Google Chrome OS in VMware Workstation 7

You can download your copy of the Google Chrome OS as a VMware disk image (vmdk) here. Create a temporary email address here. When you have downloaded the file chrome-os-0.4.22.8-gdgt.vmdk.zip and extracted it, you’ll end up with the chrome-os-0.4.22.8-gdgt.vmdk virtual harddisk.

Create a new custom VM in VMware Workstation with 1 vCPU, 1GB RAM, and specify the extracted vmdk as harddisk. Choose not to convert the vmdk to a new version. Choose ‘other linux 2.6.x kernel’ as guest OS version. I specified a NAT network connection, but bridging should also work. Remove the USB and floppy hardware from the VM before starting it.

Start the VM and login with your Google account.

All done =) You won’t be able to install the VMware Tools, because the Chrome OS doesn’t allow custom applications.

Check out the available applications by clicking on the left most Google icon.

Notice the Hotmail and Yahoo! Mail icons =)

The Chromium OS currently uses build 32516 of the Chromium browser as ‘shell’.

I’m currently making this blogpost in build 38715. Build 32516 already supports the nifty Bookmarks sync feature, which is nice.

Overall the OS seems stable which isn’t a big surprise because it’s running on a small Linux kernel. Kind of similar to millions of other devices on the market from mobile phones to firewall appliances to security systems in cars.

What really ‘hit’ me, was the thought that the functionality Chrome OS offers might actually be enough for the ‘average’ user. Mind you, that is over80% of the computer/internet users worldwide. That comes down to 1386 million users. This assumption is strengthened by the current sales figures which shows laptop sales are bigger than PC sales. People want smaller, lighter and more mobile devices for their daily Internet use.

Combining this OS with netbook-like computers might give Google the power to overcome the Microsoft monopoly in the coming years. If  Google also manages to make Android a success and thereby reducing Apple to a small player in the mobile phone market, their world domination will be complete.

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About Yuri de Jager
Technology Addict

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