Google’s Chrome Operating System is a Google’s answer to Mac OS X or Windows 7 — a lightweight operating system designed for netbooks and other portable devices. It’s also designed for an always-on connection. The Net is as much a part of the system as the software installed on the computer.
It’s also lightweight, fast, and easy to use. Boot up in just a matter of few seconds, log in and get onto the internet instantly. No distractions at all. Moreover, everything remains in the cloud so you never have to worry about running out of the disk space.
It’s also fun to play with. Here’s how to install it on a Mac using Parallels Desktop 5 virtualization software. Be aware that Chrome OS is currently in pre-alpha developmental stage. Install at your own risk!
- Any Mac — a MacBook or iBook is ideal (this tutorial was tested only on OS X 10.6.2)
- Compatible Chrome OS Virtual Machine file prepared for VMWare, located here.
- Parallels Desktop 5.0 for Mac
Here’s how you can install it:
1. Make sure you have Parallels Desktop 5.0 up and running on your Mac. Download the Chrome OS Virtual Machine file from the gdgt portal here – you’ll need to register to be able to download.
2. After the download, extract the ‘chrome-os-0.4.22.8-gdgt.vmdk.zip’ file to obtain ‘chrome-os-0.4.22.8-gdgt.vmdk’.
3. Open Parallels Desktop 5 application on your Mac and click ‘file’ in the menu bar, then select ‘Import’.
4. A wizard window should now pop-up. Select the ‘Continue’ button near the bottom-right corner. Now, select ‘Existing Virtual Machine’ and select the ‘Continue’ button again.
5. It will now ask you to choose the location of the extracted ‘chrome-os-0.4.22.8-gdgt.vmdk’ file. Click on the ‘Choose’ button and locate the file on your Mac. Select it and choose ‘open’. Select Continue.
6. It will now show a pop-up warning asking if you want to continue, select ‘Continue’. Now, specify a name for the Virtual Disk, which is ‘Chrome OS 0.4.22.8′ in the screenshot above. After a few minutes of ‘Migration’ process, it will tell you when complete, select ‘Done’ and this will close the window.
7. Now make sure you have a file named ‘Chrome OS 0.4.22.8.hdd’ in the Parallels folder located in your Documents directory.
8. Open Parallels Desktop again in the menu bar, select ‘File’ and then ‘New’.
9. A ‘New Virtual Machine Assistant’ will show up. Select the ‘Skip Detection’ button located in the bottom-left corner. Now, select the ‘Operating System as ‘Other Linux kernel 2.6′ under ‘More Linux’ from the list. Select ‘Continue’
10. In Virtual Machine Type, select ‘Custom’ and select ‘Continue’. Now, specify the number of processors and RAM you want to allocate for the Operate System while it’s running and select ‘Continue’.
11. For the ‘Hard Disk Options’, select ‘Existing Image File’ and click ‘Continue’. Now, locate the ‘Chrome OS 0.4.22.8.hdd’ that you created before and select ‘Choose’. Click ‘Continue’.
12. In ‘Networking Type’, select ‘Bridged Networking’ and then ‘Continue’. Now, in list of Network Adapter, choose ‘AirPort’ and select ‘Continue’.
13. In ‘Optimization Options’, select either of the two options and click ‘Continue’. Now, type in the name of Virtual Machine to be created and select ‘Create’ located near the bottom-right corner. After some processing, it will give success message. Click ‘Done’.
14. Double click the newly created Chrome OS Virtual Machine shortcut on the Desktop and click on the ‘Click to Start’ button. When it asks you for login details, type in your GMail ID and Password and tap return.
15. Voila! You now have the brand new Chrome OS. Go flaunt it. ;)
All credit for creating the VMWare Virtual Machine file goes to the fine folks at gdgt.