How to Install Google Chromium OS: A Hands-On Overview


Now that Google has officially released Google Chromium OS to the public it’s time to get down and dirty and try it out. Of course there will be bugs and software issues, but that’s part of being one of the pioneers. Every bug found by a user and reported to the system developers, is another chance to OS perfection.

For the purpose of this tutorial on how to download Google Chrome OS (and how to install it), we are going to use the “Flow” Chromium OS build from Hexxeh, which can be downloaded here.

Download Google Chrome OS

Click here to download it now!

Download Google Chrome OSThanks to Hexxeh, who tweaked the Google Chrome OS source code, the OS can be easily installed from a 2 or 4GB flash drive in a matter of minutes. Users simply need to create a bootable flash drive with the Google Chrome OS image on their current operating system. Instructions are going to be listed for users running a version of Windows, however on the Flow homepage there are more complete instructions for Mac and Linux distro users.

After you download Google Chrome OS, back up any important files on the related flash drive. The drive will be formatted and all files will be wiped clean (you have been warned).

First we begin by downloading all important files for the operation.

Step 1: Navigate to the Vanilla Chromium Build homepage and scroll all the way to the top of the version listing (latest build version).

Step 2: Click on the “Download USB Image (picture of a USB drive)” and the zipped OS image file should begin downloading. The file is 200MB+ and should take a while so go relax and come back in about 15-20 minutes.

Step 3: Once the Chromium OS image has completed downloading, we will also need to download the Windows Image Writer so that we can successfully create a bootable image on our flash drive. The Image Writer page can be found here, with the download link on the right hand side of the page (first green tab). This download won’t take long (less than 1 minute on high speed internet) so you might as well just wait until it’s done.

Step 4: Once everything has finished downloading we must format our flash drive. Simply insert the drive into a USB slot in your computer and wait for Windows to mount the drive. Then navigate to “Computer”, right click on the flash drive in the device list and select “format…”. The format menu will open, just click the “Start” button and Windows will automatically format your flash drive.

Step 5: Unzip the Image Writer file and open the Win32DiskImager program (Windows Vista, 7 and x64 bit users will need to right click and select the “Run as administrator” option). An error may, or may not, pop up when the program is starting. It’s referring to a floppy drive that is not installed on your machine, dismiss the error by selecting “Ok”.

Step 6: Unzip the Chrome OS .tar.gz image file you downloaded by using WinRAR or 7Zip and make sure the extracted files are in an easily navigable directory.

Step 7: In the Image Writer menu select the correct drive letter of your inserted flash drive. This can be checked easily by opening “Computer” or “My Computer”. Once the correct drive is selected, you must then select the blue folder icon and navigate to the Google Chrome OS image file in the browser window that pops up. If you have successfully selected the correct image it will show up in the address bar to the left of the open source icon.

Step 8: Double check the drive letter of your flash drive and then select “Write” after making sure. A warning will pop up indicating your drive may malfunction if you happen to select the wrong one, dismiss the warning message and the program should begin writing a bootable image to your flash drive.

Step 9: When the program has finished writing the image and displays “Done” in the bottom left corner you may then remove the flash drive and close the program.

Step 10: Reboot the machine and choose the USB thumb drive you just created as the boot partition. The computer will then boot into the Google Chrome OS Flow build.

Step 11: The first time you login into the OS you will need to login using a common login name and password. The Login screen looks like the image at the top left, with the Google Chrome and Flow logos clearly evident.

Login: facepunch

Pass: facepunch

After the OS has started up simply login to a Gmail or email account. After you have successfully logged in, reboot the computer (press power off) and complete the steps again to boot into the Google Chrome OS. You should then be able to login to the OS using your Gmail account and password once it boots up. Netbook users are less fortunate, there is currently a bug preventing login – so just login using the “facepunch” info. All personal account information will be stored however so you won’t have to keep logging in after reboots.

Congratulations, now you know where to download Google Chrome OS and how to install it!

After you have completed installation and played around with the new Google Chrome OS let us know your thoughts, we have created a forum topic just for that purpose. Let us know of other Chrome OS builds out there, or any questions you may have pertaining to this one. The forum post is here.


Did you enjoy this article?
Share the love
Get free updates and win TTL prizes

Other Posts You Might Like

145 Responses to “How to Install Google Chromium OS: A Hands-On Overview”

  1. Dean says:

    By the sound of some of the questions asked below, some people shouldn’t even be using calculators, never mind computers. How can people be soo stupid? :/

  2. Donovan Wynter says:

    this is not working for me i did everything but when i restart my comp it stuck at the main screen that shows the name of my mobo and i,m not able to get into my bios or anything but when i unplug the usb flash drive my comp boot ok

    what am i doing wrong??

  3. James Hitch says:

    Thanks for assuming a Windows world. I shall have a go at writing the image to USB on a Mac.

  4. Pggboren says:

    Seems to hard

  5. Marco Slater says:

    can you use LiLi (Linux Live Usb Creator)?

  6. Spyrosole1 says:

    Please answer my question: I runned disk Imager and opened the file when I press “Write”, it says “An error occurred when attempting to get handle on the file ERROR 8″ Please answer me!!

  7. tiff says:

    I’m having a problem installing the OS. I boot from the usb stick. It displays a screen that says chromium then it goes blank and doesn’t go any further than that. Can someone please help me

    • Alex Martin says:

      i have the same problem and i dont know how to fix i’ve tried typing boot and start and browser and even tried to log in on the console but it will not let me in help! if it helps im on vanilla NOT flow.

  8. tiff says:

    I’m having a problem installing the OS. I boot from the usb stick. It displays a screen that says chromium then it goes blank and doesn’t go any further than that. Can someone please help me

  9. Shaidiamant says:

    My usb was screwed after I wrote the image on it and when I formatted it back to normal it was only 1 gib when originally it was 2 gib…wtf?!

