4 Best Chrome OS forks for your regular computer

Today you’ll learn to install Chrome operating system on your computer, and the special thing is you do not need a Chromebook, install and run Chrome OS on an ordinary computer let it be a Workstation or a lightweight laptop. This article is curated to depict everything about Chrome OS forks.

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Before jumping check out these screenshot of Chrome OS running on a typical Intel-powered computer. The right-side panel will pop-up the quick settings, from where you can control volume, connect to a Wi-Fi network, shut down your computer, accessibility. Sign out and locking the PC is easy from the quick access panel. The interface is minimal, looks beautiful, and consists of notification count, time, wifi and battery icon, and finally user image. Also, you’ll be able to see all the notification clicking the icon before the clock.

Chrome os fork arnoldthebat projec

And this is the minimal yet beautiful home screen. Interested? It has the round-shaped google quick access shortcuts. The screenshots are of Chrome fork by ArnoldTheBat and FydeOS. You’ve also got other forks to choose which one you like better.

Google Chrome sidebar as of 2020
Sidebar in 2020

Chrome OS for PC (Chromium Forks)

These forks are based on Chromium OS, start tinkering with ArnoldTheBat builds – for an easy and amazing out of the box experience.

1. ArnoldTheBats

ArnoldTheBats Website | Tools used to make bootable USB Win32 imagewriter

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is chrome-os-dash.png

Daily, weekly, and special Chrome OS builds to choose from. This site provides up-to-date Chrome OS build based on Google’s Chromium project. This is the best option to get the same look of Chrome OS that you see on a real Chromebook. The limitations are fair, you won’t be able to run Android App and Google Assistant (and that seems final). Otherwise, everything will work out of the box I must tell you that the stability of this Chromium OS fork is astounding.

*Chrome OS fork = Chromium OS fork in this guide.

On the website you notice 3 types of builds, CARMOS builds denote ARM processors, Camd64OS builds denote x64 processors and Cx86OS builds denote x86 processors. If you’re not sure start with Cx86OS which stands for 32-bit machines, rather old computers.
The special builds contain these following perks.

Google Assistant and Play store won’t work.

Because the special builds come with additional drivers, it supports more computers. You should try the weekly latest build because it may not have bugs and compatibility issues.

Since there are continuous updates it hard to download each new system image, burn to a USB to boot so you can just go to Settings > About > Check for and apply updates and it will install the latest update. Thanks to the Air (OTA) updates from dev servers.

How to use (on Windows).

  1. Install a Zip utility like 7zip to extract IMG/bin file from the downloaded file.
  2. Use Win32 Image Writer, then select the IMG file and select the USB device from the menu.
  3. Click on “Write”.
  4. Boot from USB stick.

* Alternatively, you can use Rufus tool.

Rufus tool is lightweight tool or maybe the swiss knife for ISOs

2. Fyde OS

Download FydeOS | Etcher

FydeOS is based on chromium fork to run on Intel computers. Version 10 is running on Chromium r83 and supports Android Apps. Despite you won’t find play store as it was mainly focused on the Chinese market where Google services are banned. Still, you can sideload Android apps or even install the Google Play Store. It is available as a PC and Vmware system image.

Use FydeOS with a Google Account, for that to work registration is required with a FydeOS account.

Fyde OS home screen screenshot is a Chrome OS fork that can run Android Apps too
FydeOS as on 2020 Oct version 10

You need FydeOS because.

  • Runs Chrome Extensions, Android Apps* and Linux Apps* That’s epic actually.
  • Chrome fork with more extra features such as Google Sync.
  • Linux Kernal is 5.4 (8th, 9th, and 10th gen processor support)

Unlike the older beta version took 10 minutes to boot up, the new version was insanely fast and booted under 20 seconds. This is tested on my HP ENVY laptop with an i7 8th generation processor. Android subsystem and related functionalities are limited to Intel series graphics cards. We are quite impressed to see how it manages to run Linux Apps and Android apps together. That being said you could install Chrome extensions, Android Apps, and Linux Apps, on FydeOS. Being a Chromium OS fork we found that Google’s Assistant wasn’t working.

*Enable Android and Linux support before sideloading apps.

3. Nerveware’s Cloudready

Download Cloudready | make bootable USB Guide

Nerveware a company, forks the open-source code of Google’s Chromium OS and forges Nerveware CloudeReady. It’s like Phoenix OS (Modded Android OS with extra functions) but Chrome OS for PC. The changes include additional management features and hardware support. The company’s business plan is to sell it directly to schools and businesses that want to use Chrome OS on their existing PCs.

They also offer a free version of CloudReady for home users. Since it’s Chromium OS-based, you don’t get the functionality to run Android Apps on it; moreover certain multimedia and DRM features may also not work on some websites.

4. Chromefy

Chromefy is a project to make a Chrome OS image on your computer. Due to limitations, such a website can not ship ready-made images. So what the project requires is a recovery image and custom Chrome OS image (Arnoldthebat) and the special script, When mixed together it will be built a Chrome OS image that you can burn into USB and boot. You might be asking? what’s special! is arnoldthebat build arent enough? The answer is simple, Chromefy adds things that other custom Chrome OS forks fail to deliver. The biggest feature is the Android app and maybe Google assistant.

Dig deeper

I tried to put my hands in the dirt and was unable to build Chrome Image using this (since I do not know about this topic). If you happen to get it to work, please leave a comment below.

5. CrOS Linux (an exception)

Get CrOX

It’s easy to mistake this as a Chrome OS. It’s a Linux based operating system with chromium Browser to give you the look of the Chrome operating system. It is the best of these two Worlds. Since it is running on Linux you can install Linux applications and play with the terminal. In past we have discovered is a similar Linux project Goes by the name Cub Linux but unfortunately, the developer shut down the project after having a copyright dispute with Google. If you have used a Linux operating system before it is easy to get used to it the operating system plays around the chromium web browser.

Which Chrome OS fork you’re going to use?

It is very confusing to choose a Chrome OS fork for your PC, but you can choose the very first option which is Arnoldthebat. What you will get it frequently OTA updates for an up to date experience. If you want to use another Chrome os for PC you can give FydeOS a shot. Don’t want a Chromium OS-based operating system but similar look then you can go with CrOS Linux.

This story originally published in 2017 and last updated on 26 August, 2020.

5 comments
  1. Installing Google Play Store worked for me on FydeOS as of Sept 12 2020.
    Install FydeOS
    Open Android Settings
    Install OpenGapps from FydeOS Store

  2. Hey , I have maked a native chromeos image using brunch and rammus recovery. But, the problem is it is nly for 4th generation cpu . But the good thing is that it supports google play. And the size of the image is 14 gb. If you want it reply me.

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