Google’s new operating system Chrome OS Flex, available to all. It will work on almost any computer – maybe even the dinosaur sitting in your garage. Find out how you can try it now.
Chrome OS Flex is a version of Chrome OS designed for business and education settings and is based on CloudReady software developed by Neverware Chrome OS is enabled to run on almost any PC. You don’t need to A Chromebook to run it
Updated 8/5/22: We originally published this piece for the February 2022 experimental release of Chrome OS Flex. We’ve updated Chrome OS Flex now that it’s no longer in early access.
The goal is to create a lightweight OS to replace Windows and macOS on older computers, so they don’t slow down over time — improving longevity and reducing e-waste. Chrome OS Flex, like Chrome OS, relies heavily on cloud integration to help accomplish this. In addition to being lightweight and cloud-first, Chrome OS Flex is designed to be secure – supported UEFI Secure Boot — and easy to manage with the Google Admin Console
You must be running Chrome OS Flex on one Devices certified by Google. However, the number of currently certified devices is limited. It may work on many devices not listed, but there is no guarantee of system stability or hardware drivers.
Category: Chrome OS is Flex No “early access” from July 2022. Google is targeting businesses more than home users, but anyone can download it for personal use as well. You can test directly from a USB drive without installing it on your PC.
At a minimum, you need a computer with at least the following:
- A 64-bit Intel or AMD CPU
- Four gigabytes RAM
- A 16 GB USB drive
- Support for booting from USB
- Administrative access BIOS/UEFI Settings
- An internet connection
Category: Chrome OS Flex does not support ARM-based systems.
Chrome OS Flex can run on a USB drive without installing it on your PC’s hard drive Live Linux USB drive. We will use the Chromebook Recovery Utility extension to format and set up the USB drive
Install the extension by clicking “Add Extension” and then plug your USB drive into your PC
Click the little puzzle icon in the top right corner of Google Chrome to see installed extensions, then click “Chromebook Recovery Utility.”
On the first page of the Chromebook Recovery Utility, click “Start” at the bottom right.On the next screen, click “Select a model from a list.”
First use the drop-down menu to set the Manufacturer to “Google Chrome OS Flex”, then set the Product to “Chrome OS Flex (Developer-Unstable)” and click “Continue”.
Select the USB drive you plugged in and press “Continue”.
Caution: Continuing beyond this point will erase the entire USB drive you inserted. Make sure nothing important is stored in it.
On the next page, click “Create Now” in the lower right corner and it will take a few minutes to create the bootable USB drive. When it’s done, click “Done”.
Google says Chrome OS should be compatible with Flex UEFI Secure Boot, but you may need to adjust the Secure Boot settings. For example, A surface device We verified that booting the Chrome OS Flex USB drive requires changing the Secure Boot Certificate keyset from “Microsoft only” to “Microsoft and third-party CAs”.
If you do not have a certified device, Chrome OS Flex may not fully support all of your device’s hardware, causing crashes or hardware malfunctions. Follow the prompts after booting to get started.
Caution: Be sure to select “Try this first”, especially if you don’t have a certified device. Also, note that installing Chrome OS Flex will erase existing data on your hard drive
You’ll be asked if you want to try signing in as a guest or with your Google Account Signing in with your Google Account automatically signs you into all Google apps on the device, just like on a Chromebook.
If you’ve ever used Chrome OS on a Chromebook, you’ll be right at home with Chrome OS Flex.
The user interface was smooth and responsive, and there were no major bugs during our testing.
There are some important differences you may notice. Chrome OS Flex does not support Android apps or the Google Play Store. The keyboard shortcuts you’re familiar with from Chrome OS may also be different, as not all Chrome OS Flex keyboards are the same.
Chrome OS Flex’s hardware support is also pretty good. Unfortunately, none of the laptops we tested in February 2022 responded to the trackpad or keyboard. But the USB mouse and keyboard connected to the devices worked. Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and audio devices work fine on all computers on it Chrome OS Flex works flawlessly even on a 13-year-old PC with a dedicated GPU and sound card. Chrome OS Flex also performed well in our tests.
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