Google Chrome OS available for download

When Google finally showed off their new OS yesterday there was a lot of skepticism about working in the cloud, offline applications and many other thoughts and concerns. The good news is that if you don't want to read others hands on impressions you can now download and install the OS yourself.

A couple of things to note, firstly the download will only work in a VM environment, second, this is pre-beta software so expect crashes, bumps and a rough experience. But if you're willing to take the plunge you can follow the directions here. An engineer over at Gdgt.com has compiled the source code and the directions to install the OS are on the link above as well as a few other helpful tips.

The platform does not have a release date and will most likely be limited to certain hardware. Remember, this OS is not intended to be a replacement for Windows or OS X, but will be a compliment to both.

If you do venture down the road and try to install the OS, give us your feedback in the comments!

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Twitter no longer asks "What are you doing?"

Next Story

Google phone on the way?

93 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

After downloading and installing, all I can say is this thing will not make it.

Let me explain. First, when you first turn it on, you will get a log on screen. In order to log on, your computer must be connected to the internet. When I first set it up in a VM, I did not setup the internet portion to see if it would let me check it out. No go. To log in, it is your gmail login info and password.

Once I added internet access to this and signed on, all I can say is slow because it is loading everything from the internet and if you do not have a fast connection, which sometimes on wifi, it can be slow.

As of right now, I can not see this OS replacing linux or windows on a netbook unless it is changed to allow sign on while not connected to the internet.

DSLJay said,
After downloading and installing, all I can say is this thing will not make it.

Let me explain. First, when you first turn it on, you will get a log on screen. In order to log on, your computer must be connected to the internet. When I first set it up in a VM, I did not setup the internet portion to see if it would let me check it out. No go. To log in, it is your gmail login info and password.

Once I added internet access to this and signed on, all I can say is slow because it is loading everything from the internet and if you do not have a fast connection, which sometimes on wifi, it can be slow.

As of right now, I can not see this OS replacing linux or windows on a netbook unless it is changed to allow sign on while not connected to the internet.


it simply pointless to allow you to get in without being connected. it's just a browser maximized to full screen. you can't close it, you can't minimize it. you can't install 3rd party software, you can't just simply set it up even with basic requirements - mouse sensitivity, display resolution. it's just absolutely useless piece of s*** oftware

This is basically like the post by Chromium yesterday that someone closed because they thought it was considered as warz or as unofficial.

I played with it, its obviously not meant for personal use right now, it has no prettyness to it.

I'd definately use it over a linux distrobution, but over Windows 7 or Leopard, no thanks. I have to admit they did a decent job though.

I really, really fail to see the value in this at all.
The way computer components are coming down in price and with netbooks starting at what, about $300.00?
They are already powerful enough to run Windows so what is the point in Chrome OS?
IMO netbooks are a useless piece of equipment anyway.

And yet netbook sales are soaring. This could be used for an entirely new class of machines that are even lower priced than current netbooks, since they could concieveably run from a 1GB SSD. I could see someone releasing a system that is roughly the size of a current netbook, but less than half an inch thick since it wouldn't need room for any internal drive other than a small amount of flash memory and RAM.

It's aimed at people who want on-the-go access to e-mail and other web based content, but feel that PDAs are too limited, and current netbooks offer more than what they need. Imagine a device slotted between the two at maybe half the cost of a current netbook.

There's a strong desire for ultra-portable computing that current smartphones/PDAs aren't capable of yet and traditional laptops are just too big for. The market is still figuring it out, but netbooks have something that the formula is looking for and that's what makes them sell.

Right now it's just as easy to argue that a phone is a useless piece of equipment for browsing the web because the screen is awful and input/navigation is still cumbersome on that scale. That hasn't stopped data plans from being successful.

Somewhere along the way, smartphones, touch tablets and netbooks are going to build a new singular market of portable computing. Maybe we'll see slim always-on fold-up netbooks (OLED is can do a lot for screens) with bluetooth-style earpieces that work together to give us a seamless communications experience. Who knows? The market has to be explored.

