How to install Chrome OS on USB to boot from any PC

Chrome OS, a Linux based cloud based operating system, is the one for you if you have a slow computer or if you want a lightweight operating system that you can take anywhere on a USB stick.

How to install Chrome OS on USB

Chrome OS is the OS embedded in Chromebook, completely based on Chrome and its Web Apps. It contains everything the user might need: manage files, create Word, Excel and Powerpoint documents with Google Drive, listen to music with Spotify, watch videos on YouTube and, of course , surf the Internet.

Its possibilities, if not connected, are limited but can still be used. Chrome OS is not Open Source, but Chromium OS (on which Chrome OS is based) it is. So in this guide we will see how to install it in a USB stick.


Install Chromium OS on USB via Windows

First you will need to download Win32 Disk Imager and the latest Chromium OS build via the following links:

In the last link you will find all the latest releases and you will have to choose based on the PC:

  • CAMD64OS-XXXX.img.7z for 64-bit systems
  • for ARM systems
  • CX86OS-XXXX.img.7z for x86 systems.

Swallow XXXX stands for the release date. To check what kind of system you have, open the control panel, go to System and security -> System, then read System type.

install Chrome OS on USB info PC

Now extract the Chromium image (recommended through WinRAR o 7-zip) and you will find a file with the “.img” extension. So follow these simple steps:

  • Open Win32 Disk Imager
  • Click on the folder and browse to find the image you just extracted
  • on device select the letter of your USB key and when you are ready, press "write".

Obviously all data will be deleted and Chromium will be written.

install Chrome OS on USB

Chromium OS installation on USB via Linux

For Linux, the matter is different. Download the latest build of Chromium OS (use the previous links and remember: CAMD64 for 64 bit, CX86 for 32 bit and CARM for ARM processors) and extract it with p7zip: to install it type this command in the terminal (ctrl + alt + t) :

sudo apt-get install p7zip-full

With another terminal, go to the directory containing the Chromium image with the command

cd / home / your-name / chromium-folder

replacing “your-name” with the name you gave yourself during installation, ie your account name and “folder-chromium” with the path of the folder where you downloaded the operating system. Then plug in the stick and using programs like gparted (to install it sudo apt-get install gparted) check which letter has been assigned to your USB (sda, sdb, sdc etc.). Now run

dd if = ChromeOS.img of = / dev / sdX bs = 4M

where instead of ChromeOS.img you have to put the name of the file and in the sdx the letter assigned to the USB stick.

Now you just have to enter the BIOS. Once inside, in the "boot" section, choose your key as the primary boot and, upon reboot, Chromium OS will start! To install applications you can click on the magnifying glass and then on Chromium web store.

To access the BIOS

turn off the computer, turn it back on and press one of the keys like Del, F2, F12, F10, F8, etc.

These are the most common keys. To find out exactly how to access the BIOS of your motherboard, search the Internet.

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