PSA: It is now possible to setup ChromeOS Flex USB on Linux systems.


A ChromeOS laptop

A year ago, Google released ChromeOS Flex for PC and Mac. One very annoying decision that Google made at the time was that the installer USBs had to be set up using the Chromebook Recovery Utility, which is incompatible with Linux distributions like Ubuntu and Linux Mint. Unless you had another system lying around, Linux users had to do without being able to write ChromeOS Flex to a USB.

It’s not clear when, but since the release, Google has decided to allow people to download the installer image and write it to USB using the dd command line utility on Linux devices. The command isn’t very user friendly but if you’ve managed to get yourself set up with Linux, you should be able to figure out how to write an image to USB.

To get started, you can follow the instructions provided. Google Support Pages. Before opening the BIN file you need to download the image as a zip which is a large 6.9 GB file so make sure your USB device is at least 8 GB. Once this is done, you are ready to proceed with the command that Google enters. Step 4B. Be sure to update the command to point to the correct file (you can drag and drop the file into the terminal and the path will be entered automatically). You also need to know the identifier of the USB, you can find it by selecting USB in Disk Utility, it should be something like sdb And ignore any numbers that follow it like sdb1.

On a slow USB 2.0 device, you’ll be waiting half an hour to write an image to USB so choose a USB 3.0 device if you have one. The operation requires 6.9 GB of data to be written to the USB and the command provided by Google will let you detect this. Once it finishes, the command line will say so, avoid the temptation to interrupt the process, it looks like it has crashed, but it hasn’t, just be patient.

If you install the now available file on a device, make sure you go to Settings to upgrade the operating system. The available image is ChromeOS Flex 107 but you can upgrade to version 112 after installing ChromeOS Flex. If you don’t upgrade manually, the operating system will update automatically soon.


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