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How to install Chrome OS on a virtual machine.

Hi! It is well known that Microsoft has a great market penetration in terms of operating systems. In fact, Windows systems are the most used worldwide. Of course GNU/Linux also offers options. In addition, Apple incorporates macOS in their computers. However, there are other options perhaps not very used, but very interesting. Today we will talk about Chrome OS. This is the operating system developed by Google, based on the Linux kernel and using Chrome as the main user interface. That is, it is a cloud-based operating system. On the other hand, Chrome OS is based on the open source project Chromium OS. Unlike Chrome OS, it can be compiled from downloaded source code. Well, today we will see how to install Chrome OS in a virtual machine.

Using CloudReady to install Chrome OS.

Before we go any further, I would like to make some considerations. First, Chrome OS is a proprietary commercial operating system. For that reason, it is designed to be installed on specific hardware manufactured by Google’s partners. Consequently, it is not easy to have a copy of Chrome OS as such. However, Chromium OS is an open source project. Furthermore, it can be freely compiled from its source code.

On the other hand, there are many options to run this version. However, the most user-friendly option is provided by CloudReady. This project provides ISO images to run Chromium OS on a computer. But in addition, they already have an OVA ready to virtualize on VMware Player. This way we can enjoy an experience almost identical to Chrome OS. Because Chromium OS is the foundation of that system. Also, since it is already compiled, the installation is very simple.

VMware Workstation Player is a great platform to install Chrome OS on a virtual machine.

We have previously talked about VMware Workstation Player. This free software is used to virtualize operating systems. In fact, in osradar we already teach you how to download and use it. However, today we will use a different method. That is, we will not load an ISO to start running the operating system. Instead, we will use an OVA. Which is a virtual device used by VMware. In addition, this file contains all the files needed to virtualize the operating system. For this reason, the procedure for booting the system is a little different, as we will see later. In the first place, you must download the OVA from this link. Then start VMware Workstation Player and click on the Player menu. Then select File and then Open.

Please Select Open
Please Select Open
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Then select the previously downloaded OVA.

Please select the OVA
Please select the OVA

A window will be displayed immediately. Once there, please assign the name for the virtual machine. Also, edit the storage address. After assigning the parameters, please start the import process.

Please wait a few moments while the import process begins.

Next, VMware is ready to start loading Chromium OS.

VMware ready to run Chromium OS

Editing some elements of the virtual machine.

As mentioned, VMware is now ready to run the virtual machine. However, it is necessary to check some elements so that it runs smoothly. With this in mind, click on Edit Virtual Machine Settings:

Start editing the parameters of the virtual machine.
Start editing the parameters of the virtual machine.

The first thing you have to do is verify the configuration of the network adapter. This is very important, since it allows the connection to the Internet. Please note that Chromium OS is cloud-based, so connectivity is essential. Consequently, the network connection must be bridged.

Correctly setting up the network adapter.

Another aspect to consider is adding a sound card. This way it is possible to play audio from the virtual machine.

Running Chromium OS for the first time

To load the system for the first time, just click on Play Machine. The system will immediately run. On the welcome page, click on Let’s go.

CloudReady's welcome screen
CloudReady’s welcome screen

Then check the internet connection.

Connect to the network.
Connect to the network.

The wizard then asks for the data collection. You can enable it or not.

Please note that this is a system developed by Google and based on Chrome. For this reason it is essential to enter Gmail credentials.

Please add your Gmail credentials.
Please add your Gmail credentials.

Then enter the account password.

Enter the password
Enter the password

Finally you are ready to start using Chromium OS.

Finally, you can start using the operating system. The following image shows the Chromium OS Control Center.

Control Center
Control Center

Next we will see the Chromium browser running. Also, the system settings.

Please note that this system is cloud-based. So it is necessary to run web applications to get all the potential out of it.


Finally, we have seen how to install Chrome OS in a virtual machine. In addition, CloudReady also provides ISO for installation on any computer. In addition, the experience provided by Chromium OS is the closest thing to Chrome OS. Not including the proprietary element. Very good, until a soon opportunity. Bye!

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