How to Turn (Almost) Any Laptop into a Chromebook

How to Turn (Almost) Any Laptop into a Chromebook

You often buy a new operating system with a new device – no matter if it Mac or a personal computer. If these devices become outdated, they often no longer receive updates because they are simply too old to allow advanced systems to run smoothly. Then the laptop is either in the tray or is installed by those who know their way around linux. With Chrome OS Flex But there should soon be another option to safely restart older devices. We explain how this works and when it makes sense.

Chrome OS is from google and he Cloud based operating system. Everything is geared towards the use of Internet services, most notably the Google services engine, images and Chrome browser. This makes the operating system very weak, but it always requires one active internet connection. This turns almost any device into a Chromebook. That’s the purpose of the new, free Chrome OS Flex. The system is still current developer status, which means that it hasn’t been officially released yet and may still have some bugs. But you can still download it.

Chrome OS Flex is designed with simplicity. Everything is geared towards the use of the Internet

Appropriate devices

I’ve installed multiple operating systems on many computers, and as someone who really enjoys this, I was almost disappointed with how smooth and fast Chrome OS Flex installation was. I even used a non-officially verified device, one Sony Vaio laptop (VPCZ21V9E). Unfortunately, my old netbook from 2009, which I originally wanted to convert, didn’t allow it. There is Chrome OS and its various branches Since 2019 Not in one anymore 32 bit version And so unfortunately my device didn’t fit.

to me stabilizing Individual needs:

  • a suitable notebook (This is an official list from Google, but other devices you can install a 64-bit system on also work)
  • empty one USB stick at least 8 GB storage space
  • chrome browser

First, in Chrome, you have to do this extension Install Chromebook Recovery Utility. If you click on the extension, you will be asked to enter the model number. Since the goal is to install Chrome OS on a device other than a Chromebook, you won’t find your device in the list. Alternatively, search for “Chrome OS Flex”. Then follow the instructions and wait for the OS to install on the stick.

“Chrome OS Flex” must be selected as the model

Easy to install

Then the installation can begin. To do this, connect the USB drive to the laptop, start it and open it BIOS. You can find out how to do this by searching on Google for your device manufacturer and “BIOS”. Usually it is Exit or one F . keys. You press it several times immediately after switching until the BIOS starts. There you then specify that the computer must be powered by a USB drive (external storage) have to start from.

Now the Google Chrome logo should appear, click install and sign in with a file google account Or create a new one if you don’t already have one. After that the work is done and Chrome OS Flex can be used. The whole thing takes less than an hour, and you have to wait for 30 minutes for the OS image to be copied to the USB drive.

Chrome OS Flex – is it an alternative?

The fact that it’s so easy is very satisfying, especially if you’re not familiar with computers. But can Chrome OS Flex also do something, or should you get your hands off it?

This question requires a counter-question: What do I need for the device? You’re already using it anyway Google services like Drive And doing most things online, you’ll quickly get comfortable with Chrome OS Flex’s clean design and ease of use. documents, gmailAnd the YoutubeAnd the ChromBrowser – If that’s enough for you, you’ll have a lot of fun using the slim OS.

Browser operating system

You don’t necessarily need a paid extension for Google Drive, because you can save all the files on your notebook and only upload the files you want to access from other devices. games Or any programs at all that you should not expect, because still there are programs Android apps do not support.

In theory, there is already one built in Linux virtual machine, which can be found via Settings. So you can also use the OS via Chrome OS Flex. This didn’t work in my test, but that’s probably because everything is still in development. Chrome OS Flex is really there to access the internet, like an advanced browser.

You don’t have to choose an operating system right away. You can also start it first via USB drive and try it without overwriting the computer

Testing Range

Conveniently, you don’t have to make an instant decision with or against Chrome OS Flex. You can try it out first. During installation you can decide whether The current operating system has been overwritten or Chrome OS Flex Only via a USB drive It should work. This works fine (albeit a little slower) and you can easily test whether or not you can handle the reduced options.

I was pleasantly surprised at how easy and uncomplicated it was to install Google’s operating system. Since I use Google services anyway, Chrome OS Flex is a good alternative for me to make old devices usable again. Sure, professional Linux users shake their heads hard, and that’s understandable. But when I think about whether I should explain or show my grandmother the available Linux variants: “You click on it and you can watch Netflix” – I know what’s more comfortable for both of us. Once Chrome OS Flex is out of development, you can recommend it with confidence.

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