We’ve shown you how to re-purpose your old laptop to a ChromeBook. Now let’s see how you can set up and test out the Chrome OS in a virtualization environment if you don’t have a spare machine to play with.
Setting up Chrome OS on VMware Player or Workstation
First of all, head over to Built by Hexxeh to download the latest Chromium OS Vanilla build. Click the VMware download icon on the latest Build listed on the page. The download file is about 300MB which consists of 2 VMware virtual machine files.
Once you have it downloaded, extract the content from the zip file to a convenient place, such as your VM folder or just inside your download folder.
Right-click the vmx file and open with Notepad, or your favorite text editor, i.e. Notepad++ in my case.
And add a line
ethernet0.virtualDev = "e1000" at the end of the file. Save and close the file.
Now, double-click the vmx file to open it in VMware Player or Workstation. And power it up. Optionally, you can change the setting to increase memory or the Process core if you want to have a better performance.
A few moments later, the initial setup wizard pops up, w/ Ethernet as one of the network option available. Follow the wizard, and you will have a working Chrome OS ready to serve you in a moment.
Setting up Chrome OS on VirtualBox
Now, let’s see how to set it up in VirtualBox, since VMware may not be always everyone’s choice.
Go to the Hexxeh’s Chromium OS page, and download the VirtualBox image from the latest build listed on the page. And extract it to a convenient location.
Then, open up VirtualBox, click New to create a new virtual machine, then give a name, increase the Memory size, and select the downloaded virtual image as an existing virtual hard drive file.
Go to Settings to change a few things before launching it.
- In System section, under Motherboard tab, select PS/2 mouse as the pointing device.
- In System section under Processor tab, check Enable PAE/NX option.
- In Network section, select Intel Pro /1000MT Desktop as the Adapter Type, and enable the Network Adapter.
And now fire it up and see if it rocks.
So which one runs better? At least, in my own test environment, running Chrome OS on VMware seems to be smoother and more responsive.