TechSpot: Run Chrome OS From a USB Stick or as a Virtual Machine

Chrome OS notebooks from Acer and Samsung are expected to launch next month at $349 and $429, respectively. The fact that you can get a more powerful netbook with Windows 7 pre-installed for roughly the same price, or even less, is already putting some people off. But that doesn't mean you should disregard Google's operating system without so much as giving it a try -- especially since it's available as a free download for you to test on your own hardware.

Google Chrome OS is to Chromium OS what the Google Chrome browser is to Chromium. It's essentially Chrome OS's open source brother, used primarily by developers, with code that is available for anyone to checkout, modify, and build.

While you'd normally have to build Chromium OS from source to try it out on your computer, several developers have released installable builds that will save you the trouble. Over at chromeos.hexxeh.net, builds are automatically generated each day at around 6PM GMT from the latest Chromium source code, and made available in either bootable USB, VirtualBox or VMWare format. We'll cover both methods in this article while highlighting their pros and cons.

Read: Run Chrome OS From a USB Stick or as a Virtual Machine

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I installed it to a USB drive and used it on my ExoPC tablet..

It was nice, but it had no onscreen controls for touch ( Keyboard or otherwise ), and wouldn't use my bluetooth keyboard...

Still wouldn't be bad to dualboot for when I just want to quickly browse the net or check mail without booting into windows.

I got it! Wonder if you can have win7, open up the VM, install XP, then install Chrome on top of XP, then while chrome is running, install a vm copy of linux LOL.
I don't know enough about it, but it would be interesting to see someone stack a bunch of OS's in the VM

Waste of time. Not only that, this whole procedure just turned my 8GB USB stick into a 1gb usb stick, wtf? I tried formatting it and now its only 1gb. Anyone know any fixes to that. Chromium is going to go nowhere. Who would buy a computer with the only software being a browser and that's it? Not me. And i think the whole cloud concept isn't going anywhere either. Why? I don't trust. I want my data secure on my hard drive, not some companies.

NedRyerson said,
Waste of time. Not only that, this whole procedure just turned my 8GB USB stick into a 1gb usb stick, wtf? I tried formatting it and now its only 1gb. Anyone know any fixes to that. Chromium is going to go nowhere. Who would buy a computer with the only software being a browser and that's it? Not me. And i think the whole cloud concept isn't going anywhere either. Why? I don't trust. I want my data secure on my hard drive, not some companies.

When i had a chrome os test notebook that same thing happened to me. I'm trying to remember how i fixed it. Hmmm..pretty sure i had to DEEP google search, and eventually i found a program made by a usb manufacturer that fixed that problem. I wish i could remember, but at least you got some direction now...

NedRyerson said,
Waste of time. Not only that, this whole procedure just turned my 8GB USB stick into a 1gb usb stick, wtf? I tried formatting it and now its only 1gb.

Repartition the disk. Very simple.

Vegetunks said,

Repartition the disk. Very simple.

It's not that easy. I go into disk management and there are 3 16mb partitions, 1gb healthy primary partition, a 876mb unallocated partition and a 5.66gb unallocated partition, all of which i am not allowed to create delete volumes with. I'll have to do some deep searching. What DexMorgan said is true. If you want to check out chromium, just open your Chrome Browser because that's all it is.

Ok, the HB USB Disk storage format tool did the trick. Had forgotten about that little program but still had it as I used it before many years ago.

NedRyerson said,

It's not that easy. I go into disk management and there are 3 16mb partitions, 1gb healthy primary partition, a 876mb unallocated partition and a 5.66gb unallocated partition, all of which i am not allowed to create delete volumes with. I'll have to do some deep searching. What DexMorgan said is true. If you want to check out chromium, just open your Chrome Browser because that's all it is.

I had the same problem when I tried to install it - to get the full amount back use Easus Partition Manager from
http://www.partition-tool.com/download.htm
and just delete all the partitions and then reformat as 1 large. Seemed to do the trick for me

I thought that the whole idea with Chrome OS Netbooks was to get a good product in the sub $200 range........ At the Samsung price point you might as well go with a tablet or a WP7/Linux netbook which is better than this browser-as-an-OS IMHO.

Shadrack said,
I thought that the whole idea with Chrome OS Netbooks was to get a good product in the sub $200 range........ At the Samsung price point you might as well go with a tablet or a WP7/Linux netbook which is better than this browser-as-an-OS IMHO.

the price is high because of Intel CPU the next systems will be on ARM and around 200-250$

Was nice to be able to play with it in VirtualBox within a few seconds of downloading. It sucked to see that several of the sites I use for work can't be used because of how they handle PDFs. Seriously, you click a PDF, it sends the link to google docs. Well, uhm, sorry, that secured site isn't going to let google docs view any old document. So, I could do data entry, but not print anything, which rather defeated the purpose of doing the data entry in the first place.

If the price of the hardware is really-really-really low, I could see using it as a 90% of the time machine around the house. From what I saw, that's not the case. So is there really a point?

I don't really see the point of this OS. I tried it for about 5 minutes and got bored. No command line! No file manager For a similar price you can get a netbook with W7 or Linux, or even a tablet with much more funtionality.

argentum76 said,
I don't really see the point of this OS. I tried it for about 5 minutes and got bored. No command line! No file manager For a similar price you can get a netbook with W7 or Linux, or even a tablet with much more funtionality.

there's a command line and a file manager
The main advantage come from the free 100mb of 3G/months and the simplicity , cloud based user preference and virus free

NesTle said,

there's a command line and a file manager
The main advantage come from the free 100mb of 3G/months and the simplicity , cloud based user preference and virus free

100MB on a desktop/laptop replacment? I have burned through more than that in an hour on far too many occasions.

NesTle said,

there's a command line and a file manager
The main advantage come from the free 100mb of 3G/months and the simplicity , cloud based user preference and virus free

Um, really bad reasons.

1) Win7 has cloud based user preferences with Live Essentials, and Mesh, etc. And with Microsoft servers, their employees can't go through the user's email, data, documents, etc. Google employees can.
2) Virus Free? Wow, have you been following anything recently? Let alone the idea that something that is new has been 'tested' in the world. Android has massive spyware and virus issues, why do you think this won't?

schubb2003 said,

100MB on a desktop/laptop replacment? I have burned through more than that in an hour on far too many occasions.

Ummm....desktop / laptop replacement?

I don't remember Chrome OS ever being sold as a replacement but rather an addition to the desktop or laptop.

NeoDecay said,
Awesome!! (posted via Chromium OS on Virtual Machine)

Can't wait to get a Chromebook now!

Just open Chrome on W7/Linux netbook