O Chrome OS is a Linux kernel-based software from Google that uses the Google Chrome web browser as a user interface, supporting various web applications. The so-called Chromebooks are light, cheap and affordable computers for emerging markets, hence the need to have a compatible operating system.
Although it is on the rise, undergoing constant updates, the OS is far from perfect. You may be looking for an alternative to run on your PC instead of Chrome OS, a Linux distribution or heavy Windows.
The following list highlights some alternatives to Google’s system. Some are slightly heavier options, but even more versatile than Chrome OS, which is extremely dependent on the search giant’s solutions and an internet connection.
6. Chrome OS Flex
Chrome OS Flex is a light version of traditional Chrome OS, but even more focused on cloud playback, which makes it faster. The system promises the usual security and wide compatibility with PCs and Macs.
Because it is very light, the operating system boots quickly and does not slow down over time. Updates are sent in the background, when there is internet connectivity, without interfering with usability.
Google also guarantees the ease of implementation on corporate machines, as the installation is done via a flash drive or over the network. It is also possible to block the execution of prohibited software and rely on sandbox technology to isolate malware.
FydeOS is an option for regular PCs to function as if they were Chromebooks, but with alternative support services on-premises or in the cloud, independent of Google. Its difference is the ability to run on almost any type of computer, such as old machines, virtualization applications and portable machines like the Raspberry Pi.
It can run the Play Store and run Android apps natively, as well as running Linux apps. If your PC has enough resources, you can even run Steam with its vast library of games.
The operating system is free, but it has paid versions with more features for those who want to use it in companies or who want to make customizations. In addition, it has a very active community, which is always looking to bring regular improvements (the latest version was released about a month ago).
It was created by a Chinese company called Fyde Innovations, which although small, has big ambitions to make its software the best alternative to Chrome OS.
NayuOS is a Chromium OS customization created by the developers of the Nexedi company and available for anyone to use. The operating system is basically an improved version of the program created by Google, but with a focus on usability, privacy and more tweaking options.
Nayu removes mandatory Google account login and allows entry into guest mode. In addition, re6st and git connectivity are supported. In addition, the OS stops the SSH daemon from running by default, enabled by default in Chrome OS.
The creators are currently working to add Zeroconf over Babel and allow the firewall to access another device on a local network with HTTP server. There are other technical requirements that still need to be worked out to make the experience more free.
There are some limitations in the software, such as the inability to store documents on the Chromebook (external devices must be used), incompatibility with Adobe Flash and proprietary multimedia codecs, installing packages and running custom binaries anywhere — most of the files is mounted in noexec.
As it is a program created in open software, there is no charge, not even for companies.
3. Ubuntu Web Remix
Ubuntu Web Remix is an unofficial Ubuntu solution intended as an alternative to Chrome OS, but with some important differences. The system offers web apps, Android software and support for non-Google family apps.
Unlike the previous ones, here the footprint is more focused on Linux/GNU, as one of the popular distributions. Because of this, it can be great for those who want to have a slightly beefier OS on their desktop or notebook, but without giving up the lightness of web applications.
The system features the GNOME desktop environment by default and a minimal set of pre-installed Linux solutions. Developers classify it as a free Android and based on Firefox or Brave browser rather than Chrome.
There is a built-in application store with a good catalog of solutions, in addition to the versatility of running on cell phones as well. The software is free, free and can be used by any individual or legal entity without fees.
2. Gallium OS
Gallium OS is a popular Chrome OS alternative that is also based on Linux. Unlike traditional distributions, the system comes with the default Chromium browser, which allows access to all features and extensions of the Google program.
The open source browser does not track the user, unlike the original Chrome. This is one of Gallium’s main advantages: it delivers practically the same results as Chrome OS, but without being held hostage by Google.
Gallium OS has built-in drivers to make it possible to use Chrome OS Touchpad gestures. Plus, it’s optimized for better boot time and longer battery life.
If you want an experience similar to Google’s software, but with the feeling of being more free, then Gallium is the perfect choice.
1. Budgie Solutions
Solus Budgie is one of the more polished Linux alternatives to Chrome OS. The project was created from another similar proposal called Evolve OS, a factor that brought much more polish to the system.
As it is based on Linux, the operating system is very complete in associating the advantages of the GNOME desktop with the lightness of the Chrome OS proposal. Obviously the browser used here is Firefox and other free software, freeing the user from the shackles of Google.
There are dozens of advanced features like multimedia support, utilities and other programs. This is great for those looking for a more complete software, but it deviates a little from the minimalist proposal of Chrome OS. Even so, Solus is probably the prettiest and most complete option on this list.
Bonus: Andromium OS
The Andromium operating system was a layer of Android created to play computer software such as Windows and macOS. The promise was to perform tasks more easily with the mouse and keyboard, such as pop-up windows and multitasking capabilities.
Andromium OS displayed a menu bar, a sort of “Start Menu” and a taskbar. The OS was very simple, but it allowed writing texts, browsing the web, managing files and even running some lighter games. You could also use online services such as the Google Docs suite of applications and Microsoft 365 Online.
As it was not its own system, but a kind of skin over Android, it was possible to perform some traditional functions of mobile software, including calls if you have it installed on your cell phone. After some time in development, it was renamed Sentio and ended up being discontinued.
Even so, he is remembered to this day for being able to accomplish something that Google itself only accomplished a few years later. This feat earned it a prominent place on the list.
Do you like Chrome OS or are you willing to give these alternatives a chance? The solutions presented here can meet different needs, from those who have a Chromebook, an old PC or a simple notebook.