Thursday, April 08, 2010

Running Chromium OS In VirtualBox

If you would like to try Chromium OS without disturbing your system or without going through the trouble of downloading the source code and building it, this blog-post is for you.

The Chromium OS has been built and bundled as a VMWare image (.vmdk). This image can be used with VMWare workstation, but this piece of software isn't free. So in this blog-post I will be targeting the free virtualization application - VirtualBox.

Oracle VM VirtualBox is an x86 virtualization software package originally created by a German software company Innotek, purchased by Sun Microsystems and now being developed by Oracle Corporation as a part of its family of virtualization products. Download VirtualBox from

Download the VMWare image of Chromium OS as a zip file at -

Extract the VMWare disk image from the zip using a compression utility like WinZip, WinRar or IzArc. Fortunately .vmdk images can be used in VirtualBox without any prerequisites, so we don't need a VMWare workstation to use the image.

I couldn't find a proper .vdi image when writing this article. If you find one, please post a link in the comments section. Either way, the series of steps will still be the same.

The following steps will get Chromium OS running in VirtualBox as a Virtual Machine.

  1. Start VirtualBox

  1. Create a new Virtual Machine

  1. Name the Virtual machine as Chromium OS and select the operating system type as Other/Unknown

  1. Allocate certain RAM for the operating system to run

  1. Use the existing available hard-disk (the image which we have just downloaded)

  1. The Virtual Media Manager ups on clicking the button beside the drop-down list

  1. Add the image file which was obtained after extraction

  1. The new image becomes the hard-disk for the virtual machine now

  1. Click on Finish to complete the process

  1. You can now see a new virtual machine docked on the right-hand panel of the window

  1. Double-click on the VM and Chromium OS boots up

  1. Login using your Gmail

That's it, Chromium OS is up and ready. Explore it!!!


Julien said...

This works great! Thanks. Any idea on how to make it size up to the window size?

Gautam Muduganti said...

Hi Julien!

A guest OS can go into fullscreen mode after installing VirtualBox Guest Additions.

But at the moment, VirtualBox doesn't support fullscreen mode for Chromium OS. :(

So we will have to wait for them to release an update for it.

Mandrake said...

Hey Gautam,

You may be interested in knowing:
1. VMware Player is a free product
2. Workstation VMs work with VMPlayer
3. VMPlayer 3.1 is fully functional, even allows VM creation, unlike the 2.x series.

You may want to look at it since its is more stable than VirtualBox on both Windows and Linux.

Gautam Muduganti said...

Hi Mandrake!

Yes, I know the VMware Player is free and I did use it some time ago. The .vmdk image provided in the post will surely work with the VMPlayer

The reason I compared VirtualBox with the VMware Workstation was that both of them had the ability to create VMs, something which VMware Player missed before.

I guess VMPlayer 3.1 was released after I wrote the post, so missed it. But will definately give it a try now :) Thanks for the input.

Gaurav said...

Precise ........ thanks buddy

Gaurav said...

i am not able to sign in using my google account, any suggestions how i can resolve this

Gautam Muduganti said...

Hi Gaurav!

The Chromium OS is a Cloud-based Operating System. Everything runs on the internet. Even the authentication process is done directly by Google.

1. Make sure the authentication credentials are correct.
2. Make sure that the system is connected to the internet. I don't think we can run Chromium without an internet connection.

Anonymous said...

Kind of disappointed with Chromium. It's basically stupid-friendly OS. I guess the masses will like that. There's a price for such convenience, however.