How to Run Chrome OS Flex on Your PC or Mac - - Windows Tips and Tricks with Geek

Wednesday, February 16, 2022

How to Run Chrome OS Flex on Your PC or Mac


ChromeOS Laptop

How to Try Chrome OS Flex Without Installing It

Chrome OS Flex can be run on a USB drive without installing it to your PC’s hard drive, much like a live Linux USB drive. We’ll use the Chromebook Recovery Utility extension to format and set up the USB drive.

Preparing the USB Drive

Begin by installing the Chromebook Recovery Utility extension from the Chrome Web Store in Google Chrome.

Click "Add to Chrome."

Install the extension by clicking “Add Extension”, and then plug your USB drive into your PC.

Click "Add extension."

Click the small puzzle piece in the top right corner of Google Chrome to view installed extensions, and then click “Chromebook Recovery Utility.”

Click the puzzle piece to open extension list. Then click "Chromebook Recovery Utility."

On the first page of the Chromebook Recovery Utility, click “Get started” in the bottom right. Then on the next screen, click “Select a model from a list.”

Click "Select a model from a list."

Use the drop-down menus to first set the manufacturer to “Google Chrome OS Flex”, and then set the product to “Chrome OS Flex (Developer-Unstable),” and click “Continue.”

Click select manufacturer and set to "Google Chrome OS Flex". Then click "Select a Product" and set to "Chrome OS Flex(Developer-Unstable)." Click "Continue."

Select the USB drive you have plugged in, and then hit “Continue.”

Click the drop down menu and select your USB Drive. Then click "Continue."

Warning: Proceeding beyond this point will wipe the entire USB drive you have inserted. Check to make sure there is nothing important stored on it.

On the next page, click “Create Now” in the bottom right-hand corner. Creating the bootable USB drive will take several minutes. Once it has finished, click “Done.”

Booting the USB Drive

You need to change the boot order of your PC to try Chrome OS Flex.

Google says that Chrome OS Flex should be compatible with UEFI Secure Boot, but it may be necessary to adjust your Secure Boot settings. For example, a Surface device we tested required the Secure Boot certificate keyset to be changed from “Microsoft only” to “Microsoft & 3rd party CA” in order for the Chrome OS Flex USB drive to boot.

Trying Chrome OS Flex

Chrome OS Flex is still experimental, and it may not fully support all of the hardware in your device. This may result in crashes or hardware that doesn’t work. Follow the prompts after booting it to get started.

Warning: Be sure to select “Try It First.” Chrome OS Flex is still new and unlikely to be stable enough to use as your daily driver. Additionally, installing Chrome OS Flex will wipe the existing data on your hard drive. Google doesn’t recommend that you install the operating system at this time, and neither do we.

Click "Try it."

You’ll also be prompted if you want to try logging in as a guest or with your Google account. Logging in with your Google account automatically logs you in to all of the Google apps on the device, just like on a Chromebook.

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