I think Google Android OS is much better than Chrome OS. And of course I can run a Chrome Browser on my Windows 7 powered Netbook + can take all the advantages of my netbook like syncing, image editing, gaming etc.

Got it working, but now it wants a google.com signin for the first tab, which seems to be separate from gmail and the like, any ideas ?

Ryoken said,
Got it working, but now it wants a google.com signin for the first tab, which seems to be separate from gmail and the like, any ideas ?


If running in VMware WS 7 (Windows XP and later) it's a networking issue between host and guest (not an account issue). I run WS 7 (Windows 7 x64 host) and I use my GMail account just fine (I used it for logging in, for GMail, and even for Google Docs). Most GMail logins do double as logins for most Google services (the only exceptions I have run into are Google Voice and Google Wave), and I have one of the third-wave GMail accounts.

nice.. got it to work after fixing the disk to ide and the network to correct bridged. i have not found if you can change resolution so 800x600 for now.

boot and feel of chrome are awesomely fast ..it's a vm...
calendar works, but gmail did not... so still very alpha obviously.

ps; eww my keyboard in the host is screwed after using vm/chromium... nasty bug i would say.

The screen will go black for a bit in Virtualbox but if you wait a bit it will boot. It takes a bit longer than it would if you were actually using it as a primary OS. I did however have success and it is running now with no problems.

It looks cool enough. I just installed it using VirtualBox and had no real issues except setting up the Network card. Wasn't hard just didn't know what to do at first.

This has potential I guess. I will be keeping an eye on future enhancements. Most everything works. I did however try some Gadgets and they wouldn't run. I also downloaded an image and the download wouldn't view.

It's been repeated over and over again, yet people like you fail to comprehend. It is intended as a lightweight OS for accessing web based content.

BigBoobLover said,
It's been repeated over and over again, yet people like you fail to comprehend.

People like you fail to comprehend that it's not mentioned in the article at all so why couldn't you just answer the question without adding such nonsense?

Tha Bloo Monkee said,
People like you fail to comprehend that it's not mentioned in the article at all so why couldn't you just answer the question without adding such nonsense?


Because that question has been asked and answered over and over again in EVERY DAMNED ARTICLE about ChromeOS. Is this the very first article you've ever seen about this??

I set mine up in VirtualBox on Windows 7 x64, and all I get when I try and boot is a blank screen.. for part of the time I see HDD and Network activity

acido00 said,
How can I open the vmware image, I have VMware workstation and the player

It took me a bit to figure out too... you have to set it up in Advanced, for the Hard Disk to open up from the Image. It's a bitch but easy once you figure it out.

haha ChromeOS take way to literally. This is actualy browser without need to run OS, since OS is embeded. haha no idea who would use something like this... and this wants to compeat with windows7 starter in world of netbooks?

SoLoR1 said,
ye, you can browse pages and look and your gmail all day long!

It's great for Netbooks and people who just want the web... not us "geeks" or the "gamers" out there who need flippin' 16 GB of RAM and 2 TB of space for pr0n and the mass amount of apps we use.

If I ever get a netbook, it'd be just to run this software, well when it's finally released, not the VMWare Image I've ran... that's not really polished enough, but then again it is Pre-Alpha, meant for true developers who understand more than me.

LOL - I was thinking the same thing! I'll wait for Google to compile it and release it. If anybody is going to mine my data, it's got to be Google!!

acido00 said,
I downloaded, how can I run the Virtual Machine I downloaded from that page? I'm using VMWARE


In WS 7, create a custom VM (guest settings are Linux/Ubuntu) and import the VMDK file you just uncompressed (WS 7 will ask permission to convert the file; let it do so). Initial settings (for me) were 512 MB of RAM in the guest, and I turned on hardware graphical acceleration in the guest. Bridged networking does NOT work in WS 7 guests with Windows hosts; however, NAT works just fine. The host need not be a powerhouse; in my case, the host is an overclocked Celeron DC E1200/3 GB of RAM/ATI HD3450 PCIe running 7 Ultimate 64-bit (most of the time, I had IE and/or Word 2010 x64 and/or Outlook 2010 x64 also running).

