Why I Chromintoshed My Windows 10 Tablet | Install Chrome OS (Not Chromium!) On Any Computer
Short Link: http://www.jsmtech.org/chromeintosh
Read Time: 7 min
If you’ve read my last post, you know that I’ve switched from a Samsung Chromebook Plus V2 to a Dell Latitude 12 7275 Tablet 2-in1.
Well, maybe. But I never said I’ve switched from Chrome OS ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Let’s define some terms before we get started.
- Chrome OS – Google’s official version of Chrome OS. Your device and company need to be certified by Google to manufacture and sell your device with Chrome OS.
- Chromebook – a device that runs Chrome OS
- Chromium OS – just like the browser Chromium, Chromium OS is the open-source version of Chrome OS. Anyone can freely compile and distribute Chromium OS.
- Chromintosh – this one’s mine ;) I coined the term “Chromeintosh” after the mostly official word Hackintosh for Mac OS on a Windows-based computer. Likewise, a Chromintosh is Chrome OS installed on a Windows-based computer.
So if Chromium OS is almost the same thing as Chrome OS, why bother trying to install Chrome OS?
Chrome OS vs Chromium OS?
What’s the big difference? To be honest, there’s not a giant list of things different. But… the biggest one is Andriod apps. So far, Chromium OS can’t run Andriod apps. Andriod apps are one of the biggest things on Chrome OS and probably one of the main talking points. Another thing is that if you use the Eve recovery image, you get all the features from a Pixelbook. Google’s own Chromebook get features sooner than other ones.
Now with that under our belts, let’s get into the fun stuff :)
Getting the Required Files
Okay, we have quite a few things to grab. Just to stay organized, create a file called “Operation Chromintosh” and download all of the following to it.
- Arnold The Bat Special Chromium Build. Be sure to get a build that starts with “Camd64” if you’re device is 64-bit. Also, try to get the most recent version. As of now, the most recent Arnold the Bat Chromium build is R74.
- Official Chrome OS recovery image. Download the latest Chrome OS version from that link. Make sure that you get a version that matches your processor (Intel, AMD, ARM, etc). I recommend grabbing the Pixel version called Eve. If you search for it on that page, you should find it. This page can help you find a Chrome OS version that matches your device if Eve doesn’t work for you.
- TPM2 emulator (swtpm.tar)
- [OPTIONAL] FydeOS Dualboot Script. Allow your image to install a dual boot setup.
- [OPTIONAL[ FydeOS Dualboot Bin. Allow your image to install a dual boot setup.
- And finally, the star of the show: The Chromefy.sh installation script.
- I lied to you, there’s one more thing. You need a Linux terminal to run the script in. I haven’t tried using WSL on Windows 10 to run it, but you might be able to do that. Let me know if that works :) You can also just use a Linux VM or even a Chrome/Chromium OS machine. You also might be able to get away running it on a Mac too.
Now we can start the fun stuff :)
Preparing The Chrome OS Image
Now, let’s create a Chrome OS image! We’re going to be using Project Croissant, formerly known as Chromefy to do that.
Project Croissant is a very simple project that does a very simple thing. It converts your normally Chromium OS image into a fully-functional Chrome OS image. How does it do that? It’s very simple and pretty smart… Project Croissant uses the Chrome OS recovery image you give it and “restores” it onto your Chromium OS image. It’s super smart, I know.
Okay, let’s run the Project Croissant script. Open up your Linux terminal and run the following:
sudo bash chromefy.sh chromium.img recovery.bin swtpm.tar
Be sure to edit “chromium.img” and “recovery.bin” with their real names. Next, just in case you ever want to use the image to dual boot, run the following commands (you need to downloads the optional files from above):
sudo bash dualboot.sh chromium.img dualboot.bin
Again, change the file names to what they are.
And that’s it. You’ve got yourself a full Chrome OS image :)
Installing/Using the Image
Now you can take the “chromium.bin” image (or whatever you substituted it for) and flash it onto a USB flash drive. I really recommend you use Rufus or Etcher. Etcher’s probably easier if it’s your first time doing this sort of thing whereas Rufus is better if you know what you’re doing. So if this is your first time, please install Etcher and use it to flash the “chromium.bin” image to a USB flash drive. It’s pretty self-explanatory.
Now you’ve got yourself a fully bootable Chrome OS image. In fact, it’s actually a live environment. If you’d like to dual boot Chrome OS with Windows or your current operating system, then you’re going to have to re-partition your hard drive and leave an unallocated space at the end of it. I was feeling pretty generous so I left 20GB for my Chrome OS partition, but since the OS is cloud-based, I doubt you’ll need a lot. (Although, you can never be too careful ^_^)
Now boot up the flash drive on your computer, and it should take you to the default setup page you’d see when you normally use a Pixelbook the first time. Feel free to go ahead and set that up and mess around with it. When you’re done, do the following to install it to your hard drive.
Hit “Ctrl-Alt-F1.” That will take you to a fullscreen console. Login in as “chronos” with no password. Now, you’re going to want to figure out which hard drive is yours and select that if you’re dual-booting. If you’re installing Chrome OS to another hard drive, just select that one in the command below (it says dual boot, but it can still install normally).
# To find your hard drive location lsblk # Install command (REPLACE "/DEV/SDA" WITH YOUR HDD LOCATION!) sudo bash /usr/sbin/dual-boot-install -d /dev/sda
You’ve got Chrome OS installed, congrats! To boot into Chrome OS, you’re going to have to install a third-party EFI bootloader like Clover or rEFInd. I personally prefer Clover because I’m going to be using it to Hackintosh pretty soon.
Once you install Clover or rEFInd, you can boot into Chrome OS – install some Andriod apps, play with Linux apps, and complete your takeover of the web!
How Do Ya Like It?
Installing Chrome OS on a Windows tablet is really fun. How did you like doing it? Feel free to leave a comment below or PM me with the chatbox on the bottom right. Sign up for my newsletter to get notified of more posts like this.
Keep on Chromintoshing!