OSCAR Installation: Chrome OS

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A ChromeBook is a laptop, while a ChromeBox is a box to which you connect your own mouse, keyboard and monitor. In this wiki, we will use the term ChromeBook to cover both.

Can I install OSCAR on a ChromeBook or a ChromeBox?

If it is a recent one, then you can.

Linux(Beta)

To run OSCAR on a Chromebook, it must have a feature called Linux(Beta), also known as Crostini. If your ChromeBook supports Linux(Beta), then you can run OSCAR on it. If it doesn't, then you can't.

I'm thinking of buying a ChromeBook, how can I tell if it supports Linux(Beta)?

To learn how to answer that, go to this page What ChromeBooks support Linux(Beta) aka Crostini?

I already have a ChromeBook, how can I tell if it supports Linux(Beta)?

The first thing to do is to make sure your Chromebook is up to date. If a ChromeBook is left on and connected to the Internet, it will update itself, and then ask you to restart it so it uses the latest version. But we want to make sure, so, on your ChromeBook, go to Settings->About Chrome OS and see if there are any updates to apply. You do this by going to the settings page (which is accessed by clicking on the little toothed gear symbol) and then finding the legend "About Chrome OS" over to the left and clicking on that. Then you should see a box up towards the top that says "Check for Updates". Click on that, and it will either tell you that you are up to date, or else start updating your system. If it starts updating, then wait for it to finish, and then follow its instructions to restart.

After the restart, or if your ChromeBook was up to date, go back to the Settings Page, and see if there is an option for "Linux(Beta)". If you do not have this option, then you can not install OSCAR. If there is, then you need to enable it. Click in the "Turn On" box, and another windows will pop up saying "Install Linux (Beta) on your ChromeBook". Click on the Install button, and after the progress bar finishes, a window with a black background will come up, looking a bit like a neater version of the old MS-DOS window.


What type of CPU do I have?

Oscar has several versions, and you need to select the correct version to work with the CPU in your Chromebook. If you have enabled Linux(Beta), then the next stage in the installation process is to learn which kind of CPU your ChromeBook uses. To do this:

  • Open the browser, and type chrome://version and press enter
  • You will see a list of headings in Bold type foolowed by a colon, on the left hand side of the page.
  • To the right of that there will be lots of information about Chrome and Chrome OS
  • Look for the left side heading User Agent:
  • to the right of that there will be a line in normal font that looks like
  • Mozilla/5.0 (X11; CrOS aarch64 12871.67.0)

or

  • Mozilla/5.0 (X11; CrOS x86_64 12871.67.0)
  • We are interested in whether your ChromeBook says aarch64 or x86_64 on that first line after CrOS
  • If you see x86_64, then you will need the Oscar package with amd64 in its name (see next section), or
  • If you see aarch64, then you will need the Oscar package with arm64 in its name.

Does my ChromeBook have an SD Card slot?

It almost certainly does, but it might be a slot for a micro SD Card. Most CPAP machines use a full size SD Card though.

If your ChromeBook has a micro SD Card slot, then you can still use it, but you must either

  • Use a micro SD Card to full size SD Card adapter (many micro SD Cards are sold with one.
  • Use your full size SD Card with a USB adapter which will fit in a USB port in your ChromeBook. (Some ChromeBooks may have only USB-C ports, so check this before buying an adapter).

How do I take a screenshot on a Chromebook?

You may need to create an image of what's on your Chromebook screen if you have problems installing Oscar.

 *Hold down the Ctrl + Switch window keys to capture a full screenshot.
 *Hold down the Ctrl + Shift + Switch window keys to capture a partial screenshot.

For a more detailed explanation go to this site: https://www.digitaltrends.com/computing/how-to-take-a-screenshot-on-a-chromebook/

At the moment, April 2020, and Chrome OS Versions 81 to 83, there may be a problem with having OSCAR take a screenshot for you. It will make a screenshot, (which you might want to do to post a display of your CPAP results) but it may be all black, or have blue diagonal lines on a white background.

We expect the Chrome OS developers will fix this, but in the meantime, use the Chrome OS way of taking a screenshot. It still works just fine, either as a full screen or partial selectable one. Remember that ChromeBooks do not have function keys by default, and so all Oscar shortcuts using functions keys will be inaccessible with the function key. However they can all be invokes by another method.

How do I install OSCAR on my ChromeBook?

Go to the Oscar downloads page

Go to that page on your Chromebook, and over on the right side, you'll see the two ChromeBook installation packages labelled

OSCAR_1.1.0_Debian9_amd64
OSCAR_1.1.0_Debian9_arm64

Download the appropriate one for your CPU. Your Chrome browser will probably ask you to save it, probably in your Downloads folder, so go ahead and do that. If it didn't ask you, it put it in Downloads. Make a note of this location, you'll need it for the next step.


What you need to do now is to install the .deb file that you downloaded.

If you're still in Linux, return to the Chrome desktop .

Now open the Chrome Files App, and go to the folder with the Oscar package that you downloaded. It will show as a .deb file (eg Oscar_blah_blah.deb)

When you find it, we can open it and install it from the files App. If you are on a ChromeBox, then you are probably using a mouse, while if you are using a ChromeBook, you might be using a mouse, or you may be using the trackpad that is below the keyboard. Your trackpad supports a click anywhere in the trackpad the same way as it supports a left click with a 2 or 3 button mouse.

A mouse right click is sometimes useful, and you can get the same effect by holding down the Alt key and clicking in the touchpad.
If a mouse right click is required in these instructions, it will be shown as Alt-touchpad-click and as Mouse-right-click. Pick one, don't do both.
mjphyi has noticed that although the above paragraph is correct, right clicking isn't going to be required when installing Beta-2 or later up to this point.
It WILL be required as part of importing for the first time, and it will be repeated there, but maybe it'll disappear from here.
Note that each line is indented, causing that text to appear in a box - useful for asides like this which interrupt the flow of the narrative.

In the Chrome Files App, double click on the name of the install package that you downloaded. needs fleshing out, may need pictures:mjphyi It will then tell you that is has successfully started to install After a while it will tell you that the install has been successful, and invite you to launch it. You can launch it now, and you can also close the window that told you that invited you to install it.

If you launch it now...

If we are successful, we will be given a small square window that asks us to select our language as English. When you get to this point, or if you see OSCAR start up, then you are halfway there, but please STOP NOW and don't go any further. The next part of installation on Chrome will be to create a profile and then to import from an SD Card. You may have made a profile before, and you may have imported from an SD Card before, but importing from an SD card on Chrome OS for the first time is quite different, so do NOT try it until you have gone back to and read all of the instructions about how to do it.

After it's been done once, it will be simple.