How To Turn Any Laptop into a Clonebook with Chromixium

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01
of 09

What Is Chromixium?

Chromixium
Turn A Laptop Into A Clonebook.

Chromixium is a new Linux distribution designed to look like ChromeOS which is the default operating system on Chromebooks.

The idea behind ChromeOS is that everything is done via the web browser. There are very few applications physically installed on the computer.

You can install Chrome Apps from the web store but they are all basically web applications and are never really installed on the computer.

Chromebooks are excellent value for money with high end components for a low price.

The ChromeOS operating system is perfect for computer users who spend most of their time on the internet and because applications aren't installed on the machine the chances of getting viruses is virtually zero.

If you have a perfectly good working laptop which is a few years old but is seemingly getting slower and slower and you find that most of your computing time is web based then it might be a good idea to install ChromeOS.

The problem is of course that ChromeOS has been built for Chromebooks. Installing it on a standard laptop just doesn't work. That is where Chromixium comes in.

This guide shows how to install Chromixium on a laptop in order to turn your computer into a Clonebook. (Deliberately didn't say Chromebook because Google might sue somebody).

02
of 09

How To Get Chromixium

Get Chromixium
Get Chromixium.

You can download Chromixium from http://chromixium.org/ 

For some reason Chromixium is only a 32-bit operating system. It is like vinyl records in a post CD world. This makes Chromixium good for older computers but not so great for modern UEFI based computers.

In order to install Chromixium you will need to create a bootable USB drive. This guide shows how to use UNetbootin to do just that.

After you have created the USB drive reboot your computer with the USB drive plugged in and when the boot menu appears choose "Default".

If the boot menu doesn't appear this can mean one of two things. If you are running on a computer which is currently running Windows XP, Vista or 7 then it is likely the cause is the USB drive is behind the Hard Drive in the boot order. This guide shows how to switch the boot order so that you can boot from USB first.

If you are using a computer which has Windows 8 or above on it then the problem is likely to be the fact that the UEFI boot loader is getting in the way. 

If this is the case try this page first which shows how to turn off fast boot. Now follow this page to attempt to boot the USB drive. If this fails the final thing to do is to switch from UEFI to legacy mode. You will need to check the manufacturers website to see if they have a guide for doing this as the method is different for each make and model. 

(If you just want to try Chromixium in live mode you will need to switch back from legacy to UEFI mode in order to start Windows again).

03
of 09

How To Install Chromixium

Install Chromixium
Install Chromixium.

After the Chromixium desktop has completed loading click on the installer icon which looks like two little green arrows.

There are 4 installer options available:

  1. automatic partitioning
  2. manual partitioning
  3. direct
  4. legacy

Automatic partitioning wipes your hard drive and creates a swap and root partition on your hard drive.

The manual partitioning lets you choose how to partition your hard drive and would be used for dual booting with other operating systems.

The direct option skips partitioning and goes straight to the installer. If you already have partitions set up then this is the option to choose.

The legacy installer uses systemback

This guide follows the first option and assumes that you want to install Chromixium to the hard drive as the only operating system. 

04
of 09

Installing Chromixium - Hard Drive Detection

Hard Drive Detection
Hard Drive Detection.

Click "Automatic partitioning" to begin the installation. 

The installer automatically detects your hard drive and warns you that all the data on the drive will be deleted.

If you are unsure whether you want to do this cancel the install now.

If you are ready to continue click "Forward".

Oops did you just click "Forward" accidentally?

If you accidentally clicked "Forward" and suddenly had a crisis of confidence don't worry as yet another message appears asking whether you are really sure you want to wipe all the data from your hard drive.

If you are really sure, I mean really really sure, click "Yes".

A message will now appear telling you that two partitions have been created:

  • Swap
  • Root

The message also tells you that on the next screen you will need to set the mount point to / for the root partition.

Click "Forward" to continue.

05
of 09

Installing Chromixium - Partitioning

Chromixium Partition Settings
Chromixium Partition Settings.

 When the partitioning screen appears click on /dev/sda2 and then click on the "Mount Point" dropdown and choose "/".

Click on the green arrow pointing left and then click "Next" to continue.

The Chromixium files will now be copied and installed to your computer. 

06
of 09

Installing Chromixium - Create A User

Chromixium - User Creation
Chromixium - User Creation.

You now need to create a default user in order to use Chromixium.

Enter your name and a username.

Enter a password to be associated with the user and repeat it.

Note that there is the option to create a root password. As Chromixium is based on Ubuntu you generally would not do this as administrator privileges are gained by running the sudo command. I therefore recommend not setting the root password.

Enter a hostname. The hostname is the name of your computer as it will appear on your home network.

Click "Next" to continue.

07
of 09

Setting Up Keyboard Layouts And Timezones Within Chromixium

Geographic Area
Geographic Area.

If you are in the USA then you might not need to setup keyboard layouts or timezones but I would recommend doing so otherwise you might find that your clock shows an incorrect time or your keyboard doesn't work as you expect it to.

The first thing to do is choose your geographic area. Select the appropriate option from the dropdown list provided. Click "Forward" to continue.

You will then be asked to choose a timezone within that geographic area. For example if you are in the UK you would choose London. Click "Forward" to continue.

08
of 09

How To Choose Your Keyboard Within Chromixium

Configuring Keymaps
Configuring Keymaps.

When the option to configure keymaps appears choose to do so and click "Forward".

A keyboard configuration screen will appear. Select the appropriate keyboard layout from the dropdown list and click "Forward".

On the next screen choose the keyboard locale. For example if you live in London choose the UK. (Assuming of course you didn't buy the computer in Spain or Germany as the keys might be in a completely different place). Click "Forward"

The next screen lets you choose a key on the keyboard to use at Alt-GR. If your keyboard already has an Alt-GR key then you should leave this set to the default for the keyboard layout. If not choose a key on the keyboard from the list. 

You can also choose a compose key or have no compose key at all. Click "Forward"

Finally select your language and country from the list provided and click "Forward".

09
of 09

Finishing The Installation

Chromixium Is Installed
Chromixium Is Installed.

That is it. Chromixium should now be installed on your computer. All you have to do is reboot and remove the USB drive.

The Chromixium installer is ok but it is a little peculiar in places. For instance the fact that it partitions your drive but then doesn't automatically set the root partition and there are loads of screens for simply setting up the keyboard layouts and timezones.

Hopefully you now have a working version of Chromixium. If not drop me a note via Google+ using the link above and I will try and help.