Chrome OS is one of the most popular operating systems that drive users curiosity . But how you can install Chrome OS on a PC , Mac or any computer that does not come out of the factory with on board the Google desktop operating system?
Answer is the Neverware CloudReady project , which is now mature enough to offer a fair spectrum of compatibility and stability. CloudReady allows you to try and use Chrome OS on a PC , with the promise of giving new life to older devices.
Chrome OS on all computers-thanks to CloudReady
Born in 2016 CloudReady is a project that takes the open source version of Chrome OS(Chromium) and is suitable for making it compatible with a large number of devices already on the market. Basically what Neverware is doing is fill in the Chromium code by integrating the parts that serve to make it work on devices not designed for this operating system and eventually adding services and apps .
In fact, CloudReady was born as something addressed to the education industry , as a way for schools equipped with old hardware to keep up with the times without having to change the PC fleet. However, a home version is completely free (but without support) , which you can download for free , provided you have a compatible computer .
CloudReady and Chrome OS compatibility
CloudReady brings Chrome OS to many devices , 200 for precision. You can see the list on the official website , where for each model is also indicated if there is something that does not work. Also, it is not to be ruled out that CloudReady can also run on a device that is not on the list with the only requirement of having at least 2 GB of RAM .
Make sure you download (in the following paragraph we explain how) the right version : 64-bit for the latest computers (from 2007 onwards), 32-bit for older or Intel Atom chip terminals .
Chrome OS on PC and tablet Windows, Mac or Linux: how to install from USB stick even in dualboot
So let’s go into the process of installing Chrome OS on any PC. From now on, assume that you have backed up important data from the computer on which you will install Chrome OS. The first thing to do to achieve this goal is to create a USB stick with all you need to install Chrome OS, or better CloudReady .
For Windows PCs there is an automated system called CloudReady USB Maker (still in beta). You can download it from the official site but if this tool gives you problems or if you are reading it from Mac or Linux , here’s the procedure to manually create a bootable USB stick to install CloudReady.
- Download the version of CloudReady (32-bit or 64-bit) that fits the computer you are about to install (see previous paragraph)
- Unpack the archive and extract the .bin file that is inside it
- If you do not have Chrome on your pc , download it from the official site and install it.
- Now install the Google Chrome Recovery Utility that you can find on the Chrome Extensions Store (just press the “Add” button)
- Open the extension , which you’ll find in the Chrome’s “App” menu
- Do not press on “Start”, but on the gear icon at the top right of the window; select “Use local image”
- With the window that opens, locate the .bin file you extracted in step 2
- Follow the instructions in the procedure, then insert a USB stick of at least 8 GB (the files inside will be deleted) and press “Continue”
- Wait for the end of the procedure and you will be ready to switch to the actual installation
The next steps to follow vary somewhat from one computer to the other but the basic concept is to enter the terminal BIOS and set boot from USB drive. To do this you will need to restart the device on which you want to install CloudReady and then press and hold the key to enter the BIOS.
This is usually one of the function keys (F1, F2, F8, F12 …) or, on Mac, the Option key (⌘). When you are in the BIOS (or recovery ) you will need to locate the menu with the boot settings, usually identified by boot .
Make sure that the first boot drive is the USB stick (“USB drive”, “USB storage” or “USB device”). After this, you only have to save the BIOS settings and restart. Within a few moments you will find yourself in front of the first configuration screen.
Ignore the main window and press the clock on the bottom right of the screen. In the menu that will open click on “Install ClouReady”. It will then start the installation wizard that will offer two methods: standalone and dualboot .
The standalone mode will remove all data on your computer, including Windows / MacOS / Linux installation, to replace them with CloudReady. The other way, dualboot , will try to preserve the operating system currently installed, going to join CloudReady. Before continuing we strongly recommend you to make a backup of important data as it may be lost forever.
The last steps will accept the various conditions and continue until the installation is completed (it may take up to 30 minutes ). At the end of the procedure, the pc will turn off ; Pull out the USB stick and turn it on again.
You do not have to set language , keyboard layout , and set up the ethernet or Wi-Fi connection . Wait for the system to update and log in with your Google Account .
Optional but highly recommended passage is to enable support for Adobe Flash , the DRM system , for example, for Netflix , and proprietary codecs. To do this, open the Chrome OS settings and activate their entries under “Media Plugins”.
Well, now you are ready to enjoy full Chrome OS experience even on a non-native device.
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