Download Chrome OS
Chrome OS is best enjoyed on official hardware. The Acer and Samsung Chromebooks arrive on June 15th, 2011. The following information is to use at your own risk, although I have personally tried most of these and they do work, albeit they can be bumpy. Again, do not expect the same experience you will get from Chromebooks.
At this point, there are already several different versions Chrome OS available. It all depends on what kind of system you plan on installing it on, and we can give you a run down on what you need to know. If you know of any other Chrome OS sources, or just want to talk shop, join us over at the forum!
Google’s open source project for Chrome OS is called Chromium OS. It is from here where the rest of these folks get the source code to build an image that you can put onto a computer. If you have Linux and a 64-bit machine you can do this yourself. Or you can download one of the following prepackaged builds.
Chrome OS Flow
UK student Hexxeh has put together a nicely packaged build that is small and works with a good variety of existing computers. You can place this image on a USB drive using a disk imager and then running it from that drive. Follow the link above for more instructions, it’s pretty easy to do.
Chrome OS Vanilla
Hexxeh has also just recently started offering up the daily builds of Chromium OS in a USB format that you can use that he is calling Chrome OS Vanilla. While Chrome OS Vanilla does not work for a wide range of computers, it does work in VirtualBox and VMWare Player if you want to run Chrome OS inside your existing operating system. This is NOT the same as Flow so use at your own risk.
Doug Anson of the Dell Linux team keeps putting out new builds of Chrome OS for the hardware specs of the Dell Mini series of netbooks. You can get his latest build and readme from here. An update has been made in May 2011.
While this is not the same as downloading Chrome OS, there was an opportunity to apply for a Chrome OS notebook called the Cr-48. It is an Intel Atom machine with a 12.1″ display, a full keyboard and an extra large touchpad. A post about the Cr-48 is here. A Google-sanctioned video about the Cr-48 is here. These are no longer available, as the Chrome OS Pilot Program has closed. You can find them on eBay, however.