• Chrome OS Flex

    From poindexter FORTRAN@VERT/REALITY to All on Fri Mar 3 22:47:37 2023
    Anyone who runs Chromebooks knows that they have a roughly 5-year lifespan of patches before Google stops patching them. Google has released an OS called Google Chrome Flex that's meant for running ChromeOS on intel machines - but it runs on EOL Chromebooks, too.

    I had an old Chromebook lying around that I'd flashed the BIOS to SeaBios, an open BIOS replacement that allows booting other OSes. That's the only tricky prerequisite to Chrome OS Flex.

    Once it loaded up, it looked and felt like a Chromebook. Everything works.


    My Chromebook is a Lenovo Thinkpad X131e. an interesting little machine. It's a little on the portly side compared to an ultrabook (it's hostname is CHONK) with a nice keyboard, small trackpad and 11", 1366x768 screen. Intel Celeron 1.6 or thereabouts dual core CPU, 8 GB of RAM (upgraded from 4). It came with a 16gb MMC and no SATA drive, so I put in an SSD.

    I've seen them selling for $30. It's a decent little Windows, Linux or ChromeOS Flex system with a little tweaking.



    When I put Windows on it, Lenovo had Expresscache drivers for it. Expresscache uses the 16GB MMC as a big disk cache, works pretty nicely.
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  • From poindexter FORTRAN@VERT/REALITY to All on Sat Mar 4 10:08:54 2023
    Re: Chrome OS Flex
    By: poindexter FORTRAN to All on Fri Mar 03 2023 10:47 pm


    One interesting bit about Chrome OS Flex - I don't know if this is part of Chrome OS as well...

    There's a linux environment option. It loads a VM with a full debian-looking environment, the ability to add apps through apt, and a nice menu supporting SSH options for remote hosts, including SSH port redirection.

    You set up a virtual disk for the environment, and it sets up a passthrough from the Chrome filesystem to /mnt/chromeos inside the environment.

    Very cool.

    It's all running well on an X131e, the best $30 I've ever spent. :)

    There are a ton of EOL chromebooks being sold for pennies on the dollar; if they're supported by SeaBIOS, then Chrome OS Flex is an interesting option.

    Next up, my mom has an EOL Toshiba Chromebook - it's the 13" ultrabook one with Beats audio, 1080p screen. That would make a killer traveling system if it works out.
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    Synchronet .: realitycheckbbs.org :: scientia potentia est :.
  • From Moondog@VERT/CAVEBBS to poindexter FORTRAN on Sun Mar 5 08:26:00 2023
    Re: Chrome OS Flex
    By: poindexter FORTRAN to All on Sat Mar 04 2023 10:08 am

    Re: Chrome OS Flex
    By: poindexter FORTRAN to All on Fri Mar 03 2023 10:47 pm


    One interesting bit about Chrome OS Flex - I don't know if this is part of C

    There's a linux environment option. It loads a VM with a full debian-looking

    You set up a virtual disk for the environment, and it sets up a passthrough

    Very cool.

    It's all running well on an X131e, the best $30 I've ever spent. :)

    There are a ton of EOL chromebooks being sold for pennies on the dollar; if

    Next up, my mom has an EOL Toshiba Chromebook - it's the 13" ultrabook one w

    I've noticed on ebay there are several Chrome desktops/ small form factor desktops for sale. If I was in the market for another small board computer li ke the Raspberry Pi and didn't need the gpio header, for the price they'd
    make a good replacement.

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  • From poindexter FORTRAN@VERT/REALITY to Moondog on Sun Mar 5 11:59:23 2023
    Re: Chrome OS Flex
    By: Moondog to poindexter FORTRAN on Sun Mar 05 2023 08:26 am

    I've noticed on ebay there are several Chrome desktops/ small form factor desktops for sale. If I was in the market for another small board computer li ke the Raspberry Pi and didn't need the gpio header, for the price they'd make a good replacement.

    I've got a SFF desktop running as a server - it's got a decent i5 processor, takes 32 GB of RAM, and takes both an M.2 slot and 1 SATA drive (2 if you don't mind zip-tying a drive into the DVD slot...)

