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Home » Move from Chrome OS Flex to Chrome OS with Google Play Store !

Move from Chrome OS Flex to Chrome OS with Google Play Store !

Google’s new Chrome OS Flex does not come with Google Play Store or Android support. But the normal Chrome OS does support both. A lot of users after installing the Chrome OS Flex misses the Android support and therefore want to switch. Let us see how to move from Chrome OS Flex to Chrome OS.

Requirements:

  • Chrome OS Flex
  • 64 Bit Computer System with 16GB or more space
  • Secure Boot Disabled from BIOS
  • 16 GB USB or above
  • UEFI Boot (MBR may or may not support with MBR patch)
  • Intel CPU from Sandy Bridge or later (Intel Core 2 Duo or older is Not Supported)
  • Atom, Celeron, and Pentium processors are supported as of Baytrail or later.
  • AMD Stoney Ridge or AMD Ryzen
  • ARM CPUs are not supported

Getting Started

To move from Chrome OS Flex, first we will download a Linux operating system as we cannot install Chrome OS directly. Here, I have chosen Peppermint OS as it is quite light and minimal. After downloading, rename the file and add .bin at the end. We will also need some more files but we can donwload them later.

Now, to make a bootable USB we will use the Chromebook Recovery Utility. Open it and then click on the gear icon and select use local media. Choose the Peppermint OS image and your USB, then start the creation process.

Move from Chrome OS Flex to Chrome OS

Make sure to backup anything important before proceeding. Power off your system, now press the boot key (see image) and power button until you see the logo. Now select your USB from the list.

boot menu key

Choose the first option and the live version will load up. Open the installer program and start the set up process. Select Erase disk and then select your primary partition (largest size).

Set the username and password and then restart the system. On the welcome screen select install a web browser and then select Firefox from the list and install it. Then open the Firefox from the app list.

Downloads

Now, we will download the Chrome OS Recovery image. There are different versions for different CPUs and generations. Download the latest version from the list.

Additionally, we will also need the latest Sebanc Brunch file to make all this work. Thanks to the developer Sebanc for making this possible. Now move all the downloaded files into a folder and name it “chromeos“. You can name it anything else but make sure there are no spaces or special characters.

Using Terminal

In the same folder, right-click and then open terminal. Run the below commands.

sudo apt update && sudo apt -y install pv cgpt tar unzip

We will extract the Brunch file using tar. Replace the filename with the downloaded file’s name.

tar zxvf brunch_filename.tar.gz

Similarly, we will extract the ChromeOS recovery image using unzip. Replace the filename with the downloaded file’s name.

unzip chromeos_filename.bin.zip

For MBR / Legacy devices

After the above process, you need to download the MBR Patch file and extract it. After extraction, it will overwrite some existing files.

tar zxvf mbr_support.tar.gz

Installing Brunch File

Now we can proceed to install the ChromeOS recovery image file using Brunch. Remember to type “Yes” if to any prompt and also you may see some GPT header errors. Which you can safely ignore.

sudo bash chromeos-install.sh -src chromeos_filename.bin -dst chromeos.img

The process can take a lot of time depending on your storage speed. It will at the end show the message that the installation of ChromeOS was finished.

At this point, we need to make a bootable USB using programs like Rufus or Balena Etcher. Open the program and select the “chromeos.img” from your chromeos folder and write it to the USB.

Move from Chrome OS Flex

Now like before go to your boot menu of your system and choose your USB. You will see the brunch menu of Chrome OS. Then it will start setting up brunch files and this process can take a long time. But after a while you will see the Chrome OS logo.

Now this is not the installation screen, it is still running from the USB. But we still need to complete the set up. After setting up, open the Chrome browser.

We need to open a Crosh Shell terminal with Ctrl + Alt + T key. Now type shell and hit enter. We now need to find out the disk name, in which we will be installing the Chrome OS using the following command.

lsblk -e7

This command will present you with all the storage and partitions on your system. We need to determine which disk is our target disk for installation. Like before it will be of the largest size like sda 931 Gb, etc.

Remember that our target will never be a zram or loop device. Also on some PCs, RAID has to be disabled to list disks correctly. We cannot install Brunch on the device we are booting from, for example, the USB.

Install Chrome OS with Google Play Store

Once we have located our target disk, we can proceed to install Chrome OS with the below command. Type “Yes” to any prompt you see during the installation. Remember you may see some GPT Header errors, which we can safely ignore.

sudo chromeos-install -dst /dev/disk

The installation can take time depending on the disk speed. After it is done, you will see a message saying that Chrome OS was installed. Now we can reboot our system and it should boot into Chrome OS.

The first boot can take a very long time. almost an hour. If it does not boot even after that then you refer to this page for possible troubleshooting.

Move from Chrome OS Flex to Chrome OS

After boot up, you need to complete the set-up onmce again. But this time this is on our system and as our primary operating system. To update the Chrome OS and Brunch, read here.

Chrome OS has a couple of advantages over Chrome OS Flex. The biggest is of course, the Android and Google Play Store support. Apart from that they are the absolute same in every way.

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