I even installed a version of Linux on an old PowerPC Mac. PCs will need at least 4GB of RAM and 16GB of storage. For one, forget Android apps, Google Play, or Parallels Desktop supportthats out, Google says. Google describes Chrome OS Flex as a newer version of its CloudReady technology. After all Linux already runs on most Intel, AMD.

Huh, it has the same problem as ChromeOS does with a limited support period. On a support page, Google says that Chrome OS Flex will be a more limited version of CloudReady, at least for now: Chrome OS Flex will not allow some system-level access currently available on CloudReady Home Edition, including: command line access via shell and command line access via teletype (TTY), Google says. That uncertainty is hard to plan around. There are GPU restrictions, though: Intel GMA 500, 600, 3600, and 3650 graphics hardware do not meet Chrome OS Flex performance standards, Google says. Google continue to screw up, Remix OS had the right idea and Google should just develope a simple open desktop Android. Andrew Cunningham ARM PCs? Windows 11s strict hardware requirements, Prime Day Chromebook deals still available, up to 60% off, Act fast! But "user-friendly" is relative, and any Linux distribution can have parts that are obtuse and difficult for newcomers to learn.

This Acer Chromebook is a $120 Prime Day lightning deal stunner, This is Amazons best Prime Day midrange Chromebook deal. Instead, it replaces Windows, and all of its files. Its worth checking out before you toss it out. Google acquired the company behind CloudReady a few years ago though, and earlier this year the company released an early access preview of Chrome OS Flex as an official method for turning an old PC into a Chromebook. The simple icon driven interface and a supported Graphics , VPU interface for users not wishing to have to learn to be programmers just to get work done. Chrome OS (which is also Linux-based but is mostly trying to hide it) has managed to find a toehold in the Windows-and-macOS-dominated world of consumer PCs thanks in part to its simplicity, the backing of a large and well-resourced company, and its easy-to-use management tools for schools and businesses. As for extended support though? Yep, thats what the article says in the next paragraph, Like anyone has time to read more than one paragraph. As PCWorld's senior editor, Mark focuses on Microsoft news and chip technology, among other beats. Over 400 computers are officially supported, and the software will most likely work on many other PCs as well. 2022 Cond Nast. Dont expect things to go smoothly, either. Just add more and more of Android into Linux and less Java. So what happens to that hardware when Windows 10 goes away? Linux runs on almost everything and doesnt filter all you information through Google. October 14, 2025, marks the end of support and security updates for the Home and Pro versions of Windows 10. Traditionally, DIY PC enthusiasts would either leave an older PC running, scavenge it for parts, or replace the Windows operating system with a resource-light version of Linux. Enter Chrome OS Flex, a Google-blessed and -supported version of the company's lightweight operating system that will run on most standard PC hardware. Try Porteus on old machines; 2 GB of RAM is enough to browse the Internet. But up until recently if youve wanted to install Chrome OS on a computer you already had, then you needed to either rely on the open source Chromium OS or a third-party tool like CloudReady. Anyone interested would be smart to grab it before it gets buried. Ars may earn compensation on sales from links on this site.

Ad Choices, with 147 posters participating, including story author, Coming soon to Windows 11: More reminders that your PC doesnt meet the requirements, Running Windows 11 on unsupported hardware, Google turns old Macs, PCs into Chromebooks with Chrome OS Flex, filled with reminders that you should expect minor or major issues. How to install Google Play on the Amazon Fire 7 (2022) with Fire OS 8, How to install Google Play on the Amazon Fire HD 8 (2020), How to install Google Play on the Amazon Fire HD 10 (9th-gen), Hack your Amazon Fire tablet with Fire Toolbox, How to sideload apps on Amazon Fire tablets, How to use an SD card with Amazons Fire tablets. (Models are likely to support at least basic functionality, but are still being worked on by our team, Google says rather circularly, in describing what minor issues might mean. Well, there is the substantial list of caveats that come with the installation. Required fields are marked *. So despite what I thought installing it on a custom firmware chromebook to extend the life of the chromebook probably isnt even a great idea, not even for irony. Meh. Google abandoned me! Installing Google Chrome OS Flex looks similar to installing Windows 11 via installation media on a new PC. Google has released Chrome OS Flex, a way to take older Windows and Mac hardware and replace the operating system, turning them into Chromebooks. You mentioned CloudReady as an alternative. usw contents Instead of buying a new limited lifespan Chromebook, I bought a brand new 2022 Windows 11 laptop that will be supported for many years to come.

