Tutorial: How to boot Chrome OS from a USB drive

Chrome OS USBGoogle released the Chrome OS source and now everybody can create his own build. But how do you get your build  image file on a botable USB stick? This tutorial describes the process step by step for machines running on Windows or Linux.

It is assumed that you have your image file already on your computer. This means you have either built or downloaded it.

Windows

1. Download Win32 Disk Imager

Win32 Disk Imager a free piece of software that does the whole job for you. You can download it from here. Extract the zip file. After that, plug in your USB drive and run Win32DiskImager.exe.

2. Copy the image file to your USB drive

  1. Click the blue folder icon and select your image file.
  2. In the Device area, select the USB drive you want to copy the image to. WARNING: All data on this drive will be deleted. Please make very sure you select the proper drive letter (verify with Explorer).
    USB 01
  3. Click Write.
  4. Win32 Disk Imager copies the file’s contents onto your USB drive. Check the progess with the progress bar.

3. Proceed to the boot section below

Linux

1. Find out which device is your USB drive

Plug in your USB drive. Open up a terminal window and type fdisk -l. You’ll see an overview of all your disks and partitions. Identify your USB drive by looking for its size. In my example below, my USB drive has a size of 65 MB and is called /dev/sda. Please make sure you identify the correct one as all data on it will be lost in the following steps. Consider yourself warned. I will refer to the USB drive as /dev/USB from now on to avoid confusion.
USB 03

2. Copy the image file to your USB drive

Type dd if=image.img of=/dev/USB into your console where image.img is your image file and /dev/USB is your USB drive. Use a USB drive with a capacity of at least 4 GB.

3. Proceed to the boot section below

Boot

Once you are done copying your image onto your USB stick, you can boot from it. Switch off your computer and plug in your USB stick. Switch on your computer and enter the boot menu (F11 or F12 on most machines). Select your USB drive as boot device. That’s it.

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22 thoughts on “Tutorial: How to boot Chrome OS from a USB drive”

  1. Great!
    It’s a good tutorial BUT
    I don’t suggest to install it on your pc, less hardware works with it.
    I suggest to run it in VMware or something.
    I am doing that and it works great!

    Good luck with this blog!

  2. Hi,
    I’m trying to install jre in my chrome os as I found it possible after searching on the internet, but the problem is tht the root password, can you give me the password root(chronos) password?

  3. all good but on youtube i only see the sound , but i can’t see the video the screen of youtube it’s wihte.
    anyone can help me?

  4. I am not new to blogging and truly appreciate your site. There is much prime content that peaks my interest. I am going to bookmark your web site and keep checking you out.

  5. First of all, thanks for this step by step blog.

    At the same time, I need some help:
    —————————————————

    1. I executed all the steps, created USB drive, but when I reboot, I got into Chrome OS, but on the right side menu, it says that “Wifi” DISABLED ..

    I have a Wireless LAN port which connects to a Wireless router, and works hassle-free when Windows come up.

    2. Then, I tried connecting my system with Ethernet, but that also, it keeps saying that Connecting (on the right top drop down menu), but eventually never connects.

    Any help on why Ethernet is behaving erratically. Mine N/w card if from NVIDIA. Is it among the not-supported ones.

    Any help on 1 and/or 2 will be appreciated 🙂

  6. For Linux ver. I did it as described, and it done it well but after coping img to usb shows a message that says that can’t umount usb. As I later saw coping destroyed my usb file system.

  7. Hi dear i do all the process then when i click on my flash drive it says format the drive but windows cant format it and it does not boot the chrome too please give me an advice thanks i use iPod 4Gb

  8. Hello dear i installed google chrome on USB and it worked but i cant use it in offline mode please tell me the password thanks if any one know the offline user name and password please tell me

  9. I followed everything the same way, by using a USB. But when i restart my computer and select my USB for Boot, the screen goes Blank..! and nothing further happens!
    Please help me out…

  10. Hi ALL,
    I have downloaded chrome os for usb. Then wrote it on to the 8 gb usb pendrive with win32 image write.
    Now when I mount the usb and turn on the pc and press f12 and select the boot drive, a blue screen appears. nothing else.
    Please help.

  11. Thanks for the info, I’m up and running!
    Thanks to Windows at least. I still can’t write the USB drive from Ubuntu. Oh well, it’s not a big deal. I’ll get it some day.

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