Blog Entry #14

Chrome OS, The good and the bad

I am relatively new to Chrome OS, and after having used it for a couple of weeks now, I can say that I am surprised on how it works. It's actually quite innovative and works really well. I have an old Macbook that cannot run a modern version of MacOS anymore, and I chose to install Chrome OS Flex. 

Firstly, the only real difference between Chrome OS and Chrome OS Flex is the integration of android apps. That's the only thing I can see being different. Otherwise, they are the same and I will be referring to them as one and the same. 

So, Chrome OS is a great system. I like the user interface and I like the way it organizes files and folders. You get to choose whether or not to save files to your google drive account or the built in hard drive. Having a 250 GB hard drive or better should make your experience on Chrome OS better. You can also pay monthly or annually to get 100 GB - 2 TB of cloud storage. 

Installing apps is not actually apps, more like installing web versions of apps. That's because everything you do is done through Chrome Web Browser in some way. However, the Chrome web store has many apps and games to choose from. If you are running the original Chrome OS, like the one that comes with a Chromebook, you can install apps that were made for android. That option has not been added to Chrome OS Flex yet. 

Security is what you expect with Chrome OS. It is very secure and very conscious of malware. Since it's a linux based operating system, you get the robust security of Linux, but not the stability. Chrome OS, especially Chrome OS Flex, is unstable and sometimes things don't work as intended or break. However, that is rare. Now, as far as privacy, that is another story. Chrome OS Flex is subject to Google's privacy policy so, that should be part of your research, should you want to use it. 

Printing is another thing you will need to consider. You will need a printer that works with Chrome OS. Which means using a printer that was made in the last 3 years. Make sure you check your printer before you commit. 

Chrome OS Flex seems loosely based on Debian because of it's use of the apt package manager. Now, other sources have pointed to it being Gentoo Linux based. It very well could be, and they installed the apt package manager instead of Gentoo's manager. Either way however, you can't go wrong. 

In conclusion, Chrome OS Flex is a decent operating system for computers that are about 5-7 years old or computes that cannot use more mainstream system such as Linux or MacOS. If you don't mind the privacy concerns and everything you do being on the web, it's worth taking a look at and I urge you to do your homework before you commit to it being your daily driver. 

If you want to try it for yourself, you will need Belena Etcher or Rufus and the ISO. You can download the ISO here