document.getElementById( "ak_js_1" ).setAttribute( "value", ( new Date() ).getTime() ); This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Leave the coding to professional programmers. This doesn't affect our editorial independence. Chrome OS has been around for more than a decade and in that time hundreds of laptops (and a handful of desktops) have shipped with Googles lightweight, secure, browser-based operating system. PCWorld helps you navigate the PC ecosystem to find the products you want and the advice you need to get the job done. Funny how Google wants to support older PCs, just a month after they ended support for my 3 year old Samsung Chromebook 3. The certified models include both PCs and Macs. So why wouldnt you want to install Chrome OS Flex on an older PC? But anyone can create a bootable USB flash drive that will install Chrome OS Flex. But those who enjoy repairing, maintaining, and upgrading older hardware to keep it useful will be peering over the edge of that Windows 10 update cliff before they know it. Chrome OS Flex is free to use, but Enterprise and Education customers can pay Google for support and management services. WIRED Media Group I just installed it on an old 2gb/32gb HP Stream 11 this week. Link to open source download? He has formerly written for PCMag, BYTE, Slashdot, eWEEK, and ReadWrite. Now, Google is offering them an additional option: Replace Windows with Chrome OS, and enjoy the benefits of that streamlined operating system. And let's face it, if a Linux distribution was going totruly compete with and succeed against Windows on consumer desktops and laptops, it probably would have by now. Running Windows 11 on unsupported hardware is one possible solution, but we have no idea how long Microsoft willallow users to install, run, and update Windows 11 on older PCs. All this makes it seem like adding Chrome OS Flex to an older PC is very much a use at your own risk type of projectbut one that can still turn your older PC into a Chromebook, for free. Viewed from early 2022, that date is still comfortably far off. Liliputing's primary sources of revenue are advertising and affiliate links (if you click the "Shop" button at the top of the page and buy something on Amazon, for example, we'll get a small commission). Use of and/or registration on any portion of this site constitutes acceptance of our User Agreement (updated 1/1/20) and Privacy Policy and Cookie Statement (updated 1/1/20) and Ars Technica Addendum (effective 8/21/2018). Google cant manage firmware updates on Chrome OS Flex devices, nor can it provide verified boot capabilities. Its worth mentioning that ChromeOS Flex actually is what CloudReady became Google acquired them a couple years ago. Which is basically any processor made after the year 2000. Its an interesting development given Windows 11s strict hardware requirements, which could leave legions of older PCs stranded when Windows 10 goes end-of-life in 2025. The dev channel build of Flex, based on Chrome OS version 100, is clearly a pretty early version of the operating system. When you purchase through links in our articles, we may earn a small commission. Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. But there are several ways you can support the site directly even if you're using an ad blocker* and hate online shopping. The real gotcha, however, appears to be simply in the diversity of compatible PC hardware, and how it will interact with Chrome OS Flex. Your email address will not be published. Switching to a Linux distributionparticularly the more user-friendly distributions like Ubuntu, Mint, or Elementary OSis another option. Select Chrome OS Flex as your device manufacturer and the dev channel build of Flex will show up. That means it's also the end of official guaranteed feature and security updates for Windows PCs that don't meet Windows 11's hardware requirements. Minimum system requirements include an Intel or AMD 64-bit processor, 4GB of RAM, 16GB of storage and the ability to boot from a USB flash drive. It's still labeled as "CloudReady" in more than one place, and Google's list of certified models is filled with reminders that you should expect minor or major issues.As with CloudReady, it's possible to run Chrome OS Flex entirely from the USB install drive if you want to try the OS without formatting your internal storage, and that's what we'd recommend for now. And thats a point to be reiterated: Chrome OS Flex doesnt offer the ability to run Chrome OS in a window or a virtualized environment, a la the new Android apps for Windows. This operating system is still in early access on the dev channelyou may experience some instability, Google says. Your email address will not be published. Learn how your comment data is processed. For example, a Chrome OS Flex fleet can be managed with Chrome Enterprise Upgrade, Google says. Framework Laptop Review: Modular, repairable, upgradeable laptop with a 12th-gen Intel Core processor, Hack your Amazon Fire tablet with Fire Toolbox (Install Google Play, remove Amazon apps, and more), How to install Google Play on the Amazon Fire 7 tablet with Fire OS 8 (12th-gen, 2022 model), Lilbits: Google introduces audio switching for wireless headphones, promises to bring app permissions back to the Play Store, Brydge ProDock turns a MacBook into a Mac desktop (for $400), Honor Tablet 8 has a 12 inch display and eight speakers (launching in China for $220 and up). Sign up or login to join the discussions! There's no need to download different images for different devices or CPU types. The CPU restrictions are more lenient: Youll need a 64-bit CPU, period. The company could cut off these computers' security updates tomorrow, or it could allow them to run the new OS indefinitely. released an early access preview of Chrome OS Flex, Beelink Mini S is a small, cheap desktop with Celeron N5095 Jasper Lake, Calibre 6.0 eBook manager gains full-text search, ARM CPU support, and Read Aloud to the, Banana Pi BPI-W3 is an RK3588-based single-board computer designed for use as a router, Proudly powered by Newspack by Automattic. Many Windows 10 PCs will break over the next three and a half years, and plenty of people who want to upgrade to nicer or faster hardware will have opportunities to do so.

