Google’s Chrome OS operating system may not exactly be open source, but it’s based on the open source Chromium OS. And if you know what you’re doing, you can adapt Chromium OS into an operating system that can run on all sorts of devices.

If you don’t know what you’re doing, you can let other developers do the heavy lifting, and just download and install their pre-compiled builds. For example, want to turn a Raspberry Pi into a Chromebox? Check out Chromium OS for SBC.

chromium os for sbc

As the name suggests, the goal of this project is to release builds of Chromium OS that can run on all sorts of single-board computers. But for now, only two are supported: the Raspberry Pi 2 and Raspberry Pi 3.

Note that the Raspberry Pi 3 build doesn’t yet support the on-board WiFi and Bluetooth, which kind of limits what you can do without a WiFi adapter (and not all adapters are currently supported either).

HTML5 video and Netflix are also currently unsupported.

The install process is pretty simple: just download the operating system, write it to an SD card, insert that SD card into the Raspberry Pi, and turn on the little computer. The tricky part is putting the OS on an SD card, but there are step-by-step instructions for doing that from a Windows or OS X computer.

via SoftpediaLifehacker, and Lon Seidman


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9 replies on “Turn a $35 Raspberry Pi into a Chromebox with Chromium OS for SBC”

  1. Man lots of negative comments on this operating system. It says no HTML5 video but youtube works. I have it set up at my business so people can use the internet when they come in on a couple of pi’s. It actually works great and there is minimal lag. I think it’s phenomenal and it works with codecademy so there’s educational potential. It’s well put together and I’m confident that you would actually need a team to put this out. It would take a great deal of time to do it yourself and it’d be pointless. This team of people doing this project are on the cutting edge because it’s providing a comparable web experience with a mainstream Linux OS that’s headed to a great future. I love this OS and when its embraced there will be less griping… I really don’t like Windows, I’ve got one Windows 7 computer because I don’t buy into its arbitrary wastefulness. This is great, I don’t need windows. It takes stubbornness to think it’s a good idea to use Windows Xp and this uses 1/800th of the amount of wattage of an old pentium machine.

  2. Chrome with 1GB or less ram….Well, that’s just great!

  3. Didn’t see an article from you about the new cameras for the RPi from Sony. I’d like your opinion on it Brad.

    1. Eh, they have enough usb ports. I’ve never really seen the need for an official camera

  4. There is an enormous amount of lag when using the Chromium OS browser on RPi 2 & 3. My guess is the 1GB of sdram. Most people who make youtube videos try to avoid showing this.
    I’m passing on this.…

    1. can’t feel surprised at the lag – what would one expect from $35 computer? I’ll wait for a Pi3 which has wi-fi and then I might just give that a try

      1. The youtube video I linked to was web browsing on a Rpi3. Lots of tearing when scrolling a Web page.

    2. Tearing and RAM are not linked. At work we have old Pentium 4 (single core) with 512 MB of RAM running Windows XP and Chrome, and it works better.
      I think there are problem in 3D accelerator. Chromium OS doesn’t use HW acceleration due to lacks properly drivers for 3D accelerator, thus it uses software acceleration, which demands a lot from CPU. It’s well-known problem for almost all ARM/MIPS based systems, when they run systems they not designed to.

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