Google is expected to launch its Chrome OS software by the end of the year. Chrome OS is an operating system that puts the web browser front-and-center. Basically you boot into the web browser, and all third party apps are web-based, although Google is working on ways to let you do things like connect a printer or other devices which means there’s a bit more going on in the background than simply the web browser processes.

While the full version of Chrome OS isn’t ready to go just yet, Download Squad notes that Hexxeh has started offering up-to-date compiles of the latest source code from Google. Hexxeh is the same developer who pushed out an early build of Chromium OS earlier this year called Flow.

The new project is called Vanilla, and basically it automates the process of building the latest pre-release versions of Chrome into something that you can install on a USB flash drive and run on your computer.

Bear in mind, these are still early test builds of Chrome OS, which means they’re not really designed for everyday use. But it’s never been easier for non-coders to download and install the development builds of Chromium OS.

You can find the latest downloads from Hexxeh’s site. And Download Squad has step by step directions for taking that file you just downloaded and making it into something you can run on your computer.

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