    • Umar6120 says:

      I think so there is some problem with your USB this operating system looks like good for usb and always remember never ever install any operating system on USB for long time use, these USB types operating systems are always for testing purposes!

    • padiyachi says:

      To fix your usb drive. Run Ubuntu disk. Go to system–administration—GNOME Partition Editor–scroll down on top left corner and select your usb drive—go to Device on the menu—select set disklabel—-select advanced—scroll down to bsd—select create—select create again–take the usb out and put in window computer and format the usb drive.

      • Set Kim Kuang says:

        You can run Ubuntu Disk, search application, disk utility, then from storage devices, select your USB drive, then select Format Drive, and take out the USB drive and insert to windows computer to format the USB drive.

  10. Raf092pl says:

    Installing Chromium OS To The Hard Drive Of Netbook/Notebook

    Next step, if you are interested, and its ok to wipe the hard drive, is to install Chromium OS to the netbook permanently, for better performance and faster boot.

    Boot from Pen drive and Log on to Chrome OS.
    Press Ctrl+Alt+T.
    If your build is Flow : Type /usr/sbin/chromeos-install and press Enter. ( other builds, the command is just “install” without quotes.
    Enter the Root password ( facepunch if you are using flow or vanilla and for the dell build, dell1234)
    Follow prompts. ( couple of them, dont worry !)
    Unplug the USB Pen drive and reboot the Computer.
    Done.

  11. Raf092pl says:

    Installing Chromium OS To The Hard Drive Of Netbook

    Next step, if you are interested, and its ok to wipe the hard drive, is to install Chromium OS to the netbook permanently, for better performance and faster boot.

    Boot from Pen drive and Log on to Chrome OS.
    Press Ctrl+Alt+T.
    If your build is Flow : Type /usr/sbin/chromeos-install and press Enter. ( other builds, the command is just “install” without quotes.
    Enter the Root password ( facepunch if you are using flow or vanilla and for the dell build, dell1234)
    Follow prompts. ( couple of them, dont worry !)
    Unplug the USB Pen drive and reboot the Computer.
    Done.

  12. Sid says:

    Hey I just installed the ChromeOS I have not really used it yet. The fact that I am concerned about is formatting my USB stick. My USB is formatted to FAT32 and it seems that i do not need to format it again. Is this true? Also, by formatting my USB, does it mean that now that USB is solely used for booting and using ChromeOS or I can still use it for you know, storing stuff like photos or music?
    I use WindowsXP and I have downloaded the Flow ChromeOS.

  13. Max Thorsoen says:

    is there any way to install it to the hdd instead of running it live?

    • Anymhz says:

      crtl+alt+T
      type install
      pass facepunch
      watch it work..
      it will tell you to shutdown, remove usb and restart
      they are still working on wifi so you need a cat5 connection /hard wired/ lan/network/blue cable LOL whatever you want to call it..

      • crtl+alt+T
        type install
        pass facepunch
        watch it work..
        it will tell you to shutdown, remove usb and restart
        they are still working on wifi so you need a cat5 connection /hard wired/ lan/network/blue cable LOL whatever you want to call it..

  14. Margiecondino says:

    i still cant intall the google chrome

  15. Maniello says:

    i needed my flashdrive to use, so i formatted it… it is an 8 gigs flashdrive, but now windows sees it as a 1 gig drive. what should i do?

  16. Maniello says:

    i needed my flashdrive to use, so i formatted it… it is an 8 gigs flashdrive, but now windows sees it as a 1 gig drive. what should i do?

    • booyah says:

      Right Click My Computer, Go to Manage – Down the left column there should be “Disk Management” click that. Highlight your USB Disk Drive first, then right click it, and click format. Click OK. Your 8GB is now back. Same thing happened to me with a 16gb disk.

    • Faizan Afzal says:

      Hey use any partition software to complete format your flash drive. Unallocation unit restore and flash become 8 GB again.
      Use free partition software like EASEUS Partition Master.
      Window drive manager not manage these RAW format. So use any free partition software.

  17. Rishikthareja says:

    itz askin for a wifi cnnction??? dnt move further?? what to do???

  18. LightyKD says:

    How would I install Chrome OS if I want to make it the main operating system of a computer? I dont want to boot from a flash drive but directly from the hard drive.

  19. Swampfox says:

    save time and trouble, get linux ubuntu…… don’t waste your time on this

  20. James Owen says:

    when i reboot my computer(desktop) and select my flashdrive in bios as boot device it just restarts my computer and boots windows xp again

  21. hakeem zainuddin says:

    help me iwant download google

  22. Johann says:

    Briley,

    I have succeeded to install Google Chromium OS from my flashdrive but have to use the flashdrive everytime I want to start the computer. I have not logged in from the start with the common password (facepunch) Could that be the problem ? I have logged in straight into my google account.

  23. Debadatta says:

    after creating the flash drive, i restarts my computer and select boot from USB drive. But in first page “chromium<connect” facing trouble with network selection. continue key is not apperaing. please tell me a solution.

  24. Debadatta says:

    do i need to connect my computer through internet while installing Google Chromium??

  25. datomot says:

    I unzip win32diskimager-source, but I find only 3 batch files – clean, compile and mkzip. whats gone wrong?

    • ExportedThought says:

       @datomot you have to download the other one the one that’s something like win32diskimager-binary(not souce) haha same thing happened to me XD

Leave a Reply

TTL VIP
Become a TTL VIP Member & Get Notified of The Best Changes in Technology, Plus Win Prizes in Our VIP Only Contests...

Tech News Tech Tutorials Smartphone News Tablet News Gaming News Free Software Infographics Contact