What Is Chrome OS Flex And How Is It Different From Chrome OS?

Discover Chrome OS Flex and discover how it differs from traditional Chrome OS, expanding the reach of cloud technologyy. Chrome OS Flex is a lightweight, fast, cloud-based operating system that can be installed on older Windows, Mac, and Linux computers. It offers a similar user experience to Chrome OS but with some important differences.

  • Chrome receives version optimized for PCs with Snapdragon processor
  • Google Chrome gains real-time protection feature
  • Google updates Chrome on desktop with Proactive Security Check

What Is Chrome OS Flex And How Is It Different From Chrome OS?

Developed based on a Linux kernel, Chrome OS Flex is an operating system that promises to revolutionize the way we interact with our computers. Intended for notebooks and desktops, it is based on applications and services in the cloud, standing out for its lightness and low hardware requirements.

Although it is still in a non-definitive version, with some bugs and pending features, Chrome OS Flex is already attracting the attention of early adopters, who see in it the chance to revitalize older devices, previously relegated due to their inability to support heavier operating systems and your demands.

Advantages of Chrome OS Flex

  • Breathes new life into old computers: Chrome OS Flex is ideal for computers that no longer support the latest versions of Windows, Mac or Linux. It can improve the performance and security of these computers, making them more useful and productive.
  • Easy to use: Chrome OS Flex is simple to install and use. The user interface is intuitive and familiar to anyone who already uses Chrome OS or Google Chrome.
  • Secure and Reliable: Chrome OS Flex is based on Chrome OS, which is an operating system known for its security and reliability. It receives regular security updates from Google.
  • Free: Chrome OS Flex is free to download and use.
  • Computer with 64-bit Intel or AMD processor
  • 4GB RAM
  • 16GB of internal storage
  • Accessing the computer’s BIOS
  • Pendrive with 8 GB or more
  • Access to a computer with Chrome OS, macOS or Windows to create the bootable flash drive


1. Create the USB installer:

  1. Download the Chromebook Recovery Utility tool
  2. Insert the pendrive into the computer.
  3. Open the Chromebook Recovery Utility.
  4. Select the pendrive from the list of devices.
  5. Click “Select a model from the list”.
  6. In the search box, type “CloudReady” and select the “CloudReady Home” option.
  7. Click “Continue”.
  8. The USB installer creation process may take a few minutes.

2. Boot the computer using the USB installer:

  1. Connect the pendrive to the computer where you want to install Chrome OS Flex.
  2. Turn on the computer and press the key to enter BIOS (usually F2, F10 or Del).
  3. In BIOS, change the boot order so that the USB stick is the first device to boot.
  4. Save changes and exit BIOS.
  5. The computer will boot from the USB stick.

3. Install Chrome OS Flex:

  1. On the welcome screen, click “Get started”.
  2. Follow the on-screen instructions to select your language, keyboard, and Wi-Fi network.
  3. Accept the terms of service.
  4. Choose whether you want to install Chrome OS Flex as your main operating system or whether you want to run it temporarily from your USB stick.
  5. If you choose to install Chrome OS Flex as your primary operating system, the process will erase all data on your computer.
  6. Click “Install” and wait for the process to complete.

4. Configure OS Flex:

  1. After installation, Chrome OS Flex will launch automatically.
  2. Follow the on-screen instructions to set up your device, such as signing in to your Google account, setting the date and time, and installing apps.

The differences between Chrome OS and Chrome OS Flex are stark, especially in areas like security, app compatibility, hardware support and performance, and management.


  • Chrome OS includes a Google security chip for verified boot, while Flex does not, instead resorting to Microsoft-approved UEFI secure boot.
  • Firmware updates on Chrome OS Flex devices depend on the manufacturers, unlike Chrome OS, which manages them automatically.
  • Data encryption on OS Flex may be less secure without a compatible TPM, a feature not as universally present as on Chrome OS.

Application Compatibility:

  • Android apps and Google Play are incompatible with Chrome OS Flex.
  • Chrome OS Flex doesn’t support Parallels Desktop for Windows VMs.
  • Linux development environment compatibility varies across OS Flex, as opposed to consistent support across Chrome OS.

Hardware Support and Performance:

  • Only Google-certified devices guarantee an optimized experience and technical support on OS Flex.
  • Significant keyboard differences, where Flex OS devices maintain the original layout and may not support Chrome OS-specific shortcuts.
  • Certain hardware features, such as CD/DVD drives and FireWire ports, may not be supported or functional in OS Flex.
  • Performance of Chrome OS Flex devices, including boot speed and battery life, may not match that of Chrome OS devices.


  • Touchless enrollment and forced re-enrollment are not supported on Chrome OS Flex, contrasting with Chrome OS’s simplified management.
  • Verified Access and Verified Mode policies may not work as expected on Chrome OS Flex due to the absence of Google’s security chip.
  • OS Flex is compatible with the SCEP protocol, but does not allow reverting to previous versions of the operating system, recommending the use of the LTS channel for better compatibility.

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