Nov 20

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 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.


    41 Responses to “Tutorial: How to run Chrome OS in VirtualBox”

    1. Dan Dude Says:

      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!) (

    2. ChromeOS-Blog Says:

      And that exactly is the problem: The GDGT image (even though it is for VirtualBox) does not work in VirtualBox. Download the image from my BitTorrent link instead.

    3. Dan Dude Says:

      Will do. Thanks a bunch.

    4. Fake beta of Chrome OS available for download – Chrome Says:

      [...] [UPDATE 11/19: Google officially released the source code of Chrome OS. You can find a tutorial on how to install it here.] [...]

    5. york Says:

      Here’s also something i found helpful

      some guy made a video on installing it in virtualbox

      i just followed that and now i have chrome working perfectly

    6. Monik Says:

      Yes, even i tried to download the image from for VirtualBox buut it did not work.

    7. ChromeOS-Blog Says:

      The VMDK file from GDGT works. I added that in my article.

    8. david Says:

      I managed to boot but could not log in
      No network.
      I used the torrent image

    9. Varun Says:

      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??

    10. Robert Says:

      How do I get the network to work? It won’t connect.

    11. ChromeOS-Blog Says:

      Try using wired network first. There’s also an FAQ describing what to do with network problems at

    12. Nehal Says:

      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?

    13. Pashkoff Says:

      Not wired networking- Bridged. and it will work, but then what??

    14. Otestujte si Chrome OS na svém PC » Says:

      [...] Mějte na paměti, že se jedná o testovací preview verzi, takže nečekejte zázraky. Zdroj: Chrome OS Blog. Chrome, GoogleLíbí se mi Může Vás zajímatV3 nová verze Google Maps APIOtestujte si [...]

    15. John Says:

      Thanks so much for this! I tried a hundred things and couldn’t get it to work until I saw this!

    16. Download: Chrome OS image for USB drives – Chrome Says:

      [...] Create a new virtual machine in VirtualBox with the .vdi file as hard drive. You can see how it works here. [...]

    17. Building and running Google Chrome OS on VirtualBox | GrenadePod Says:

      [...] still in beta and under development, but you can try it now. There are lots of manuals such as this one, that instruct how to run already built image using Sun VirtualBox. But this is not fun, [...]

    18. mike Says:

      anyone figure out how to change the size from 800×600 to say 1024×768? thanks

    19. ChromeOS-Blog Says:

      As far as I know, in normal Ubuntu that is only possible by installing the VirtualBox Guest Additions. Maybe someone wants to try it in Chrome OS? How-to here:

    20. SugaR Says:

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

      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.

    21. scromie Says:

      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?

    22. Julio V> Says:

      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

    23. ChromeOS-Blog Says:

      You can get the terminal by pressing Ctrl+Alt+T.

    24. deu Says:

      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

    25. Lorin Says:

      I wrote on my blog a similar article about running Chrome OS into VirtualBox. You can view it by visiting . Thank you!

    26. Steven Pirarbo Says:

      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?

    27. John Says:

      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.

    28. Rcoyy Says:

      What is the password of root user to login in console mode?

    29. ChromeOS-Blog Says:

      In my releases the local user login credentials are usually .
      But in the newer releases, this sometimes doesn’t work.

    30. Rcoyy Says:

      Thanks, it worked on release 29/04/2010

    31. Stevan Says:

      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)

    32. aarez Says:

      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 !

    33. kpym Says:

      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)

    34. Dave Mann Says:

      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????

    35. Jon Says:

      The OS Type should probably be openSUSE since that is what the Chrome OS is based off of.

    36. Obi8 Says:

      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 ?

    37. piper Says:

      i logged in with my gmail account. does this help my chances of getting a cr-48? hahaha

    38. Install Chrome OS on a notebook « Learn from Experience in the IT566 Says:

      [...] Then, I set up the Chrome OS in Virtual Box by following the steps in Chrome-OS blog. [...]

    39. Ivan Says:

      I downloaded Chrome image here ( and worked fine for virtualbox.

    40. Mason Says:

      I start the virtual machine, but all i see is a black screen

    41. Luctor Says:

      only errors with virtualise Chrome OS. Now pae (WTF???) is missing on my CPU?? any idea??

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