Tonight, I decided I’d give Google’s Chrome OS a try, and what better way to try a new OS than as a virtual machine via VMWare Fusion on a Mac? To get started, download the VMWare image from GDGT. There are alternatives available if you’re not a VMWare user as well.
What you’ll end up with is a .vmdk file, which is a Virtual Machine Disk. We’ll use this to create our virtual machine.
Open up VMWare, and select File > New… Then click “Continue without disc”
Now select “Use an existing virtual disk” Navigate to the .vmdk file you downloaded.
I chose to create a copy of the virtual disk so I can reuse it for testing purposes. You don’t have to do this, but if you have the space, why not?
For OS, choose “Linux” and for version, I selected “Other Linux 2.6.x kernel. I’m not sure yet if other versions of this kernel would work, but you’re welcome to try them out and let me know in the comments if they’re successful.
In this step, we want to Customize Settings. If you forget this step, you can change the settings later, but the default settings will not work, I promise you that.
Give your VM a name, and hit “Save.”
The copying process won’t take too long.
When it’s finished, you’ll see the settings dialog open. First, find the Network settings.
You’ll want to choose the “Bridged” mode, and authenticate if prompted.
You can also adjust your Processors & RAM settings. I gave it two cores and 1GB of RAM just to make it that much more pleasant to work with.
There really aren’t any other settings to mess with, so you can close your settings and start the machine.
It boots relatively quick, and you should be at the above screen. Use your Google user id and password to log into the OS.
Once logged in, you’ll see a very familiar interface if you’ve ever used the Google Chrome browser.
As I get time to further explore the interface, I’ll give some more updates, but here are a few screenshots of some settings areas I found right away:
And, the resource usage is extremely minimal. Here’s a screenshot from Activity Monitor:
If you get a chance to poke around, let me know what you think. Would this be great for only netbooks? Or perhaps breath new life into older computers and laptops as well.