Want to take a look at Chrome OS without spending money on a new computer? Wondering if a cloud operating system can improve the performance of the Raspberry Pi as a productivity tool? You don’t need to be surprised anymore — you can install Chrome OS on your computer for $50 and find out how well it works.

Unlock the Chrome OS Keyboard Shortcuts cheat sheet now!

This will subscribe you to our newsletter

Enter your email address
Read our privacy policy

Why Install Chrome OS on Raspberry Pi?

Various operating systems are available for the Raspberry Pi. While the default option is preferred by many, many Raspbian options are Linux-only.

Preinstalled Chrome OS Apps

But Chrome OS offers something different: cloud computing. The relatively low specs of the Raspberry Pi make it perfect for Chrome OS. The operating system is designed to run most of the software as web applications using servers for processing.

If your Raspberry Pi is set up for an Ethernet or wireless internet connection, you will benefit from these computing dynamics. This can allow you to set up your Raspberry Pi as a high performance yet inexpensive desktop PC. !

Another reason to install Chrome OS on Raspberry Pi is that it is easy to use. Google has spent years perfecting and perfecting the operating system. These changes are being felt in the official release as well as in the open source Chromium OS.

Open source Chrome OS

While Google manages and releases Chrome OS, the operating system is based on the open source project, Chromium OS. This has been released on various devices and thanks to the FydeOS project can be installed on the Pi.

Note that several other versions of Chromium OS have been released on the Raspberry Pi. They are now out of production; there is every chance that FydeOS may be abandoned in the future. Thus, you may prefer to download and build the source code available at www.chromium.org .

For this tutorial, we will be using the pre-configured code available in FydeOS.

Grab them to install Chrome OS on your Raspberry Pi

To install and run Chrome OS on a Raspberry Pi computer, you will need:

  • Raspberry Pi 3 or 3B+ (no working image for Pi Zero or for Raspberry Pi 4)
  • microSD card at least 8 GB
  • 7-Zip from 7-zip.org
  • Etcher from www.balena.io/etcher/
  • FydeOS Chromium image from GitHub
  • Desktop PC

With a mouse, keyboard, HDMI cable, and spare display, you’ll be ready to get started with Chrome OS.

Prepare an SD card for Chrome OS

The downloaded IMG file is compressed in XZ format, so you need to expand it with the right tool. 7-Zip is your best option on Windows; XZ can be extended on Linux systems.

Next, the IMG file must be written to the SD card. The simplest option here is the excellent Etcher tool, which will also format your SD card. Download, install and launch Etcher, then click » Select Image», to find the Chromium IMG file.

Use Etcher to Install Your Raspberry Pi OS

After that, make sure the microSD card is detected by Etcher. If not, insert the media into your PC’s SD card reader and wait until it appears.

Finally click flash, to write data. In a few minutes, Chrome OS will be installed on the microSD card and ready to boot.

Download Chrome OS on Raspberry Pi

After safely removing the microSD card from your PC, it will be ready to be loaded into your Raspberry Pi.

The first boot may take some time. You will then be prompted to complete the setup. If you’ve used a Chromebook or an Android device, you’ll recognize this. This is basically a case of entering (or creating) your Google account details.

After logging in, you will see a blank desktop ready for customization. You will find the launcher in the bottom left corner and notifications in the bottom right corner. Everything should be somehow familiar.

You’ll notice that Chrome OS on the Raspberry Pi doesn’t quite look like the Chromebook version. For example, the shelf launcher icon is a circle instead of a 3×3 grid. This is largely cosmetic, however, and makes no difference to the functionality of the OS.

Want to know what your first step should be? Right click on the desktop and select » Set Wallpaper» .

Set wallpaper on Chrome OS

With an amazing background set, you’ll be ready for anything!

Will Chrome OS software work on Raspberry Pi?

The various apps will come pre-installed with the Raspberry Pi’s version of Chrome OS, just like the main release. For example, when I signed into my regular Google account, I had the Photos app, Google Keep, and more.

Google continues to work on Chrome OS on Raspberry Pi

This shouldn’t come as a surprise. Chrome OS is based on Linux and supports mainly web applications. «Web Applications» are platform independent and dependent on the web browser.

Nearly all Chrome OS apps will work on the Raspberry Pi — so far no app has been found that doesn’t. Looking for deals beyond the usual Chrome OS features? Try our list of essential apps for your new Chromebook

Does it feel like a $50 Chromebook?

Chromebooks are affordable computers, typically in the $150 to $1,500 price range. Installing Chromium OS on a Raspberry Pi with FydeOS gives you the ability to build your own Chromebook.

Web browsing with Chrome OS

What’s more, you’ll probably only need to spend $50 on a new Raspberry Pi. While Chromium OS on the Raspberry Pi won’t be as fast as top-end Chromebooks, it’s certainly up to par with cheaper Chromebooks.

Once you’ve installed all of your favorite Chrome OS apps, you’ll be ready to go. Need help? Try our sheet for tips.

Budget Pi performance with Chrome OS

Over the past ten years, the Chromebook line of computers and the Chrome OS have been the biggest problem for Microsoft and Apple. Can they really replace standard desktop and laptop computers?

It remains difficult to say. But you can certainly find out if you are interested in Chrome OS. Just follow the instructions above to install Chromium OS parent operating system on Raspberry Pi with FydeOS.

Don’t want to use Raspbian, but how about a Raspberry Pi? Check out our list of other operating systems for Raspberry Pi

Похожие записи