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Don't throw out your Chromebook. Portable gaming machine!

Posted: Mon Apr 11, 2022 6:11 pm
by opa
I’ve had my Chromebook since 2015 and a couple of years ago it went out of its service date. Chromebooks receive security updates for around 5 to 8 years depending on the model (so be mindful and look up the end of service date before you buy one). Anyway, I really hated having the thing around just taking up space. I love my Chromebook but I wasn’t going to use it regularly without the most recent security in place. Rather than send it off to be recycled I found out that you can boot a version of Linux called Gallium OS. I’m not the most experienced with Linux but my battery is still pretty good and I wanted to put my old laptop to good use.

Once I had Gallium OS going I was free to do whatever. I was pretty curious what the gaming capabilities of my old Chromebook were. The first thing I did was install Retroarch (that will cover any emulators I want to try out). Then I went through my GOG library to see what I had Linux releases for. So far I’ve installed VVVVVV and FTL. Both games seem to work perfectly. Now as far as emulators I’ve only tested Game Boy and PS1. Game Boy was fine and I’ve only tested Symphony of the Night on PS1. Everything seems to be working well without any issues. Also, ScummVM works great. Portable EGA Loom ftw.

Now I suppose the real tests would be PSP or Dreamcast emulation (or whatever the other higher-level cores I can find through Retroarch). I’ll mess with that later when I find the time.

If you have an older Chromebook that’s out of date, I’d suggest looking at this hardware compatibility list to see if you can use it for Linux. A USB gamepad and a Chromebook with a half decent battery makes a pretty good portable emulation machine.