At Google I/O, they unveiled Chromebook as a contender to laptops/netbooks which can run everything from the cloud. Not as if there was a grave void to fulfill in the laptop market, but Google is pitching Chromebook as a netbook which runs on ChromeOS and boots up in under 8 seconds. If you have a spare throwaway netbook or just want to try the new operating system from Google, you are at luck because you can now download and install ChromiumOS, thanks to a 17 year old programmer, Hexxeh (pronounced heck-see). ChromiumOS is nothing but the development version of ChromeOS, which will eventually be ChromeOS.
As of now, ChromeOS is designed to run on Google specified hardware, and it does not support hardware running in your laptop or desktop. Adding extra hardware drivers isn’t Google’s top priorities at the moment since all Chromebooks run on the same hardware, but hopefully sooner than later, Google will add more hardware compatibility and release ChromeOS for anyone to use. Until then Hexxeh has taken it upon himself to add more hardware support than the current "vanilla" build of ChromiumOS. Try it out!
Hexxeh’s ChromeOS is available in couple of different flavor. You may download USB image and run it straight from a flashdrive alongside your current operating system or download the VMWare image and run it in a safe virtualized environment without any fear of injuring your day-to-day computer. Bleeding edge nightly build of ChromiumOS is also compiled every day at 6PM GMT and released on his website. Try it out, but be ready to encounter some flaws and performances issues here and there. Read Hexxeh’s FAQ before you proceed with the install.