How to Run Google’s Chrome OS from a USB Drive

How to Run Google’s Chrome OS from a USB Drive

Easy to follow step-by-step guide to installing and running Google’s Chrome OS: the open source, lightweight, and secure operating system that’s optimized for the Internet.

For those looking to run Google’s Chrome OS without having to purchase a new laptop or desktop PC this is the guide for you.

Google may have introduced the Chrome OS a little over two years ago, but it wasn’t until just recently that consumers were able to purchase a device with it preinstalled. Last month Acer and Samsung released “Chromebooks” that range in price from $379 to $499.

So what’s so special about the Chrome OS?

  • Same experience everywhere — Your apps, documents, and settings are stored safely in the cloud.
  • Uber fast boot times
  • Amazing Web apps
  • Designed to defend against the ongoing threat of malware and viruses.
  • Easy to share with family and friends. They can log in to experience all of their own Chrome settings, apps, and extensions.

To make a Chromebook of your own is fairly easy and involves just a few simple steps. All you’ll need is a 4GB USB stick, a laptop, netbook, or even desktop PC, and about 10 minutes of your time.

(Updated December 5th, 2011)

1. Download Google’s latest Chrome OS Vanilla build for USB HERE.

*If you find that the Vanilla build doesn’t work try the Lime build instead. It supports a number of additional Wi-Fi and graphic cards. 

2. Use Winrar or 7zip to extract the ‘tar.gz’ file into ‘.tar’, then extract again to view the folder with the Chrome OS image (.IMG) file.

3. Download Image Writer 0.2 HERE.

4. Insert formatted 4GB USB stick.

5. Open Image Writer and select the extracted Chrome OS .IMG file. Also make sure the selected “Device” is the one for your USB stick (should be automatic).

6. Select “Write.”

7. Restart the computer and change initial boot drive to USB so that it boots in USB mode.

8. Finally, log in to Chromium OS with your gMail username and password or “facepunch” for both if you don’t have one. I recommend setting up a gMail account if you don’t have one already so that you can maintain and save your settings, documents, etc..

It’s that easy…….

Stay tuned.

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