When I first heard about it, my first reaction was "yawn" now it is "meh". Alot of questions remain. Is google gonna track everything you do on it? Do you have to use their products, like docs and mail? And of course the big question. What if you don't have a net connection? It seems to me a play by Google to force you into their ecosystem. It might sound like I don't like Google products but I really do. The thing is I just don't trust them. Right now the people running it are cool, but people leave and retire. I don't want to be locked into one system.

Xenon said,
When I first heard about it, my first reaction was "yawn" now it is "meh". Alot of questions remain. Is google gonna track everything you do on it? Do you have to use their products, like docs and mail? And of course the big question. What if you don't have a net connection? It seems to me a play by Google to force you into their ecosystem. It might sound like I don't like Google products but I really do. The thing is I just don't trust them. Right now the people running it are cool, but people leave and retire. I don't want to be locked into one system.

You don't NEED to use their mail and docs, as it's just like Chrome-- just go to yahoo[dot]com and sign in lol.

you DO NEED a Google Account to log in to the OS itself. That's all that you need Google for in the end it appears.

MS Office on the Web will work fine when it's released; and any other online docs/spreadsheets/etc webapps. It's just better to use Google's I guess, as it's built to run those WebApps faster.

Yeah I doubt Office Online will work with this. MS is notorious for coding their apps to work well in IE and not worrying about standards. I know IE is getting closer to adhering to web standards but it's not there yet and I don't see MS making special concessions just to get their online apps to work in their competitor's browser.

jase chaos said,
You don't NEED to use their mail and docs, as it's just like Chrome-- just go to yahoo[dot]com and sign in lol.

you DO NEED a Google Account to log in to the OS itself. That's all that you need Google for in the end it appears.


What if I don't have a web based email?

Well, you would be in the minority (besides employees of companies who have office email, without a web interface). Regardless, there are web apps out there to get IMAP/POP email, and you could use those.

This is the least business-oriented OS ever created, though. If you don't have web based email, you're probably a business user, and you probably shouldn't use this for business.

jase chaos said,
You don't NEED to use their mail and docs, as it's just like Chrome-- just go to yahoo[dot]com and sign in lol.

you DO NEED a Google Account to log in to the OS itself. That's all that you need Google for in the end it appears.

MS Office on the Web will work fine when it's released; and any other online docs/spreadsheets/etc webapps. It's just better to use Google's I guess, as it's built to run those WebApps faster.


And yes; GMail accounts DO work.

In fact, GMail accounts work for most Google applications (the only exceptions are Wave and Voice; I used my GMail login for both Chrome OS and Google Docs); among the front-end Chrome includes are links to Yahoo Mail (in addition to GMail). So, at most, you need *one* Google login (and it can be GMail).

belto said,
just wait for more work on this, not brave enough just yet.

What has bravery to do with running an OS in a virtual environment like VMware Fusion?

Ok! It's working...also with my own google account...but it's nothing special...just like a Chrome browser with 3 tabs in default...

pzstm said,
Ok! It's working...also with my own google account...but it's nothing special...just like a Chrome browser with 3 tabs in default...


If you're looking to replace your current Browser with a 755MB piece of **** then download this... (but thanks to the author - great article)

EddiePwnsYou said,
Says i gotta pay ****ing 40$ so I can get it?
****ing bull****.

**** gdgt.com


Umm, whut? I just went to the website, registered an account for free, and downloaded the VM image.

What are you talking about, $40?

EddiePwnsYou said,
I'm talking about this...
See? It says... From 39.00$!
Ignore that. It's just part of the default template for the gdgt site I think. You can log in for free and you get a download link. No money ever changes hands :)

It's a web based OS. It's ok for netbooks, but thats about it.
If you want to try a new OS go with one of the Linux distros like Fedora 12, OpenSuse 11.2 or Ubuntu 10

schiz-o-phren-ic said,
Can't wait to hear/read the stories on this.


There are both VMware *and* VB images for download (I'm grabbing the VB image), so anyone can take a gander at what Google hath wrought.