    For about the price of a Pi, I got a much more capable system for what I need. It uses more power and doesn't have the same iot possibilities of a Pi, but it make the basis for a decent homelab.

    The Chrome desktops/laptops get marked down to ten cents on the dollar as soon as they go EOL from Google. If they're supported by SeaBios, with a little work with a screwdriver and a BIOS flash, you could get a decent low-end system for almost nothing. Run Windows or Linux on them, or continue them with Chrome OS using Chrome OS Flex.

    I'm loving the idea of a Linux VM running in Chrome OS for coffee shop work - you get the battery life of a Chromebook with the flexibility of a Linux shell.
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    Synchronet .: realitycheckbbs.org :: scientia potentia est :.
  • From Ogg@VERT/CAPCITY2 to poindexter FORTRAN on Mon Mar 6 08:44:00 2023
    Hello poindexter FORTRAN!

    The Chrome desktops/laptops get marked down to ten cents
    on the dollar as soon as they go EOL from Google. If
    they're supported by SeaBios, with a little work with a
    screwdriver and a BIOS flash, you could get a decent low-
    end system for almost nothing. Run Windows or Linux on
    them, or continue them with Chrome OS using Chrome OS
    Flex.

    I don't see cheap Chromebooks on ebay at all. Most are close
    to $100 + $27 shipping.

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  • From Moondog@VERT/CAVEBBS to poindexter FORTRAN on Mon Mar 6 11:52:00 2023
    Re: Chrome OS Flex
    By: poindexter FORTRAN to Moondog on Sun Mar 05 2023 11:59 am

    Re: Chrome OS Flex
    By: Moondog to poindexter FORTRAN on Sun Mar 05 2023 08:26 am

    I've noticed on ebay there are several Chrome desktops/ small form fact desktops for sale. If I was in the market for another small board compu li ke the Raspberry Pi and didn't need the gpio header, for the price they'd make a good replacement.

    I've got a SFF desktop running as a server - it's got a decent i5 processor,

    For about the price of a Pi, I got a much more capable system for what I nee

    The Chrome desktops/laptops get marked down to ten cents on the dollar as so Run Windows or Linux on them, or continue them with Chrome OS using Chrome O

    I'm loving the idea of a Linux VM running in Chrome OS for coffee shop work

    Regarding IOT/ projects stuff, I take that back. I saw a video the other day regarding the same subject, and GPIO interfaces can be added through USB connection.

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    Synchronet The Cave BBS - Since 1992 - cavebbs.homeip.net
  • From poindexter FORTRAN@VERT/REALITY to Ogg on Mon Mar 6 12:18:54 2023
    Re: Chrome OS Flex
    By: Ogg to poindexter FORTRAN on Mon Mar 06 2023 08:44 am

    I don't see cheap Chromebooks on ebay at all. Most are close
    to $100 + $27 shipping.

    I see them on Newegg and a techdeals email list I'm on. Techsavings.com. Woot has occasional deals, too.
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    Synchronet .: realitycheckbbs.org :: scientia potentia est :.
  • From Phigan@VERT/TACOPRON to poindexter FORTRAN on Mon Mar 6 19:51:07 2023
    Re: Chrome OS Flex
    By: poindexter FORTRAN to Moondog on Sun Mar 05 2023 11:59 am

    I'm loving the idea of a Linux VM running in Chrome OS for coffee shop work you get the battery life of a Chromebook with the flexibility of a Linux she

    I've been trying to do this, with no success. Something I read said it might be impossible. I'd like to find a desktop like the one you described, though!

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  • From Moondog@VERT/CAVEBBS to poindexter FORTRAN on Tue Mar 7 07:17:00 2023
    Re: Chrome OS Flex
    By: poindexter FORTRAN to Ogg on Mon Mar 06 2023 12:18 pm

    Re: Chrome OS Flex
    By: Ogg to poindexter FORTRAN on Mon Mar 06 2023 08:44 am

    I don't see cheap Chromebooks on ebay at all. Most are close
    to $100 + $27 shipping.

    I see them on Newegg and a techdeals email list I'm on. Techsavings.com. Woo

    Another low priced used commodity was thin clients. They were good hosts for projects that required a no-frills light linux distro

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