I spent the weekend installing Google's ChromeOS Flex on a few different old computers. It was so easy to install and the results were so impressive, that I wanted to share them with you.
To run Chrome OS Flex, you'll need to download the installer media using a web browser from Google's Chrome OS Recovery Media Creator site. While many old computers will work, they need a bare minimum of 64-bit x86 CPU and 4GB of RAM.
You'll need a USB thumb drive with at least an 8GB capacity. On a PC, when it starts up, you'll want to interrupt the EFI boot loader (watch the prompts as it comes up) and choose the USB as your boot source. On a Mac, you'll want to boot up with the Option key held down and select the EFI media (in this picture, it is to the right).
It might take a few minutes to boot up on your machine as it detects all the hardware.
Terms of service agreement.
Here's the welcome screen.
You can choose if this machine is for an adult, or a child, for more restrictive security management.
Pick your Wifi, it's all about the Cloud with Google.
Sign into your Google account here.
It takes a few minutes for the installer to format the hard drive and copy all the files.
After a few minutes, it will install all the software and you'll be able to boot up without the USB thumb drive.
ChromeOS login screen. So simple, so pretty.
If your machine has a built-in microphone, it can be used for Google Assistant.
Sync all your Google stuff.
You can also connect to your Android phone to receive SMS and unlock ChromeOS.
Here's the program dock from which you launch all your stuff.
Looks like all my Gmail is here.
Not too shabby.
The WiFi is cooking with gas on this 2011 iMac.
A look at the settings folder.
Running some diags on this old box.
Booting up my 2011 Mac Mini on an 85" Samsung TV.
Developer mode unlocked, looking at the Linux processes.