Chromebooks come with Google’s Chrome OS software pre-installed. But Google also maintains an open source version called Chromium OS that can theoretically be installed on just about any PC or Mac. The only catch is that it historically hasn’t been all that easy for casual computer users to install. But that’s about to change.

Last year Google acquired Neverware, the company behind CloudReady, a Chromium OS-based operating system designed to be easy to install on any PC, effectively letting you turn an old laptop into a Chromebook. Now Google is incorporating the CloudReady installer into Chromium OS, which will make it easier to install the open source operating system.

CloudReady Installer

Once new versions of Chromium OS with the new installer are available, you won’t need to dive into a command line utility to do it. You should be able to boot Chromium OS from a USB flash drive and click an install button to open the CloudReady Installer with a graphical user interface.

In other words, installing Chromium OS should be just about as simple as installing a GNU/Linux distribution like Ubuntu, Fedora, or Linux Mint.

via Chrome Unboxed

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6 replies on “Google is making it easier to turn any laptop into a Chromebook with Chromium OS”

  1. I believe since Goggle brought Neverware updates for older hardware will not be supported anymore .The clock is ticking on my Thinkpad i5 2013 model Neverware. 🙁

    1. Yeah, it would be a dealbreaker if it doesn’t support older Broadcom and Realtek wifi adapters out of the box.

  2. What a coincidence – I just spent an hour last night installing Neverware on my Acer Chromebook C710. It was not straightforward – included shorting a pin in the motherboard with foil and typing out 3 linux commands and going through a series of enabling developer mode. But it went through and I am able to get updates on my old chromebook again. More importantly cast videos again to Chromecast.

    1. Just so you know, you would have had to do that to install any operating system on a Chromebook. The shorting-a-pin-on-the-motherboard step is to tell the Chromebook’s firmware, “I’m sure that I know that I’m doing and want you to disable your security features”.

  3. Google be like, oh so you’re excited to run Android apps in your Windows laptop eh? Say no more.

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