I have tried several, but the solution I like most is CloudReady by Neverware. The good part is that all licenses are transferable, so if you sell or donate the device, you can also transfer the Neverware license to the new user. Before you can get started installing CloudReady on your laptop, you will need some preparation:.
Neverware offers two images for CloudReady: 32 bit and 64 bit. Download the appropriate OS for your hardware from the download page. Now plug in the USB device and open the Chromebook recovery utility. Click on the gear at the top right corner of the tool and select erase recovery media Figure 1. Next, choose the target USB drive and format it.
Once formatted, go to the gear again, and this time select the use local image option. Now browse the extracted bin file, select the USB drive, click on continue, and then on the create button Figure 2. It will start writing the image to the drive.
VLC for Chrome OS
Once the drive is ready with bootable CloudReady, plug it into the target PC and boot the system. It may take a while for the system to boot into Chromium OS. Once booted, you will see the screen shown in Figure 3. Y ou can dual boot your system between Chromium OS and another operating system, but the other OS should already be installed.
To single boot Figure 4 or dual boot Figure 5 your system, choose the option in the next window. The entire process will take up to 20 minutes, depending on the storage media and the processing power. Once installed, the PC will shut down and reboot.
After you reboot, you will be greeted with the network settings page Figure 6. The exciting thing is that, although I had to install wireless drivers for Linux distributions on the same hardware, everything worked out of the box with Chromium OS. Once you connect to the wireless network, the system will look for updates and also offer to install Adobe Flash. Once the installation is finished, you will see the Chromium OS login screen. Used with permission.
How to Install Chrome OS on any PC and turn it into a Chromebook
If you want to play Netflix and other DRM protection-streaming sites, you do need to do some extra work. Go to settings and click on the Install Widevine plugin Figure 7. Once the plugin is installed, it will be added to the bookmark bar of the browser. Right-click on the agent switcher icon and create a new entry Figure 9 :.
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Now, reboot your system, and you can watch Netflix and many other services. Do you have any recommendations of some alternatives for those of who don't want to yet splash out the money for the CloudReady version? At least, close enough for my kids' needs. It doesn't start up as instantly as an actual Chromebook, but it's still quick at about 30 seconds to go from off to sign in. Performance is going to depend on what your PC has in it.
With the Pavilion dm1z's netbook specs, it can take a few extra seconds to load sites and open web apps, but it's noticeably faster than when it was doing the same tasks on top of Windows If you've got a USB flash drive and an old laptop, it's certainly worth the effort to test out and, again, it's free.
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Have you given CloudReady a try? Or would a different Linux OS be better for an older laptop? Let me know in the comments. Be respectful, keep it civil and stay on topic. We delete comments that violate our policy , which we encourage you to read. Discussion threads can be closed at any time at our discretion. Don't show this again.
How to turn your old, slow laptop into an awesome Chromebook for your kids Even notebook computers that are almost a decade old can get a new lease on life. Joshua Goldman.
A computer and an 8GB flash drive are all you need to go Chromium. You can boot CloudReady from a flash drive if you want to try it out first. Turn off the laptop or desktop you want to run CloudReady on and plug in the flash drive.
How to Download and Install Google Chrome OS
Turn it on and press the function key needed to enter your computer's boot menu options. CloudReady has a list of function keys for different manufacturers in case you're not sure. You should then see a screen giving you the option to boot from either internal storage or the flash drive see photo above. Select the USB drive and hit Enter. If you want to install, click on the clock in the lower right and click Install OS.
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