Regarding End of Life chromebook firmware update

Hey there,
So i got an Acer Chromebook 14 CB3-431.

I want to test some live OSes on my chromebook so i can decide which one i should use (plus i can fiddle around and just install an OS on external drive)

Now the issue is i’ll need a firmware update (using, which unfortunately is not available due to my chromebook reaching End of Life.

the option:
1) Install/Update RW_LEGACY Firmware)
is disabled because “The RW_LEGACY firmware update is not supported for devices which have reached end-of-life”

Now i really need that option so i can dual boot my current OS and the new OS from USB device, however it wont let me do so.

i don’t have many options here since:

The audio drivers might or might not work unless i do some fiddlyfixes with kernel etc. I am willing to try some audio fixes but not at the expense of losing my only OS where audio works (so dual boot sounds like a safe option)

Now i totally know that running old OS is “not recommend and bad;(” but atleast the audio works there!! I’d use the second option ** [WP] 2) Install/Update UEFI (Full ROM) Firmware but i wont since it will not let me dual boot which i deperately need to preserve atleast an OS with working everything (including audio), i.e, the stock os

My question here is:

  • Do i manually edit the bash files which script downloads, to forcefully enable firmware update? will it break something? Or is it just disabled due to “EOL is bad :frowning: pweze no use” ?
  • Do i have a better option? I rly want audio working

Some places i went through before coming here, and did not get the answer:
→ This person had the similar issue: here but he frowned upon . .
→ this person from medium installed some OS (Which btw im not installing), but atleast bro got dual boot support (because it wasnt Eol back then)

BTW regarding which OS i want to install: im looking forward to fydeos, but if thats not possible i’m fine with Arch or debian or whatever atleast works (by normal ways or by fixing kernel with the alc5650 patch)

Please don’t rely on guides that are several years out of date. Audio on your Chromebook works perfectly fine when running Linux.

If you managed to find your way here, I’m surprised you weren’t able to find your way over to the docs, the definitive source of info for running a different OS on your Chromebook.

I have to imagine that the last ChromeOS version available for your Chromebook is very old at this point and certain websites probably don’t even load. There is very little reason to still be using ChromeOS on your Chromebook.

FydeOS is not supported by this project, and I don’t think your audio would work, the very thing that you’re worried about.

Installing full ROM is reversible with the flashing manually guide in the docs and the guide at Firmware Write Protect - MrChromebox Wiki. If that’s not enough to alleviate your concerns, I suggest you try Submarine, which does not require flashing custom firmware.

You can boot external USB attached drives via the EFI. The EFI screen offers several boot options -
(1) Boot Menu will show your normal boot options plus additional entries for attached USB drives.
(2) Boot Manager allows you to Change Boot Order, Add Boot Option, Delete Boot Option, and Boot From File.

If your external USB disk has grub installed just use the boot from file option, select the proper device, select the boot directory and then grub_64 (or something similar).

That is how I install Linux on Chromebooks. I build a system image on a portable USB device (thumb drive, USB ssd, etc), then attach it to the Chromebook, and using the EFI boot menu I boot it up and test and/or clone to the Chromebook.

Your Chromebook is Intel_strago board design – I have a ASUS that is also Intel_strago and rt5650 sound works fine. The 5650 sound device is connected to the I2C bus and shows up at an address of i2c-10EC5650:00: and becomes alsa device chtrt5650.

Kernel version is 6.6.35, OS is Void Linux (not officially supported here) but Arch should work as well. You will need WierdTreeThing’s sound script -


Well i didn’t find my answer there, the reason why i came here. It just says the same thing i said before (second option wont let me boot back into my chromeOS)

so does that mean i don’t need to install the firmware at all? will it just use grub from my USB device without needing to flash anything extra to my chromebook? Apologies if i comprehended it wrong

That sounds reassuring, wasnt able to find this information before though

I’ll look forward to that, thanks.

you must flash the UEFI Full ROM firmware in order to boot anything from USB.

Even if you could use RW_LEGACY firmware, it wouldn’t give you an accurate representation of how things would work/not work once you flashed the UEFI firmware.

so the point remains: i wont ever be able to boot back into my chromeOS right? or would that become possible using grub on the USB?

you won’t be able to boot the EOL ChromeOS on the device now. You can use Brunch to run a newer/current ChromeOS version, or you can use ChromeOS Flex (likely without audio). But the short answer is just run a 2024 Linux distro and everything will probably work OOTB.

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As I said, installing full UEFI ROM is reversible with the flashing manually guide, even if it is discouraged.

STRONGLY discouraged

Your chromebook is supported (Supported Devices and Platforms | Chrultrabook Docs) with no known issues.

The audio might work out of the box in recent GNU/Linux operating systems (that happens for older Chromebook).

In case it does not, please use the audio script by WeirdTreeThing. Here is the list of supported distros (please note that Ubuntu and Linux Mint are not supported. But among supported distros, those closest to Ubuntu are PopOS and LMDE).