Run ChromeOS Live from USB


Chrome OS is an operating system designed by Google that is based on the Linux kernel and uses the Google Chrome web browser as its principal user interface. As a result, Chrome OS primarily supports web applications.

The ChromeOS system is usually shipped with Chromebook PCs, but can be installed on other machines, such as regular PCs and Macs.

What and How

In fact Chrome OS is partially developed under the open source Chromium OS project. As with other open source projects, developers can modify the code from Chromium OS and build their own versions, whereas Chrome OS code is only supported by Google and its partners and only runs on hardware designed for the purpose.

This is why we have so many "flavors" of the "ChromiumOS" out there.

For instance ArnoldTheBat has tons of different vanila builds available for download. But this is a hobby project and the final builds are not that "polished".

In this tutorial we'll be using a fork called CloudReady to run a live install os ChromeOS. It offers more hardware compatibility than others. It also offers support for paid versions.


(64bit for most, 32bit for ancient hardware)

  • Google Chrome Browser

    • Google Chrome (Needed because of the Recovery Utility Extension below)
  • Chromebook Recovery Utility

  • USB drive with 8GB

    • Some Sandisk drives are incompatible.
  • A Compatible Computer

    • If ChromeOS does not boot then your hardware may not be compatible. Please check this page for compatibility, but don't get discouraged by the info there it just a reference. If your machine is not listed still may be compatible. My Macbook 8,1 is not and everything worked perfectly.

Important Note

The aim here is to run ChromeOS from the USB drive, not to install it to your hard drive.

If you plan to install it to your hard drive be extra careful. Wrong choices during the process can wipe your whole disk!

Creating the USB Drive Boot

  1. Open Google Chrome Browser and type this in the URL bar:

  2. Click on the Chromebook Recovery Utility

  1. Click on the gear on the top right-hand corner
  2. Click on Use local image and select the downloaded ChromeOS image
  3. Click on Get Started

The app will ask you to insert a USB drive, do it and click on Continue. It will take some time to write the ChromeOS to the USB drive. When it's finished click on Done and the ChromeOS USB Live Drive will be ready use.

Booting ChromeOS Live USB

Now reboot the computer and boot it from the USB. On Macs, you can accomplish this pressing the ALT/OPTION before the boot starts. On Windoze computers you may need to configure your BIOS or EFI boot options. Each machine has its particular way to do this, so google it: how to boot YOUR_PC_NAME_HERE from usb

Enjoy your live ChromeOS

Install it into your Disk

THIS IS NOT FOR NEWBIES/NOVICE users! You've been warned!

If you wish to install ChromeOS (single boot or dualboot) to your disk, please read CloudReady's documentation on how to do that.

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