Running a ChromeOS Flex (CloudReady 2.0) Virtual Machine in Proxmox VE 🌱

What is ChromeOS Flex?

Try the cloud-first, fast, easy-to-manage, and secure Chrome OS for PCs and Macs. Chrome OS Flex is a free and sustainable way to modernize devices you already own. It’s easy to deploy across your fleet or simply try it to see what a cloud-first OS has to offer. -

Things You Will Need

Creating the Installation Media

PRO TIP: I repeatedly had issues booting the flash drive created by the Chromebook Recovery Utility. I found that the utility downloads ChromeOS Flex to the user's local temp directory (%temp% or %userprofile%\AppData\Local\Temp). Browse through the scoped_dir directories to find the compressed ChromeOS Flex image. I grabbed the file and used Balena Etcher to write it to a flash drive to correct the booting issue

  1. Open a Chromium based browser, install the Chromebook Recovery Utility extension
  2. In Brave Browser, open a new tab and navigate to
  3. Search for Chromebook Recovery
  4. Click on Chromebook Recovery Utility
  5. Click the Add to Brave button > Click Add Extension to confirm
  6. After the extension installs, click the puzzle piece next to the hamburger menu > Click Chromebook Recovery Utility to launch it
  7. Inside the Chromebook Recovery Utility click the Get started button
  8. Click the Select a model from a list link
  9. Select Google Chrome OS Flex from the manufacturer dropdown
  10. Select Chrome OS Flex from the product dropdown > Click Continue
  11. Select the USB flash device to write ChromeOS Flex to > Click Continue > Click Create now
  12. Wait while Chrome OS Flex is written and verified
  13. Once the flash drive is setup, remove it and plug it into a USB port on the Proxmox host

Creating the VM

  1. Open a web browser and navigate to the ProxMox web UI https://ProxMoxDNSorIP:8006/
  2. Click the Create VM button at the top right
  3. On the General tab, name the VM ChromeOSFlex and set a VM ID (125 in this example) > click Next
  4. On the OS tab select Do not use any media and set the Guest OS Type to Linux and Version to 5.x - 2.6 Kernel > click Next
  5. On the System tab click Next
  6. On the Hard Disk tab set the Bus/Device to SATA and the Disk size to 16 GiB > click Next
  7. On the CPU tab set the number of CPU cores and the Type to host > click Next
  8. On the Memory tab set the amount of memory to 4096 MiB > click Next
  9. On the Network tab set the Model field to VirtIO (paravirtualized) > click Next
  10. On the Confirm tab review the settings and click Finish
  11. Select the newly created ChromeOSFlex VM from the left navigation panel
  12. Select Hardware from the left sub-navigation menu
  13. Double click Display to edit it
  14. Set the Graphic card to VIRTIO-GPU > Click OK
  15. Click the Add button > USB Device
  16. Click the Use USB Vendor/Device ID option > Select the ChromeOS Flex USB flash drive created earlier > Click Add
  17. Select Options from the left sub-navigation menu
  18. Double click Boot Order
  19. Check the Enabled box next to the attached USB device
  20. Drag the USB device up to the top of the boot order > Click OK
  21. Click the Start button in the top right of the screen
  22. Click Console in the left sub-navigation menu

Setting Up ChromeOS Flex

  1. After the Chrome splash screen displays, click the Get started button
  2. Click Install CloudyReady 2.0 to select it > Click Next
  3. Click Install CloudyReady 2.0
  4. Click Install to confirm erasing the hard drive
  5. After about two minutes the installation will complete and the VM will reboot
  6. Right click on the VM name > Stop
  7. Navigate back to the VM > Hardware section
  8. Click the USB device to select it > Click the Remove button to detach to USB flash drive > Click Yes to confirm
  9. Click the Start button in the top right of the screen
  10. Click Console in the left sub-navigation menu
  11. Click the Get started button
  12. ChromeOS should detect the Ethernet connection > Click Next
  13. Uncheck the Help improve ChromeOS option > Click Accept and continue
  14. At the Who's using this Chrome device screen, select You > Click Next
  15. Login with Google account credentials
  16. At the Sync your Chrome device screen, click Accept and continue
  17. Uncheck the Let Google use your hardware data option > Click Accept and continue
  18. Select whether to use Google Assistant
  19. Select whether to connect to your phone
  20. Click Get started to complete setup
  21. Welcome to ChromeOS Flex