Chromium OS For Raspberry Pi Reaches 0.5
Written by Harry Fairhead   
Friday, 22 April 2016

Don't be too put off by the 0.5 version number. This is a project worth taking notice of. A version of Chromium for the Raspberry Pi opens up some interesting possibilities.


Chromium OS is doing well at making in-roads into the education market. It is an ideal operating system in this sort of situation because it can be easily managed, boots quickly, works well on low end hardware and its apps are all cloud-based. But outside of the educational world Chromium doesn't fare quite as well. 

Now consider the idea that instead of having to spend $200 on a Chromebook you could use a $40 Raspberry Pi 2 or 3 to run Chrome OS. Even though it doesn't come with screen and keyboard you can see that it changes the economics to the point where you might consider using one just to see what it was like. 

This could be the easy to use OS that the Raspberry Pi has been waiting for. After all there is nothing wrong with Raspbian as long as you don't mind coping with Linux. 




Chromium for SBC is an open source project to port the open source Chromium OS to the Raspberry Pi 2 and soon 3.  The latest release 0.5 moves the project closer to maturity, but there are still problems with some video and display modes. In particular, Netflix doesn't work and you can't play HTML5 video. 

The new version has improvements in performance, the multiple cores of the Pi are now used, better audio support. The good news is that you can access Google Docs and you can use apps and games from the Google Web store. 

It is very easy to install to an SD card and the system boots quickly. This makes it possible to share a Pi with more than one operating system and user. Remember, Chromium stores all of the user's file in the cloud using Google Drive. 

This is an interesting project and the team involved have plans to bring Chromium other single board computers. However, the question is open whether or not this could have any impact on Chromium OS's biggest market - education. There are a lot of Pis in schools everywhere but not packaged as portables. The lowest cost Pi based portable is about $200 and so about the same cost as a Chromebook - so no advantage. 



More Information

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Last Updated ( Tuesday, 26 April 2016 )