In this post we will see how easy it is to take ChromiumOS to a test drive on your old hardware and see if it’s working for your needs. I did it on some old laptops that I have forgot all about them and 3 out of 4 are working great with this powerful OS. I was surprise to see that even with old hardware (More then 4 years) the laptop is working nicely and much faster. All the builds here are thanks to Chromium.org and this powerful open-source project and Mr. hexxeh that hack the builds and allow to download them (thank you!).
What is ChromeOS/ChromiumOS?
Chromium OS is an open-source project that aims to build an operating system that provides a fast, simple, and more secure computing experience for people who spend most of their time on the web. It gives you the familiar environment of Chrome with HTML5 & Flash support.
Install ChromiumOS on Linux
- Extract the IMG file from the downloaded archive.
- At the shell, run the following (where sdX is your USB stick and ChromeOS-Lime.img is the path to the IMG file you extracted):
dd if=ChromeOS-Lime.img of=/dev/sdX bs=4M
- Boot from the newly created Chromium OS USB stick!
Install ChromiumOS on Mac
- Like almost anything on Mac it’s very easy, with just one step. You will need to download this ChromeOS mac builder and you are good to go.
Install ChromiumOS On Windows
- Begin downloading Chrome Image
- Download and extract the Windows Image Writer.
- Copy the Windows Image Writer directory to the ROOT of your C: drive. (failure to copy this directory, and the .img file for Chrome to the ROOT of the C: drive can cause the dreaded and annoying “Error 8:”)
- Right-Click on the tar.gz image file, and use 7-zip to “extract here”.
- After that completes, again, right-click on the .tar image file and use 7-zip to “extract here”.
- This should leave you with a .img file. Copy this file to the ROOT of your C: drive. (failure to copy this file, and the directory for the Windows Image Writer, to the ROOT of the C: drive can cause the dreaded and annoying “Error 8:”)
- Insert your USB flash drive or SD Card.
- Enter the Windows Image Writer directory and execute the Win32DiskImageer.exe programme.
- Select the .img file in the “Image File” window, and ensure that the proper drive letter is selected in the “Device” window.
- Click on “Write”.
- Once complete, remove your flash drive or SD Card, and insert them into your powered-off laptop.
- Power on your laptop and TAP THE ESC KEY to select the boot order. Don’t try to change the boot order in the CMOS/BIOS settings – it doesn’t seem to be able to detect a proper USB boot from there.
- Boot from the USB device, rather than the internal SSD.
- Enter “facepunch” as your username and “facepunch” as your password.
- Once Chrome OS is booted and appears, press Ctrl-Alt-T to go the terminal.
- Enter “sudo dd if=/dev/sdb of=/dev/sda bs=4m“. Don’t bother with the “/usr/sbin/chromeos-install” advice that you see in places – it won’t work on a 2GB SSD.
- Remove your USB device, and reboot.
In case you wish to ‘test the water’ without all this you can also test this powerful OS in VirtualBox. Here are the details to install ChromeOS in Virtual Box.
Enjoy and please let me know how it’s working for you and how we can make it better.