“CloudReady” Turns Your Old Computers Into Chromebooks #chromiumOS

My first experience with Chrome OS was through Chromium OS installed on an old Acer laptop. There was Hexxeh who produced good quality Chromium OS builds, regularly for those who wanted to try Chromium OS. And then that stopped. Chromebooks became popular and affordable. There aren’t many who would want to turn an old bulky laptops and PCs into Chromebooks.

We hear a lot about schools buying up Chromebooks (you should follow Chris Robato on Google Plus if you want a lot of such news). This is the other side of the story. For schools with budget constraints and lots of old hardware around, CloudReady provides a version of Chromium OS and support / maintenance subscriptions.

Looks like that era is not over. Turning an old computer into a Chromium OS device is a good value proposition for lots of institutions, especially for schools with tight budgets. And CloudyReady is for them (and many others)

Chromium OS (like Chrome OS) does not require much computing power. Old computers can run it neat enough. However, running the latest version of one of the regular operating systems can be a challenge. (okay, you can install and run most of them, but it may not be as snappy as you want them to be)

The OS comes in an easy to install USB drive. CloudReady provides automatic updates similar to Chrome OS and the ability to enroll devices in the Chrome Admin Console. Schools can opt for an annual license of $25 per machine or a lifetime license of $59 per machine, which includes four years of technical support.

For Individuals Too

You can download CloudReady for free and install it on one of those old computers and turn them into Chromebooks within minutes.  I do not see “Automatic updates” listed as a feature on the For Individuals page, so that is something that I will need to test when I try this out! I am definitely going to give this a try!+

Edit: The free version for individuals also has automatic updates!

Source: CNN Money (interesting read!)

Thank you Matthew Merkey!

18 responses

  1. I’d love to see the follow-up after you try this. Hopefully the updates are a go for individuals too

  2. We are using Chromixium instead at our school.

  3. Thanks for the profile, the whole team here at Neverware is excited to be bringing full Chromebook capabilities to old computers for free. Clarification: The free version definitely has automatic updates! We just tweaked our For Individuals page to more clearly state that the free version does indeed receive periodic updates to the latest version of Chromium.

    1. Is there any way to try CloudReady in VMware?

      1. We have not validated on VMware specifically, but we routinely run CloudReady in a virtual environment as part of our development and testing process. The free CloudReady download is simply a bootable disk image intended to be copied onto a USB thumb drive, which you may be able to mount in VMware. If you give it a try, we’d love to hear how it goes!

        1. Can’t make it work, I am unable to set my VMware to boot from the USB, selecting “removable devices” from boot menu does nothing. I also trying using the plpbt boot manager iso (an iso boot manager) to force booting from usb drives, but also doesn’t work.

          1. Thanks for the feedback Rami, I’m seeing the same thing using Plop in VMWare Workstation 12. We’re working to get a build specially designed for easy use with VMWare, Virtualbox and other virtualization platforms released in the near future.

            1. @peterfreudenberger:disqus….. This would be very very helpful… I use VMWare Player and Virtualbox VM’s to test out various Linux distros… it would be very nice indeed to have CloudReady available to install in the VM’s…. Thanks for all your hard work

          2. After doing some investigation on the USB that was created from the Chromebook Recovery Utility, I noticed that it had created partitions on the USB drive for an EFI-only device. When you create a VM in VMware Workstation (in my example, version 12), it creates a VM with BIOS as its default boot. In order to get the system to recognize the USB and boot, I had to go into the advanced settings of the VM and switch it from BIOS to EFI. After doing that, VMware booted from the USB device just fine and installed.

    2. Pleasure is mine!

  4. The pricing page puts “Automatic Updates” among the free version’s feature list hopefully:

    http://www.neverware.com/pricing/

    1. Yes, I will edit the post!

  5. I have a 10 year old Dell Inspiron that isn’t officially supported, but I think I’ll give it a shot and see if it works.

    1. Same here, loaded but WiFi is borked. Going to try arnoldthebat’s build instead.

  6. Also try ArnoldTheBats builds which have been around for a couple of years now.. Go to http://arnoldthebat.co.uk/wordpress/chromium-os/ for the latest generic builds and http://arnoldthebat.co.uk/wordpress/chromiumos-special-builds/ for enhanced driver support

  7. Also try ArnoldTheBats builds which have been around for a couple of years now.. Go to http://arnoldthebat.co.uk/wordpress/chromium-os/ for the latest generic builds and http://arnoldthebat.co.uk/wordpress/chromiumos-special-builds/ for enhanced driver support

  8. Also try ArnoldTheBats builds which have been around for quite a while now.. Go to http://arnoldthebat.co.uk/wordpress/chromium-os/ for the latest generic builds and http://arnoldthebat.co.uk/wordpress/chromiumos-special-builds/ for enhanced driver support

  9. @@disqus_vX8k2Z1lRD:disqus , we really liked your story about CloudReady last October, and saw a lot of traffic coming from Chrome Story. We’re unveiling a major new feature of CloudReady later this month, and would love to have you evaluate it before release. Shoot me an email at pfreudenberger@neverware.com, and we’ll get you set up.

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