The pandemic has brought a slew of new technology products to help us focus and improve our work from home. In these times, many users were filled with confusion of buying a new device or reviving an old one. If you are also looking for a way to breathe some new life into your old desktop or laptop, Chrome OS Flex from Google could be the answer to all your prayers.
Let’s take a quick look at this new operating system from Google and how you can use it to your advantage.
What is Chrome OS Flex?
Chrome OS Flex is Google’s new desktop operating system focused on easy deployment and a way to reduce e-waste worldwide. Chrome OS Flex is a lightweight desktop operating system that delivers modern security and performance on older devices thanks to its design.
Chrome OS Flex is inspired by Google’s Chrome OS and provides the ability to run most web applications effectively and efficiently. This thus gives you the ability to perform 90% of modern workflows on your older device without the need to upgrade/purchase a new device.
Why should you install Chrome OS Flex?
There are many reasons why you should get Chrome OS Flex for your PC but there are also some limitations that you should be aware of. If these limitations are features that you rely heavily on, Chrome OS Flex may not be the best option for you.
- Enhance and update security
- Banned executables and sandbox mode
- Comprehensive IT controls
- Ease of cloud deployment
- Huge library of web applications
- Compatible with Google Admin Console
- High energy efficiency
- Secure Boot Support (supported devices only)
Who Should Get Chrome OS Flex?
If you have an old device that struggles to run Windows 10 or 11, Chrome OS Flex is for you. Additionally, if you have an unsupported Mac, you can also take advantage of Chrome OS Flex to get updated and improved security on your system.
However, Chrome OS Flex is not recommended for users who depend on 64-bit applications that are not supported by Chromium for their daily workflow. Additionally, if you are someone who frequently uses virtual machines, it is unfortunate that Chrome OS Flex does not support them yet.
Chrome OS Flex limits
Here are all the noticeable limitations of Chrome OS Flex that you should be aware of.
- No Verified Boot and Google Security Chip (Secure Boot support on select models)
- No automatic BIOS and UEFI updates
- Non-TPM devices are at risk even though there is encryption
- Google Play and Android apps are not supported
- Some keyboard shortcuts and hotkeys may be inactive when using Chrome OS Flex
- Unsupported ports with limited functionality on select devices
- CD and DVD drives
- FireWire ports
- IR and other facial recognition systems
- Other property ports
- Support and pen input
- Thunderbolt port
- Biometric Scanners
- SCEP is not supported
- Forced re-registration is not supported
If you are an IT admin looking to deploy Chrome OS Flex for your organization, these limitations can be good or bad depending on your setup. If you’re looking for improved security and admin controls in Chrome OS, then perhaps Flex isn’t the right fit for you unfortunately.
How to install Chrome OS Flex on your PC
Now that we are familiar with Chrome OS Flex, let’s take a look at how to get it on your system.
- Windows, Mac or Linux device
- CPU: Intel or AMD x86-64-bit processor
- RAM: 4 GB or more
- Driving space: 16 GB or more
Noticeable: You will also need administrator access to the system along with access to the BIOS.
- USB drive: 8 GB or more
- Google Chrome | Download Link
- network connection
Noticeable: The company recommends using systems manufactured after 2010 to achieve maximum compatibility. Chrome OS Flex also does not support Intel GMA 500, 600, 3600, and 3650.
What you should know?
Before proceeding, we recommend that you consider the following disadvantages. This can make it difficult for you to perform tasks that were much easier on your previous operating system.
- Chrome OS Flex does not support Google Play apps and Android apps
- While you can find alternative web applications for most desktop applications, they may not work as efficiently or effectively.
- You will not be able to run executable programs and external programs unless you choose workarounds
- You will receive limited security on certain devices due to limited TPM support and Secure Boot.
- This is a DEV channel build which means it is still in its early days of development. You will encounter issues and errors that could crash your system, which leads to a reinstall for the time being.
Step 1: Create your boot USB
Noticeable: Installing Chrome OS will erase the selected drive. We hope that you have backed up all your essential data before proceeding with this guide.
- Chromebook Recovery Tool | Download Link
Open Chrome and click on the link above to download a file Chromebook Recovery Tool extension. click Add to chrome.
Now connect your USB and click the icon for Accessories.
Choose Chromebook recovery tool.
Choose start up.
click Select a model from the list While that.
Click on the first dropdown menu and select Chrome OS Flex.
Now select Chrome OS Flex (Developer – Unstable) from the following dropdown menu.
Choose your right USB drive in the following dropdown menu.
Noticeable: If you have not backed up your USB data, we highly recommend you to do so at this point. After that, all your data on the USB drive will be permanently deleted.
click Make now. Keep your device attached to the wall during this process.
The tool will now download the necessary files and create your USB. This may take some time depending on the setup and network speed.
Once done, you will be asked to verify your identity to write the files to your USB. click Finished after completion.
You will now have created Chrome OS Flex boot USB. Use the next step to help you install the same on your computer.
Step 2: Install Chrome OS Flex
Make sure your USB is connected to the system and restart the system.
Most systems will boot into BIOS by pressing and holding
F2 during the restart process. If your system uses a different key, use it to enter the BIOS menu. Mac users can hold down a file
Option key instead. Go to long shoes section as soon as you enter the BIOS menu.
Now set the USB drive as priority for your boot device.
Save changes and exit the BIOS menu. Your system will now boot directly from the USB drive.
Noticeable: In the event that your BIOS is different and you are unable to find the desired options, we recommend that you refer to your OEM support site for further assistance.
Once booted from USB, click start up.
Choose Install CloudReady 2.0 and click next one.
The setting will now warn you that all your data will be deleted. click Install CloudReady 2.0 to start the process.
click fixed again to confirm your choice. You can now leave your device and go for a coffee. The process should take place in 20 to 30 minutes.
Once the process is finished, click start up.
Connect to a network by selecting the desired network from the list that appears on your screen. click next one If done.
Click you If you plan to use the computer on your own. If you plan to give it to a younger user, you can choose child While that. This will activate parental controls for your computer and allow you to restrict activities and behaviors on the system.
Now click next one.
Sign in to your Google account now. This account will be used to set up your system. Enter your email ID at the top and click next one if done.
You will now see the sync settings for your account. Turn on the toggles for the items you want to sync and tap them Accept and carry on.
Choose the data you would like to allow Google to collect from your system and click Accept and carry on.
If you want to use the Google Assistant, tap I agree. click No thank you If you want to disable it.
Everything will now be set up and you will be greeted by OOBE. click start To set up Chrome OS Flex on your computer.
questions and answers
Here are some frequently asked questions about Chrome OS Flex, which should help you get the most up-to-date information.
Does Chrome OS Flex come with the Google Play Store?
No, Chrome OS Flex does not support Android and Google Play apps. Chrome OS Flex only supports web applications and is the successor to CloudReady and not the successor to ChromeOS.
What is the difference between Chrome OS and Chrome OS Flex?
ChromeOS is Google’s original operating system that supports Android apps and Google Play. It comes with Google Enhanced Security and is only available on Google devices.
Chrome OS Flex is a deviation of the cloud operating system from the same platform that supports web applications for Windows, Mac, and Linux. Chrome OS Flex offers improved security depending on your system but falls short when compared to ChromeOS and hardware-based security.
Is Chrome OS Flex Different From CloudReady?
Google recently acquired CloudReady and its parent company. Chrome OS Flex is the successor to CloudReady with changes and improvements from Google.
We hope this post helped you to learn about and install Chrome OS Flex on your computer. If you run into any issues or have any other questions, feel free to reach out using the comments section below.