Apple OS X: Run Chrome OS on Parallels VM

Google recently started selling Chromebooks, which are efficient netbook style computers developed specifically for small business and education institutions. If you’re interested in getting a new Google Chromebook, test it out before you buy. Here’s how to install and run the Chrome OS on any Mac capable of running Parallels 6.

First, make sure you have Parallels Desktop 6 installed. Then verify you have the latest updates for the virtual machine (VM) you create it with it on your Mac OS X system.

OS X Parallels Menu

In this example I needed to download the latest build.

Parallels Update

Install the update like normal following the wizard.

OS X Wizard

If you didn’t download the latest updates, you’ll run into errors when installing Chrome OS. This is the error I ran into because I didn’t update Parallels first.

Chrome OS Error

Now launch Parallels and click Download Chrome OS from the dropdown.

Parallels Virtual Machines

Now wait while the download process takes place. The amount of time it takes will vary depending on your system specs and online access speed.


After Chrome OS downloads, begin the boot process. Click Start.


When Chrome OS boots up, it’ll prompt you to log in with your Google ID.

Chrome OS Log in

Time to explore Google Chrome OS and whether it’ll make sense for you to buy a Chromebook.

Chrome Running on VM

The benefit of testing an OS on a virtual machine first is you can make sure it fits your needs, and the needs of the company.

Chrome OS Running on Parallels

For more information about Chromebooks and Chrome OS, check out this quick tour by Glen Murphy – Chrome UX designer.

Make sure to check out our Google Chrome section for more Tips, Tricks and How Tos.



  1. jordan

    Great post, Brian. Also very happy to see some OS X articles finally coming to groovyPost!

  2. Spencer

    Chromebook is Googles way of controlling the world!

  3. Digit Embroidery

    It’s very impressing. Thanks for sharing such a nice things.
    Embroidery Digitizing

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