

Your Chromebook (assuming it’s a 13th gen KANO) uses an IPU6 camera, like Redrix. Currently the only way to get it to work is with jwrdegoede/ipu6-softisp Copr (Fedora only). Also this currently contains a kernel with a bug that makes audio not work. You should add the camera to the list of working / not-working stuff.

I believe there was someone that got both the camera and audio to work at the same time on kano.

I think they were just lucky to have an old version of the camera package that didn’t include the audio bug. But that version is not available to download anymore.

  1. DONE F-keys
  2. DONE usb-c (fix modified)
  3. DONE audio fix
  4. DONE external monitor via hdmi (just works now, before ???)
  5. DONE turn off the keyboard when its flipped into tablet mode
  6. DONE turn off or dim the keyboard backlight (ectool does it)
  7. DONE bluetooth (trivial outside of LXDE)
  8. DONE ectool
  9. Chrultrabook-Tools (appimage doesn’t run)
  10. camera not working, not recognized as present

I can’t set the keyboard backlight brightness using ectool anymore. The keyboard backlight is on all the time at some unchanging level, even though it reports as being disabled. The following simple script of mine used to work fine (the echos are new, for debugging, and seem to show the ectools as running OK):

# script to set keyboard backlight brightness to any percent, on chrultrabooks

declare -i BL

if [ "$1" = "" ]
then
  BL=10
else
  BL=$1
fi

if [ $BL -gt 100 ]
then
  BL=100
fi

if [ $BL -lt 0 ]
then
  BL=0
fi

echo BL=$BL
sudo ectool pwmsetkblight $BL
echo RC=$?
sudo ectool pwmgetkblight
echo RC=$?

I get the following output, but the keyboard backlight is unchanged:

@deb714:~/bin$ bl 90
BL=90
Keyboard backlight set.
RC=0
Keyboard backlight disabled.
RC=0

Update on not being able to set the backlight brightness:

That script (calling ectool to set the keyboard backlight) fails as noted above under Gnome. The backlight is always on, pretty bright. Even though the script seems to run, nothing changes.

That script works when under LXDE. The backlight amount is settable, and is remembered between boots.

I have no idea why this would be so.

this is alternatively hopeful and frustrating. sometimes setting the backlight using ectool doesn’t work under Gnome, but sometimes it DOES work under Gnome, this last time I needed to reboot for some updates, and now its working fine. What would a reboot enable???