Installation, updates, general problem solving and assistance.
Steven W
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2022-03-11 03:29 »

I've been dicking around with this. It wouldn't be my first choice, but I'm testing it out for the purpose of potentially hooking other people up with it. Given what Windows is becoming and, as I can personally testify, this does run very well on somewhat older hardware, I can see where this would be a popular choice. It wouldn't even run on my newest (AMD) machine, but ran really well (even just testing it [yes, you can test it without installing] from the USB drive) on an old Intel machine.

To test it out from a Windows machine:

https://chromeenterprise.google/os/chromeosflex/

This requires you to install an extension in the Chrome browser that doesn't work in Linux :thumbdown:

https://dl.google.com/dl/edgedl/chromeo ... v2.bin.zip

After unzipping, I wrote it to a USB drive using the 'dd' command on my Mint install...

That's not the latest bin file, trying to figure out how to get the latest. My install updated to 14526.9.0-22.02.28...

This guy has a pretty decent write-up and covers using Rufus (with the BIN file under Windows):

https://tech-latest.com/download-instal ... pc-or-mac/

Steven W
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2022-03-12 07:05 »

I may have gotten ahead of myself even assuming everyone knows what Chrome OS Flex is:

https://www.androidpolice.com/chrome-os ... ld-use-it/
What is Chrome OS Flex?

Chrome OS Flex is the successor to Neverware’s CloudReady operating system, which brings Chrome OS to virtually any outdated computer, Mac or PC. Like regular Chrome OS, CloudReady and Chrome OS Flex are based on Chromium OS, the open-source foundation for Google’s desktop operating system. However, unlike CloudReady, which skipped every other version of Chromium OS due to the added development overhead of forking the open-source project, Chrome OS Flex will get updates just as fast as regular Chromebooks — a big plus over its predecessor.

Steven W
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2022-03-15 05:24 »

https://support.google.com/chromeosflex/answer/11542901
Chrome OS Flex is currently released for early access testing and is not suitable for production use. CloudReady is available for immediate stable deployment. Google will automatically update CloudReady devices to Chrome OS Flex, when Chrome OS Flex is stable. We welcome your feedback as we work to improve the product
Chrome OS Flex does not support ARM architecture.
Well, that explains that.
Unsupported ports and features include:
CD and DVD drives
Fingerprint readers
FireWire ports
Infrared (IR) and face recognition cameras
Proprietary connectors and docks
Stylus and active pen input
Thunderbolt functionality
Note: Although Thunderbolt functionality is not supported, Thunderbolt ports using USB-C or mini-Displayport can still be used for any USB3, USB4, and Displayport functionality the port is capable of.

Steven W
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2022-03-15 05:30 »

https://www.spiegel.de/netzwelt/gadgets ... 3c85282bcb
The software itself is free. Users should be aware that Google earns money with user data. Much like with Android smartphones, the company can record significantly more activities with an entire operating system than with a search engine and a browser alone .

Steven W
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Joined: 2013-08-10 22:40

2022-03-15 06:41 »

The person I have in mind for this (Chrome OS Flex) is someone who basically uses Windows to fire up the Chrome browser, is permanently logged into their Google account and 99% of their activity is browsing, shopping, posting and commenting online. To be honest, in that circumstance, I really don't think that having Google run the OS too is going to make any significant difference. It occurs to me also that there's a large number of youngsters here in the U.S whose only experience with a computer (outside of a gaming console and perhaps a cell phone) is with a Chromebook from their school. Installing this on an outdated desktop/laptop would provide them with a familiar experience.

Microsoft, especially on the education front, is at least trying to offer up something that's not dissimilar to this idea anyway.

https://www.digitaltrends.com/computing ... hromebook/

I have a feeling that this will eventually make it's way to the consumer front and ultimately, something not-to-dissimilar will be offered to enterprises. Imagine a watered-down OS that some admin can completely lock down and only having access to the online services that, even now, enterprises are all moving to. From a security standpoint this would have definite advantages. Think I'm crazy?

https://itwire.com/business-it-news/sec ... ttack.html

Think again.

Anyway, my point here is that I get this isn't right for everyone, it has its place and you are going to see more of this and similar things in the future.

Steven W
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2022-03-15 07:08 »

Wow, I just realized that the future IT worker for many corps/companies, at least locally, is going to be any dumbass who can replace a laptop or failing bit of hardware (a keyboard, for example). Just about everything else is going to be outsourced. I suppose they may have to be able to use a template to install/configure an OS. Maybe they'll just have to point the install/configuration dialog to the right cloud URL. :lol:

BLEAK!

