How to Boot Chrome OS from USB

Chrome OS USB Guide

Several days ago, Google decided to release the Chrome OS source code for all the world to see. Almost immediately, the internet was full of images for running the new Operating System on virtual machines (VMWare and VirtualBox). While running Google Chrome OS off a virtual machine is easier, it’s certainly not the most satisfying experience. This guide is for those of you who would like to have a genuine feel of what Chrome OS feels like (as genuine as can be with a operating system that has been publicly released yet).

Warnings for Using Chrome OS

Currently the version of Chrome OS available is not really close to being done yet and so you should know before you get started that it won’t be the most glamorous feeling.

You should know also that this operating system is very simplistic by design, as it is intended for use on netbook computers. Netbooks as you know are stripped down laptops only intended to be used for the simplest of tasks such as surfing the web, writing some emails, watching YouTube etc. In fact Chrome OS is very similar to the Google Chrome browser that has been on the market for quite a while.

Chrome OS USB Requirements

This version of the Google operating system will be run off a USB drive, so naturally you will need a USB storage device of some type. The image file size is 2,988,442,112 bytes, so we recommend at least a 4GB drive and preferably 8GB of storage space. The files on the USB drive that you have should be backed up if you need them as they will be deleted during this process.

This is quite basic, but you need a computer that is able to boot files of a USB. If you’re computer is not prehistoric this shouldn’t really be an issue. Normally, the computer boots off hard drive, and you will have to go to your BIOS page and instruct it to use USB as the main boot device. As a side note, on most computers the way to bring up your BIOS page is F8, but it should say so in the first couple of seconds when you start your computer. Your computer will also need a network adapter, so again your computer needs to be not too old.

One major requirement is obviously getting the Chrome OS software. The open source version available for download is called Chromium OS (you can easily find it through torrents or through a quick search on Google).The software you’ll use to create the Chrome OS USB boot disk is called Image Writer for Windows – and it will be included in the download of Chrome OS that you get. It’s just a tool for writing images (so if you already have one, then you wont need it.

Install Chromium OS to your USB Drive

Launch the Image Writer click the folder icon and select the chrome_os.img file (it should be located in the same place where you extracted the zip file and launched Win32DiskImager.exe).

Now make sure you connect your USB drive to your PC. Click the Device dropdown and choose the drive letter that equates to your USB drive. For the final step, just click on the WRITE button.

How to Boot Up Chromium OS

Make sure your USB is still plugged in and reboot your computer using any technique you want. Once the machine boots, press the boot menu key and Select the USB drive from the list of choices in the menu. Wait abit and you will see the Chromium OS login screen.

Here’s an important part that’s crucial and has caused many people problems, you need to put in a username and password. The Chromium OS username is chronos and Chromium OS password is password. Now you will be running the Google Chrome OS, you’re almost done. Click on the Chrome sphere on the top left, you will see a Google Accounts login page advising you to login to welcome. If you have a Google account use that, if not either ask a friend or go to Google and create one.

If you get an error that means that Chrome OS isn’t specific to run on your machine (probably because of the network adapter) and you will need to use a Virtual Machine to try out Google’s OS.

That completes our guide to run Google Chrome OS using a USB drive. If you have any questions about this how to guide for trying out Chrome OS, let us know in the comments.

have provided the list of image from VmWare, Virtualbox and USB you can download it from here.


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