Study Find out how to Set up Chrome OS in a VMware Digital Machine

You've probably heard all about Chromebooks and Chrome OS by now. Google's Chrome OS is the driving force behind the success of the Chromebook. It offers users a no-frills operating system that focuses on Google Chrome, as well as the numerous associated web apps and extensions.

Install Chrome OS in the VMware function

Chrome OS is a complete success. If you're interested in switching but want to try before you buy, you can start Chrome OS in a virtual machine.

Can you start Chrome OS in a virtual machine?

Booting into Chrome OS is a great way to test the operating system before buying it. You can find out if the lack of traditional apps affects you, if the workflow suits you, and if you like the feel of the operating system.

However, Chrome OS doesn't start in a virtual machine like other operating systems like Windows or Linux. Typically, you can only use Chrome OS on one piece of hardware – a Chromebook. Google doesn't offer a version of Chrome OS that is suitable for use with virtual machines.

However, since Chrome OS is based on an open source project, the clever team at Neverware CloudReady can modify the code to work well with the virtual machine's software.

Would you like to try something different again? How to install macOS in a virtual machine on Windows 10.

macos-windows-10-hackintosh

How to install Chrome OS in a virtual machine

Okay, here's how to install Chrome OS in a virtual machine. Neverware CloudReady is currently offering a free application image for Chrome OS virtual machines for VMware. There was also a Chrome OS VirtualBox image previously, but it is no longer available.

1. Download and install VMware

First, you'll need a copy of VMware Workstation Player.

Download: VMware Workstation Player for Windows (free)

VMware Workstation Player is the free tool for VMware virtual machines. Download and install it before proceeding with the tutorial.

2. Download Neverware CloudReady Chrome OS

You will then need the application image of the Chrome OS virtual machine.

Download: Chrome OS CloudReady Image for VMware (free)

Go to the download page. Scroll down until you find the download link.

3. Import the Chrome OS image into VMware

Now import the Chrome OS virtual machine into VMware.

Import Chrome OS VMware

Open the VMware Workstation Player. Go to Player> File> OpenThen navigate to the Chrome OS image. The Import virtual machine Window opens. Keep the default options and press Import.

When the import is complete, you will find an entry in the list of virtual machines.

Chrome OS in VMware

4. Start the Chrome OS virtual machine

Double click CloudReady Home virtual machine in VMware. The Chrome OS virtual machine starts. It shouldn't take long either.

Chrome OS boot into VMware

Deactivate Device / Credential Guard

A common error during the startup process is "VMware Workstation and Device / Credential Guard are not compatible." This is a common mistake and usually relates to Windows Hyper-V.

Art Windows functions Select the best match from your search bar in the Start menu. Scroll down and turn off Hyper-V, then press OK. You must restart your system for the changes to take effect. Disabling Hyper-V support does not remove your existing Hyper-V virtual machine images.

The Windows option is Hyper-V

If the error persists, enter command prompt Then select in the search bar of your start menu Open as administrator. Now copy and paste the following commands:

bcdedit / enum {current}
Deactivate bcdedit / hypervisorlaunchtype

This will prevent the launch of the Hyper-V hypervisor from affecting device / credential protection. To undo the change, open the command prompt with administrative privileges and enter:

Set bcdedit / hypervisorlaunchtype to auto

Hyper-V is the virtual machine software built into Windows. But how can it hold up against VirtualBox and VMware?

5. Configure the settings of your Chrome OS virtual machine

An active internet connection is required to sign in to Chrome OS. The virtual machine should share the host machine's Internet connection, but configuration may take a moment.

Chrome OS Active Ethernet connection VMware

If nothing happens right away, select the gray time icon in the lower right corner, then choose the Wi-Fi configuration icon. Choose EthernetThis is how the virtual adapter works.

Choose Next. Then read through Neverware's CloudReady data collection form Continue.

You can now use your Gmail address to sign in to Chrome OS. Depending on your security settings, you may need to verify your identity using 2FA on a separate device.

Chrome OS Virtual Machine 2fa

After signing in, you will be taken to the Chrome OS homepage. From here you can explore the operating system.

Chrome OS Virtual Machine Limitations

The Chrome OS virtual machine has some limitations. For example, it doesn't have access to Google Play, where you can download and install regular Android apps on your Chromebook.

Chrome OS homepage VMware

Android app support is almost a standard feature on the latest Chromebook models, just improving their functionality. Without mentioning that you can dual boot a Chromebook on Linux as well.

This is no small matter at Neverware. Rather, it is due to technical and legal restrictions.

Update the Chrome OS virtual machine

Neverware periodically releases updates to its Chrome OS virtual machines. They follow the standard Chrome OS release schedule, but the updates take a little longer to reach the virtual machines because Neverware has to configure them before they are released.

Even with the slight delay, you'll never fall significantly behind the official Chrome OS update schedule. If you leave the virtual machine powered off for an extended period of time, you naturally fall behind. However, the updates are waiting when you turn them back on!

What can you do with your Chrome OS virtual machine?

The best thing you can do with your new Chrome OS virtual machine is treat it like a normal operating system and see how it suits you. Regardless of which main operating system you're from (Windows, MacOS, Linux), there are some restrictions on what apps can do or the availability of apps.

However, there are workarounds for almost every problem you encounter. At least there are when you consider how many Chrome web apps there are. If you're using a regular Chromebook, you probably have access to the millions of apps on Google Play too.

Chrome OS is a great operating system for portable devices like the Chromebook. The combination of extremely long battery life and a relatively simple operating system makes Chrome OS and the Chromebook a powerful combo for a wide variety of users.

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About the author

Gavin Phillips
(592 articles published)

Gavin is the junior editor for Windows and Technology Explained, contributing regularly to the Really Useful Podcast, and was the editor for MakeUseOf's crypto-focused sister site Blocks Decoded. He has a BA (Hons) in Contemporary Writing Using Digital Art Practices Looted from the Devon Hills, as well as over a decade of writing experience. He enjoys plenty of tea, board games, and soccer.

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