Monday, December 27, 2010

See USB/SD Card Files on CR-48 Chrome OS Laptop

One of the first things I tried when I received my CR-48 laptop from Google was to pop in a SD card and try to send a jpeg image via Gmail.  This didn't work at all since Chrome OS doesn't support that functionality (yet.)  I did manage to find a work-around though.  First, the CR-48 must be put in developer mode by removing the piece of black tape next to the battery connector and flipping the switch under that tape.  (When you do this, the CR-48 will re-initialize on your first boot after you flip the switch which will take about 20 or so minutes.  Also, you will have to hit CTRL-D every time you boot the CR-48 to bypass the error screen that you get when the machine is in developer mode.)  Now, do the following to allow easy access to USB drives or SD Cards from the Chrome OS file picker (the one that comes up when you need to upload a file via a web page.)

1.  Enter "about:flags" (without the quotes) in the Chrome address bar.
2.  Enable the "Advanced File System" experimental feature.  (This will require a Chrome restart.)
3.  Open a terminal on the CR-48 by entering the CTRL-ALT-t key sequence.
4.  At the crosh command prompt, type in "shell" (without the quotes) to get a bash shell.
5.  Enter the command "cd /home/chronos/user/Downloads/" (without the quotes.)
6.  Enter the command "ln -s /media" (without the quotes.)
7.  Use the ALT-TAB key sequence or the window switcher button to return to Chrome.

That's it - now if you plug in a SD Card or USB drive, you can now attach a file to Gmail (or upload via any other web form) by choosing the "File Shelf" directory which will now let you go to Downloads->Media where you will see your SD Card or USB device mounted.  This seems to work well for most USB storage devices/SD cards, but it appears that Chrome OS will only find the first partition on such devices.  (It even came in handy for uploading the picture for this post!)

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