Google Chrome OS: how to make it compile and work in VirtualBox & VmWare

Recently Google opened sources of it’s Open Source OS called Google Chrome OS. After looking at youtube videos I got interested and decided to play with it. Well, any new OS is always interesting these days, when the whole world stuck to Microsoft Windows.

Because Chrome OS is an open source project it is really interesting to compile it from sources. Don’t be scared, the whole process is quite simple and is very well documented at Chrome OS Wiki: . Just do “step by step” what is written there and you will succed. However, I met a few problems during compilation process. First, I got stuck with error:

“Resolving chrome-web… failed: Name or service not known.” during build. If you meet this problem, edit “” script, search for “chrome-web” and replace all occurances of it with “”. Finally everything compiled.

Second problem appears at the end of building process when you created an image and you notice that Google by default recomends to create a VMWare image. Why VMWare and not VirtualBox? Let’s face the fact. Most likely, you are building Chrome OS in Linux. VirtualBox is by default present in default repository in most of the Linux distributions. While VMWare not. Also, you have to pay money for VmWare … Even if you pay for it, it might not work in your distribution. I remember myself trying to install it on 64 bit Ubuntu 9.04, it was problematic …

So, you did compile the kernel and packages and you created an image. Now it’s time to follow Google’s guidlines and create a VmWare vmdk file:

volodymyr@sv1:~/development/chromiumos.git/src/scripts$ ./ --from=/home/volodymyr/development/chromiumos.git/src/build/images/999.999.33209.120817-a1

The output will be something like this:

Done. Created VMware image /home/volodymyr/development/chromiumos.git/src/build/images/999.999.33209.120817-a1/ide.vmdk

If you have VmWare you can add this image as a virtual disk and use it. However, if you are lazy, and don’t want to setup a VmWare, it’s time to convert this image into VirtualBox virtual driver. Let’s do it:

volodymyr@sv1:~/development/chromiumos.git/src/scripts$ qemu-img convert /home/volodymyr/development/chromiumos.git/src/build/images/999.999.33209.120817-a1/ide.vmdk /home/volodymyr/development/chromiumos.git/src/build/images/999.999.33209.120817-a1/ide.bin

Now you can convert ide.bin into ide.vdi file using VBoxManage utility:

volodymyr@sv1:~/development/chromiumos.git/src/build/images/999.999.33209.120817-a1$ VBoxManage convertdd ide.bin ide.vdi
VirtualBox Command Line Management Interface Version 3.0.10
(C) 2005-2009 Sun Microsystems, Inc.
All rights reserved.

Converting from raw image file="ide.bin" to file="ide.vdi"...
Creating dynamic image with size 2988442112 bytes (2851MB)...

You can add ide.vdi into your VirtualBox and have a try with it. The first thing you notice is that it is loading very fast. It takes upto 10 seconds to load. You can see screenshots of Chrome OS below. At the same time, everything is so Google specific … If you don’t have Google account you can’t use this OS at full power 😉 I guess this OS is interesting to play with, but I can hardly imagine myself using it everyday. For those who are interested in both images (VmWare + VirtualBox) and would like to download them, you can do this using this link. Use the username “test” to login.

Chrome OS start




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