Saturday, May 28, 2011

How to run Chrome OS in a Virtul Machine

I was one of the few ones who got chosen by Google to test their Chrome Notebook a.k.a CR-48 since then I have been using it everyday to read news, checking my email, writing posts and almost everything I can sometimes I even use ssh to connect to my Ubuntu server and write some code.
my CR-48 :)
Also, since I got it a lot of friends keep asking me how is the experience and if there is a way to install it on a PC or running it on a Virtual Machine. Unfortunately the only way to installing is by compiling the source code and building it by yourself. All the instructions are in the Chromium OS developer page which is the open source project for Chrome. Even worse you will need a 64 bit Linux system better if it is Ubuntu 10.04 flavor in order to do it .

Searching around I found this page which provides  Chrome OS images for VMWare, Virtual Box and USB. According to author, every day around 6 pm GTM it automatically downloads the code and compiles it into images so everyone can try them. These are Canary images so for sure they are going to be very unstable and with a lot of bugs and crashes but if you wan to play around with Chrome OS, this is will fit your needs just fine.
Starting the VM :)
The performance is not the same as the real Chrome OS and mainly it is because of 2 things:
First, Chrome OS is optimized for Solid State Drives (SSD).
Second, You won't be able to have graphical acceleration since you are running on a virtual machine.

Signing into my account
Besides these 2 points the experience is pretty much the same. I am running my CR-48 on dev mode and it is also unstable and it crashes depending on the update, some are pretty stable while others are really really buggy and with a lot of crashes and sometimes applications and extensions won't work properly but that is the price if you want to test and use the latest version.
Running Chrome OS :)
Either way, Chrome OS powered notebooks are coming this June so if you have some extra bucks yo can get a brand new one pretty soon :)
Chrome OS powered NoteBooks
So as a weekend project you can download the image you like the best and play around with Chrome OS :)

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