Steven W
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2022-03-18 05:17 »

https://chromeunboxed.com/chrome-os-fle ... 0-failure/
Sometimes around here, we tinker with things and they just don’t work out. We aren’t trying to break anything on purpose. Promise. It just happens from time to time when you allow yourself to stray a bit outside the lines. Such is the case of our now-ailing 2010 Macbook Pro that we attempted a full Chrome OS Flex install on. We even fired up the cameras to catch it all in process and fully expected this to be a triumphant showcase for the still-Beta Chrome OS Flex. What we got was near complete failure.


Eh, this is certainly a possibility... :lol:

Steven W
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2022-03-19 03:52 »

https://9to5google.com/2022/03/15/googl ... the-space/
For over ten years now, Google and its partner companies have offered laptops that run an operating system that is centered around the Google Chrome browser. These devices were, of course, dubbed “Chromebooks” – all one word. Meanwhile, the system they run on has officially been “Chrome OS” – two words – though some places it’s seen stylized as “chromeOS” (with a lowercase “c”)
I noticed the splash screen changed. Apparently it's ChromeOS Flex now (I do see dialogs that haven't been update once booted). The newer splash screen's a bit easier on the eyes too. I've been running this on a laptop with a 20GB SSD. It Honestly needs a bit more storage to be really practical. I'd recommend 64 minimum. I suppose I could insert a microSD and dig up how to change storage options...

Steven W
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2022-03-19 09:59 »

I'm sitting here a bit dismayed at how good this is. Yeah, sure, I've a few gripes, but still...

I got rid of a bunch of stuff. A BUNCH! Essentially trying to think of one of those people I am considering setting up with this OS. I removed/shut off the Google Drive integration too. The thing ran a bit better after having done this. To clue you in on some of my thinking, some of those 'apps' are essentially useless. A YouTube app, seriously? Opening youtube.com in the browser would do. Really though, I figured the apps would just serve to confuse the person I have in mind. That person does use Google Drive, but is already accustomed to opening drive.google.com...
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The performance boost was just enough to get me curious about what was going on in the background.
Screenshot 2022-03-19 4.04.36 AM.png
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I was annoyed to find that Extension: Office Editing for Docs, Sheets and Slides running (It does eat up a good bit o' RAM). After a bit of searching on how to remove it, I found that Google really didn't want you to. It was apparently added to ChromeOS to solve the issue of igits not being able to figure out how to open their Office docs on their Chromebook, apparently the situation was so bad, that it was a major reason people would return Chromebooks. I decided to try the thing out before seeing if I could either remove it from an install image or force it out by other means. I'm glad I did try it out, it's actually really good.
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I haven't given this a thorough vetting yet, but it did really well for the few docx files I tried. I've also creating a document by opening docs.google.com in Chrome, for whatever reason, that just feels heavy and bloated. I suspect that plugin would be way more than ample to view most documents.

The next thing I did will likely sound a bit counter-intuitive. I installed the Save to Google Drive extension:

https://chrome.google.com/webstore/deta ... hgne?hl=en

I'm gonna encourage the person I have in mind to use this as much as possible.... To be honest, if I were gonna use ChromeOS Flex long term, I'd likely consider a very similar setup myself. Anyway, the extension is kinda neat, on your right-click menu in Chrome, it adds, you guessed it, Save to Google Drive. It also allows you to print webpages as PDF and send them to Google Drive all in one fell swoop.
nice.png
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I found a couple of little oddities with the extension. For example I can save the images that come in directly in a Google search with it, even though I can right-click and choose Save As just fine, but all-in-all, not bad. I've even been providing Google with feedback. I don't bother doing that sorta thing, unless I see something of value. I'm not gonna mention the other oddity, I let Google in on that one...

I REALLY CAN'T BELIEVE THAT I, OF ALL PEOPLE, ACTUALLY KINDA LIKE ChromeOS. :eek:

Steven W
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Posts: 2427
Joined: 2013-08-10 22:40

2022-03-19 21:17 »

I wrote about the 'Extension: Office Editing for Docs' above, the thing isn't perfect, but as I said, it's fairly good. I started looking at it a bit harder. Particularly for just simply editing documents, it's great. If you'd save a blank.docx with the margins set the way you want, you could use it as a somewhat limited replacement for Word. The same thing with PowerPoint presentations, a few templates... Spreadsheets would be a bit of a pain in the ass.

I'd really like to see them add a few more features to this such as inserting images into documents, a legit 'Save As' dialog (the Download button serves that purpose if you go to Chrome's settings and have it 'Ask where to save each file), Page Settings/Setup change margins, header/footer options...

To me this thing is just ever-so-close to being what over 90 percent of the population needs as an Office replacement. I think Google's sitting on another goldmine.

I'm assuming that the version that's included and 'unremovable' from ChromeOS is kept in sync with the version everyone can download for a Chrome browser:

https://chrome.google.com/webstore/deta ... gdpimamgkj

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