Chromebooks are great, they’re machines that just work – they require little maintenance and if all you do is use a browser all day, they’re great. But sometimes you may not want to drop a load of cash on one to see if you do like the experience – luckily you can run Chromium OS on your computer to see if you like it.
Firstly, before we get started you’ll an 8GB USB drive or larger and you’ll want to make sure that there is no data you want to keep on it since all data will be erased. You’ll also want the CloudReady ZIP file as well as the Chromebook Recovery Utility. If you want to check that your computer is supported beforehand the list of supported devices is here.
Writing the ZIP file to the USB drive
The first step is to write the ZIP file to the USB drive. To do this open up the Chromebook Recovery Utility (will be referred to as Recovery Utility from now on) and click the settings icon in the top right and then choose “Use local image” from the dropdown menu.
Then navigate to the location of the downloaded CloudReady ZIP file and select that. Then pick the USB drive that you want to use for the image writing process, make sure you select the correct one because this process will erase all data on that USB storage device. Then just finish the Recovery Utility process and it will begin writing the image.
And now, your USB drive is ready!
Installing Chromium OS
So to begin the installation, plug in your USB drive into the computer you want to install Chromium OS on. Then, power on the computer and open the startup options/boot device screen and pick the USB drive as your boot device, then let CloudReady boot up. Once the OS has booted up, you can install CloudReady by clicking the menu in the bottom left and choosing “Install CloudReady”, you will then be asked if you want to erase your Hard Drive and install CloudReady or if you want to Dual Boot CloudReady alongside Windows.
If you do not want to install CloudReady and would like to run it of the USB drive you can continue with the setup wizard. People that have installed CloudReady will be greeted with this wizard after installation.
Going through the configuration is super simple, pick your language, keyboard layout and connect to your network. Afterwards, you’ll need to accept the EULA for Adobe Flash and then you just need to sign into your Google Account and then you’re all good to go!