How to Install Chrome OS Using Parallels

Parallels is a popular virtual machine software for the Mac that allows you to operate a virtual Windows, Linux, or in this case Chrome OS system within your primary operating system. In the case of Windows, many tools are available to allow you cohesion between the two operating systems to create a more seamless experience for the user. In this instance, I decided to install Chrome OS using Parallels.

The first thing you’re going to need to do is pick up a copy of Parallels Desktop 6.

While you could install Chromium OS (the open source project behind Google’s Chrome OS) through Boot Camp, having such a trimmed down operating system running in the sandbox environment Parallels (or other virtual machine software such as VMWare Fusion or VirtualBox) provides can make removing or reinstalling Chrome OS much easier should something go wrong.

There are also features in Chrome OS that aren’t available in most builds of Chromium as the open source project is primarily geared towards developers that risk having their work lost from automatic updates on reboot.

Alright, so you have a Mac and Parallels is installed. Here is what you need to do to install Chrome OS in a virtual machine:

  • Launch Parallels.
  • Open the Virtual Machines List form the window menu.
  • Click on the drop-down arrow next to the plus sign at the bottom of the window.
  • Select “Download Chrome OS” from the menu.

That’s it, you’re done. Chrome OS will download and install automatically. All you need at that point is a Google login and password. Once set, you should be ready to browse the web on a sandboxed Chrome OS machine. This is one way to safely browse the web without worry of malicious malware or other problems to affect the rest of your system. If you’re satisfied with your experience on Parallels, you can seamlessly transfer over to a Chromebook or other Chrome OS device through sync.