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Quick Start Guide


Welcome to Chromium OS. This document serves as a quick start guide to installing your own Chromium OS image on a device. For more detailed information, or if steps in this quick start guide don't work for you, please refer to the Chromium OS Developer's Guide.


You should have

  • Ubuntu Linux (version == 16.04 - Xenial)
    • This is the only officially support distro, but building Chromium OS should work fine on any x86_64 Linux distro running a 2.6.16+ kernel
  • a 64-bit system for performing the build
  • an account with sudo access
  1. Install the git and subversion revision control systems, the curl download helper, and lvm tools. On Ubuntu, the magic incantation to do this is:
  2. sudo apt-get install git-core gitk git-gui subversion curl lvm2 thin-provisioning-tools python-pkg-resources python-virtualenv python-oauth2client
  3. You must also install depot_tools. This step is required so that you can use the repo command to get/sync the source code.
  4. You must also tweak your sudoers configuration. This is required for using cros_sdk.
  5. NOTE: Do not run any of the commands listed in this document as root – the commands themselves will run sudo to get root access when needed.

Get the Source (full version)

Create a directory to hold the source, "${SOURCE_REPO}".  This should not be installed on a remote NFS directory.

repo init -u

# Optional: Make any changes to .repo/local_manifests/local_manifest.xml before syncing
repo sync

Build Chromium OS (full version)

At this point, you’ll have to know the ${BOARD} you would like to build on.  If you don't have a specific target in mind, amd64-generic is a good starter board as it’s compatible with most 64-bit x86_64 systems.  cros_sdk works from any path with ${SOURCE_REPO} so make sure you are within the source tree before running these commands.

export BOARD=amd64-generic
cros_sdk -- ./build_packages --board=

This will take a long time the first time as it sets up your build environment.  Subsequent invocations will take much less time.

Finally, with all the packages built, we are ready to build an image that can be installed on your device.  To do so run:
cros_sdk -- ./build_image --board=${BOARD}
Now copy this image onto a usb drive.  Insert the usb stick you’d like to use and run:
cros flash --board=${BOARD} usb://

This will prompt you for which usb device you’d like to use. (Note that auto-mounting of USB devices should be turned off as it may corrupt the disk image while it's being written.)

Install Chromium OS on your Device (full version)

Now you’re ready to install this image on your device. You’ll need to setup your device to boot from USB.
  • On a non-chromebook, set your system to boot from a usb drive using instructions specific to your device.
  • On a chromebook, enter developer-mode for your specific type of hardware.  For Samsung / Acer devices, you can now boot from your usb image using Ctrl+U on the developer mode screen.  For the CR-48, you’ll have to follow the instructions to build a recovery image and install from it using those same instructions.

With that done, hit Ctrl+Alt+Back (F2).  At the prompt type chronos and install using the following command.


Next steps