Getting images or other files onto and off of your Google Chrome cr-48 Notebook

16 Dec 2010

Posted by CrashTest_

I have read quite a few things about the Google Chrome OS notebook, the cr-48, from people decrying that you can't get to files, etc. That's not entirely true.

Two ways that I know of are to enable developer mode by peeling back the sticker by the battery connection in the battery compartment, and switching that little switch toward the connector, then turning on the notebook, at the funky notebook-face graphic you hit CTRL-d and wait 5 minutes. Then after you have logged back in and re-synced, you can access a shell.

To do that, all you need to do is press CTRL-ALT-t. Then you are in the chrosh shell, which I can't find much use for, so I just type "shell" to get to a regular bash shell. At this point you are in a light-weight Linux.

Now, using regular 'ix commands, we can create a directory where we can use it, copy your files into it, and do what you will from there.

So, if you have connected a device, like a camera via USB, or an sdcard in the sdcard slot, you can look to see if the device has been mounted by typing "ls /media". If you see anything there you can copy it to your machine, and you will need to in order to use services such as Picasa.

Strangely, the only place you can see through the graphical os is the Downloads directory, so lets copy our files there. First, I created a Pictures directory to move my pictures into: "mkdir ~/Downloads/Pictures".

Next, I copied everything from the card into the Pictures directory: "cp -af /media/* ~/Downloads/Pictures".

Now, you will see, if you attempt to upload an image to Picasa, that you have your files there. There are no thumbnails or previews, but at least you can get to your files now.

The second method I saw was that some apps can seem to see the filesystem better than others. Picnik, for example, has a normal-ish file browser that sees the entire filesystem structure. Nice! Still no thumbs, but hey, it's all there, and you won't even have to move files onto your SDD.

Last bit of advice; I don't know if it is even possible but you may wish to try "umount"ing or "eject"ing the device before you physically eject it, or at the very least, don't physically eject it until you are sure you are not doing any file operations on it.

Well, that's about all for that topic. I am learning tons about this unexpected but totally cool new device from Google, and I will be more than happy to share.



The flags only seem to show you a level "above" the Downloads directory called "File Shelf", which as far as I can tell doesn't actually exist. It doesn't get you anywhere else though, so nope, about:flags doesn't do the job.

Great idea though!

In order to use shell you need to have flipped your developer switch.