Tutorial: How to run Chrome OS in VirtualBox

Chrome OS Login ScreenGoogle has finally released an early version of its new open source operating system Chrome OS. This is a step-by-step guide to running it within Sun VirtualBox, a multi-platform, free virtualization software, making your pleasure all-free! There will be a video version of this how-to as well, so check back for updates.

1. Download components

You need to download two components:

  1. Sun Virtual Box, a free virtualization software for Windows, OS X, Linux or Solaris.
  2. A Chrome OS image.

2. Install VirtualBox

Double-click the downloaded setup file and follow the on-screen setup process. Make sure all downloads are complete before install, because it will disconnect you from all networks during setup.

3. Decompress the image file

After finishing the download you’ll notice that the image file is in a BZip2-compressed format. Unzip the file using freeware like e.g. 7-Zip.

4. Setup your Chrome OS machine in VirtualBox

  1. Start VirtualBox
  2. Click New to add a new virtual machine.
    VirtualBox Setup 1
  3. Choose a name for your machine and select Linux as operating system and Ubuntu as version.
    VirtualBox Setup 2
  4. Set the memory size of your virtual machine to 1024 MB as that is the most common memory size for real netbooks.
    VirtualBox Setup 3
  5. Select to use an existing hard disk and click the folder icon on the right to open the Virtual Media Manager.
    VirtualBox Setup 4
  6. Click Add and select the uncompressed Chrome OS image file you downloaded. Then highlight it by a left-click and hit Select.
    VirtualBox Setup 5
  7. You successfully set up your Chrome OS virtual machine. Now run it by clicking Start.
    VirtualBox Setup 6
  8. After few seconds you’ll see a login screen.VirtualBox Setup 7

5. Enjoy

Enjoy your fresh install of Chrome OS and check ChromeOS-Blog.com for any updates.

In case you encounter any errors feel free to leave a comment (no registration required). I’m giving my best to help you out.

43 thoughts on “Tutorial: How to run Chrome OS in VirtualBox”

  1. Hey, I downloaded the virtualbox image from GDGT earlier today but haven’t been able to get it running correctly. I followed your instructions and have tried a few other methods, but VirtualBox never gets past the initial black screen. Also, I’ve tried setting the network to bridged with no luck.

    Any suggestions? Thanks in advance.

    By the way, here’s the download link at GDGT where I got my image: (Admin note: This image does not work in VirtualBox!) (http://discuss.gdgt.com/google/chrome-os/general/download-chrome-os-vmware-image/page/2/)

  2. I downloaded it from gdgt and its working.. but when i insert my username and password its showing not able to connect to server while im on still on the internet
    can someone help me with this problem??

  3. I downloaded as Chrome OS for virtualbox as per instruction. But the performance is really poor. Sometimes it takes second or two for mouse pointer to move. Any suggestion for performance improvement?

  4. Thanks Chrome OS.
    Just follow the instructions…it works !

    Note:
    1. Run internet connection on HOST MACHINE
    2. Run VirtualBox
    3. You have to create New Virtual Machine
    4. … follow the instructions …
    5. Welcome to Chrome OS, it looks like Chrome Browser.

  5. Not sure what I’m doing wrong here – I’ve got VirtualBox running on a Vista machine, with wireless internet access. I got chromium installed as a virtual machine, but can’t login due to “Network not connected and offline login fail”. I also have a WindowsXP virtual machine and the internet patches right through on that one.

    I’ve tried using the Bridged Adapter (with both my WiFi adapter and the hardwired one) as well as NAT, and I can’t login no matter what I do. Any suggestions?

  6. Chrome OS is not prompting when the Guest Additions CD is mounted into the OS. In order to fully used the VM capabilities I would need to install Guest Additions. Does anybody had success installing VirtualBox’s Guest Additions?

    Since Chrome OS is Linux. How do I bring a terminal up? So I perform the installation by hand.

    Any help is appreciated

  7. My Chromium always hang after 1 start it up for a few minutes and doing some browsing. Anybody know what cause of it?
    I ran it in VBox 3.1.2

  8. Seems to be problem with unzipped image (file has suffix .img, not .vdi), which cannot be imported by VirtualBox – has a step been missed in instructions?
    How are you supposed to import or create new VM from .img file?

  9. I managed to get ChromeOS to run in Windows XP with VirtualBox. The only problem I see is it constantly uses 100% of the CPU when it’s running and the performance is on the choppy side because of it. I could only set it up to use 512MB because I only have 1GB total memory. Not sure if that’s the problem.

  10. Right after starting VM I got next message: “EXTLINUX 3.83 2009-10-05 EBIOS Copyright (c) 1994-2009 H. Peter Anvin et al” (without quotations)
    Thanks,
    Stevan

  11. hey everybdy

    Even i am able to start the os but it is nt getting pass tht black screen ,
    my os is win xp 3 with one gig ram wht am i doing wrong can some one help me out. my virtual hard disk extension is vdmx and it is around 3gb .
    thanks in advance !

  12. Same as Stevan :
    Right after starting VM I got next message: “EXTLINUX 3.83 2009-10-05 EBIOS Copyright (c) 1994-2009 H. Peter Anvin et al” (without quotations)
    Thanks,
    Kpym

  13. Your demo worked fine. Chrome OS running 100% on my VirtualBox. Am I missing something? It looks exactly like a modified version of Ubuntu? Surely Google didn’t just copy Ubuntu and then re-brand it as Chrome? I d/l via a torrent and file is named “Chrome_OS.i686-0.9.570.iso” Heeeeyyyy, I ‘ll bet I got suckered and that faux OS install is now sucking out all of the fabulous XXXpR0NXXX collected over the past 25 years of on-line misbehaviour. Tell me I’m wrong, Please????

  14. i have all steps make to run ChromeOS but, if i start its in virtual box i become an message:

    EXTLINUX 3.83 2009-10-05 EBIOS Copyright (C) 1994-2009 H. Peter Anvin et al

    I wait 10 minutes but nothing.

    Can any help me ?

  15. Hi there

    I followed this process using the latest from Hexxeh’s Chromium OS Vanilla site and a current 4.3 VirtualBox

    Regardless of the mouse integration (enabled/disabled) the mouse pointer does not work properly. It does move sometimes but more slowly on the VM machine than the host so can only move in centre box of Chriomium screen. Any ideas?
    Thannks

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