It’s been nearly 18 months since Dell released a Chromium OS build for the Dell Inspiron Mini 10v netbook — allowing users to test out a pre-release build of Chrome OS long before it would be ready for the public. Now the computer maker has released a brand new build with updated wireless drivers which support the latest versions of Chromium.

Unfortunately the latest build doesn’t currently support audio, which means you probably won’t want to install Chromium on your Dell netbook unless you really don’t need audio, or just want to play around with the operating system. Fortunately you can run Chromium OS from a USB flash drive without replacing your operating system.

You can download the latest Chromium OS build from the Dell FTP site. The most recent build is from May 13th.

In order to install the operating system on your netbook you’ll want download the .gz file, extract the .img file using Winrar, 7-zip, or a similar utility on Windows, or the “gunzip” command in Linux, and then prepare a USB flash drive with the image. You can find instructions for doing that at Chrome Story.

Google does not plan to offer an installable version of the Chrome Operating System, but most of the source code for the operating system is open source, which means that anyone can compile the OS and install it themselves. If that’s a bit too complicated for you, Dell’s pre-built image should make things much easier. Independent developer Hexxeh also regularly compiles Google’s latest code into installable Chrome OS builds which you can download from his web site.

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9 replies on “Dell releases Chromium OS build for Inspiron Mini netbooks”

  1. I’ve made a patch to fix the icons “wifi, battery, etc…”. These were broken on May13th and fixed on the 14th.

    1. Download the following files.

    2. Open a Terminal “Ctrl+Alt+T”.

    3. Type “shell” and press enter.

    4. Type “sh ~/Downloads/” and press enter.

    5. Enter your password “default password is dell1234” and wait for the script to finish.

    6. Optional – remove the files you downloaded. “rm ~/Downloads/patch_chromium*”

    That should be it. Here is a screenshot.

  2.  Don’t Hexxeh’s builds include sound? Why not just grab a copy of flow from there? That is what I plan on doing for my old school mini 9.

  3.  That is what I was thinking: Chrome OS as in the Sammy given the decent Screen quality specs VS the HP running both Joli OS and Windows 7 for about the same $…interesting comparison no?

    1. Eh, I think it’s a tough comparison to make. If you buy into the Chrome OS model, it might not really be fair to compare it to a Windows machine — or even Joli OS. Both depend on the idea that you *don’t* spend all of your time in the cloud, while Chrome OS is basically designed as a way to get you online instantly so you can spend all of your time there… with a small nod to the need for occasional offline access. 

      But that said, it’ll be hard to keep people from judging these new machines by the same standards as they’ve used to judge traditional machines and I’m sure that if/when I get my hands on a review unit I’ll have a hard time not comparing a Chrome OS laptop to a Windows/Linux machine.  

  4.  Hey Brad it would be nice if you could give us a comparision of Googles new os VS say Jolicloud on an established first rate platform such as the Fusion E-350 on the HP 11.6 lappy. The Sammy and the HP are about the same cost…

    1. That’s easy… Chromium will only load a web browser, while Jolicloud lets you run hundreds of web apps and native desktop apps. 

      At this point I’m not convinced it makes sense to run Chromium as a primary OS. Chrome OS might be another story. The difference is that Chrome OS will come preloaded on a handful of devices starting with Samsung and Acer Chromebooks and it will include 10 second boot times and extra security and recovery features. You won’t get that with Chromium OS.

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