And with Flex, Google is offering those organizations the opportunity to switch their Windows laptop fleets to Chrome OS fleets virtually overnight while also giving users of aging PCs an alternative OS to try. - Feb 16, 2022 7:46 pm UTC. The site doesnt seem to have a search function. Google has launched the new operating system on its dedicated Chrome OS Flex site, though youll have to sign up with an email to receive download instructions. The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Cond Nast. Read our affiliate link policy. You'll find Chrome OS Flex listed among all the "real" Chrome hardware in the official Chromebook Recovery Utility. You must login or create an account to comment. CNMN Collection

That will vary by device. All rights reserved. Join the Ars Orbital Transmission mailing list to get weekly updates delivered to your inbox. Officially, Google is targeting businesses and educational institutions by positioning Chrome OS Flex as a solution that will allow them to continue using older PC hardware that may no longer reliably run Windows or macOS. Google appears to be positioning Chrome OS Flex for a dual purpose: a way for consumers to try out the benefits of Chromebooks, and a way for enterprises to evaluate how well they can be managed. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Google has published a list of certified models that are either currently certified or planned to be certified with Chrome OS Flex, and many, many of them are listed with the caveat minor issues expected next to them. I guess the real point was to turn more business computers into google-managed devices as competition against Azure AD. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Google describes CloudReady as a previous version of Chrome OS Flex. Google will automatically update CloudReady devices to Chrome OS Flex, when Chrome OS Flex is stable, the company added. I am done using ChromeOS devices! uap flexhd Now Chrome OS Flex is out of beta and ready for wider release. It absolutely flies, even compared to a newer Lenovo N22 I had been using.

CloudReadys older open-source version is still available on their site, but I imagine it will disappear at some point. Google notes that while you may be able to install Chrome OS Flex on even older computers, you may have a poor experience on systems with processors or graphics made before 2010. The CloudReady team did a fantastic job Flex should be a good option for devices that have aged out of their original OS. Youll need a USB key with 8GB or more. If this all sounds familiar, youre right: Google bought CloudReady a few years ago, and used that companys work as a way to turn laptop PCs into Chromebooks. on Chrome OS Flex is out of beta, turns old PCs into a Chromebooks, This DIY Arduino Pocket Computer has the functionality of a (very) old personal digital assistant. How long will my Fire Tablet get security updates? You might run into minor issues.). Your California Privacy Rights | Do Not Sell My Personal Information Flex is a successor to CloudReady, a Chromium OS-based product that Google purchased in late 2020and that we've covered since its very early days as a way to make aging PCs into ersatz Chromebooks. The installation documentation is pretty clear and has plenty of details if you need them. Nope. While some newer computers qualify to receive free Chrome OS updates through 2030, others may stop receiving feature and security updates as early as this year.

Copyright 2022 IDG Communications, Inc. We've downloaded and installed the first developer version of Chrome OS Flex and read through all of its documentation to figure out the kind of hardware it will run on and how it's different from the CloudReady operating system it's replacing. Although Google is calling Chrome OS Flex an early access and unstable project, the concept is intriguing: Instead of disposing an old PC thats nearing the end of its life, you can turn it into a Chromebook instead.