Make an old computer into a Chromebook

Why complete this challenge?

Do you have an old laptop that is too slow to run Windows? Would you like to make it into a snappy Chromebook? Are you interested in seeing what ChromeOS looks like? Are you comfortable deleting Windows from that old laptop?

If you answered “yes” to the last question above and at least one other, then this could be for you. (Actually, it looks like there is a way to install Neverware CloudReady on a newer computer without deleting Windows, so you might read on even if you cannot imagine a life without Windows on that computer.)

What is Chrome OS?

Chrome OS is a stripped-down version of Linux that runs only the Chrome web browser. It’s what makes a Chromebook a Chromebook. Though Google provides Chrome OS for free, they do not provide an installer that Normal People can use. Since it is Open Source, though, people take it upon themselves to create installers to make it easy to install. I am not recommending any of them myself because it has been years since I installed ChromeOS myself, and the article that I just looked at said something like “XX used to be the best and most up-to-date way to get ChromeOS, but now it is YY.” So, I am leaving it to you to do a search and see how best to install chrome os on pc this week.

There is, however, a commercial solution to this problem. It is called CloudReady from a company called Neverware. If you want to convert a whole bunch of laptops into Chromebooks and have a way to centrally manage all of them, it’ll cost you $59 a machine, but if you want to do just one, it is free. I installed it recently and it looks pretty cool. I think that it may even let you install it without destroying your Windows installation, but it looks to me like that will work only on a newer laptop.

What to do

Install ChromeOS on a computer.

Describe how you learned what to do and your decision-making process.

Tag with #chromeos-install.