How To Run Chrome OS Without a Chromebook

You don’t have to shell out $249 on a new Samsung Chromebook to try out Chrome OS. Here’s how to run it in in OS X with Parallels Desktop 8 for Mac.

Curious about what Google’s Chrome OS has to offer? You don’t have to take a chance and shell out $249 on a new Samsung Chromebook to try out the new Chrome OS. If you want to give it a try, you can run it in a virtual machine. Hers how to run it on Parallels Desktop 8 for Mac.

Chrome OS is a Google customized version of Linux that runs on the Samsung Chromebooks. It’s essentially a browser with other functionalities, and the majority of your data is stored on Google servers – Google Drive.

Samsung Chromebook

Update Parallels Desktop

Before installing Chrome OS in Parallels for Mac, I recommend making sure you have the latest updates installed. Click Parallels Desktop >> Check for Update.

Update Parallels

Then download any available updates.

Download Parallels Desktop Update

Install Chrome OS

The grooviest part about Parallels Desktop is it makes it easy to install operating systems. Launch the New Virtual Machine wizard and click Download Chrome OS then Continue.

New Virtual Machine Wizard

Next you’re given a brief description of Chrome OS. Notice it’s a small download – under 250MB.

Chrome OS Description

Now wait while Chrome OS is downloaded and installed as a VM.

Chrome OS Downloading

Then go through the Chrome OS wizard to set it up and get started.

Get Started with Chrome OS

Now you’ll have the VM saved in parallels and can run it whenever you want to give it a try. This is a great way to give Chrome OS a test run for free without paying for the Chromebook hardware.

Start Chrome OS

You can run Chrome OS in VirtualBox too. I recommend downloading a Chrome OS VM image from Hexxen. These are quality images of Chrome OS that are easy to install in VirtualBox or form a USB drive so you can test it out.

Using Chrome OS is easy and all web based. I have noticed that some features aren’t readily accessible like they are on the Chromebooks, but it’s essentially the same and will give you a test drive with the web based OS. What do you think of Chrome OS? Do you think you could go completely with a cloud based OS yet?



  1. Anthony Raynor

    November 5, 2012 at 5:20 pm

    Saw the Chromebook at BestBuy this weekend. Wonder how many people will realize what it truly is before they buy it?

  2. Jack Busch

    November 25, 2012 at 6:34 pm

    Hmm.. I used to run Chromium OS from a Hexxeh build on my EEE PC. I liked it–it was faster/more lightweight than Windows 7 on the ailing netbook. But it did feel sort of like a hack.

    In spite of everything, I kind of want a Chromebook. I feel like trying it on the actual device will be different somehow.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


To Top