Google launches Chrome OS Flex for PC and Mac

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Chrome OS Flex is a special version of Chrome OS from Google that brings the operating system to Windows PCs and Apple Macs.

Several Windows and Mac operating systems will no longer be supported in the coming years. Windows 7 and 8.1 will reach end of support in January 2023. While Microsoft and Apple are hoping customers will upgrade to supported versions or buy new PCs with these systems, other companies and developers are hoping users will make another choice.

Google acquired Neverware in late 2020. Neverware created Cloudaware, a Chromium-based operating system. Chrome OS Flex is the first product of the acquisition. CloudReady customers will be upgraded to Chrome OS Flex for free.

Flexible Google Chrome OS

Google Chrome OS Flex is one such option. Google has released Chrome OS Flex as an early access version. Like most Linux distros, Chrome OS Flex can be run from a USB device without installation, or it can be installed on a device. Google plans to release a stable version in the coming months.

When it comes to system requirements, there aren’t many. Chrome OS Flex requires a USB device with at least 8 gigabytes of free storage space. The PC or Mac must have 4 gigabytes of RAM, a 64-bit processor and an internal memory of at least 16 gigabytes. Graphics adapters released after 2010 are recommended, but older components may work.

The main limitations are that Chrome OS Flex requires a 64-bit processor and 4 gigabytes of RAM; this leaves 32-bit systems only hanging.

Google maintains a list of certified models, which you can access here.

Chrome OS Flex is a “cloud-first, fast, easy-to-manage, and secure operating system for PCs and Macs” according to Google. The operating system follows the release cadence of Chrome OS. It comes with Google apps and services, including the company’s Chrome web browser, Google Assistant, and has the same interface as Chrome OS.

Installing Chrome OS Flex

chromebook recovery

Installing Chrome OS Flex isn’t as easy as Google claims. Instead of providing an ISO image or a USB configuration tool, getting the tool on the USB device requires the following steps:

  1. Install the Chromebook Recovery Utility extension in Google Chrome.
  2. Enable the extension icon in Chrome to open the Chromebook Recovery Utility interface.
  3. Select “Start”.
  4. When asked to identify the Chromebook, enable “select a model from a list” and choose Google Chrome OS Flex as the manufacturer and “Chrome OS Flex” as the product. Select Continue.
  5. On the next screen, select the USB media you want to use for the installation. Note that it requires at least 8 gigabytes of space and all data will be erased in the process.
  6. The file download starts and the operating system is copied to the USB device. The process takes some time.

Once created, boot any device from the USB device where Chrome OS Flex was installed to launch Google’s operating system. Chrome OS Flex can be explored without installation at this point, but it can also be installed on the device. The installation will delete all data from the device.

Closing words

Chrome OS Flex brings Chromebook technology to PCs and Macs. The operating system may appeal to some organizations and home users, especially those who have already invested in Google’s ecosystem. Whether it will become a popular choice for older PCs and Macs that are no longer supported remains to be seen; there is a lot of competition in the Linux distribution, and these offer users full offline and online access to their devices and data.

Now you: Is Chrome OS Flex an option for you?

Summary

Google launches Chrome OS Flex for PC and Mac

Article name

Google launches Chrome OS Flex for PC and Mac

The description

Chrome OS Flex is a special version of Chrome OS from Google that brings the operating system to Windows PCs and Apple Macs.

Author

Martin Brinkman

Editor

Ghacks Technology News

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