ChromeOS Flex FAQ

Below are common questions about installing and running ChromeOS Flex on devices in your organization.

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Can I mass deploy ChromeOS Flex to devices?

You can use Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) or Windows Deployment Services (WDS) to mass deploy ChromeOS Flex to devices in your organization. For details, see Mass deploy ChromeOS Flex.

What happens if I deprovision a device?

If you use the Google Admin Console to deprovision devices, those devices no longer apply the policies and features that you set in the Admin console. To start managing devices again, you’ll need to re-enroll them after powerwashing or re-installing ChromeOS Flex. For information about deprovisioning devices, go to Repair, repurpose, or retire ChromeOS devices.

How much hard drive space does my ChromeOS Flex device need?

To successfully install ChromeOS Flex on a device, it needs at least 16 GB of available hard drive space.

Can I install ChromeOS Flex on a ChromeOS device that no longer receives automatic updates?

Each Chromebook, Chromebase, and Chromebox has an Automatic Updates until date. On and after this date, devices no longer receive software updates from Google.

Google does not support installing ChromeOS Flex on a ChromeOS device that can no longer receive automatic updates.

While you might be able to install ChromeOS Flex on Intel or AMD x86 ChromeOS devices, we don’t support devices that can’t automatically receive updates. You might have issues with firmware and hardware compatibility, installation, and updates.

Read: Auto Update policy

Does ChromeOS Flex support Google Play and Android apps?

While Google supports Android apps on many Chromebooks, they‘re not supported on ChromeOS Flex devices. For information about installing Android apps on Chromebooks, go to the Google Play Help Center.

Read: Differences between ChromeOS and ChromeOS Flex.

Can I dual boot ChromeOS Flex with another OS?

Dual booting is not supported on ChromeOS Flex devices.

If you want to try ChromeOS Flex while keeping your computer’s existing data and OS, you can run ChromeOS Flex from the USB installer without actually installing it. For instructions, see Explore ChromeOS Flex.

How do I create a ChromeOS Flex USB installer on Linux?

To create a USB installer on Linux:

  1. Download the installation image from CrOS Updates Serving. In the Codename column, look for reven.
  2. Extract the zip.
  3. Insert your USB drive. Be sure to remove all other removable media.
  4. Open a terminal or command line.
  5. Use the command to write the image to USB:
    sudo dd if=image_name.bin of=/dev/sdN bs=4M status=progress
    • image_name.bin—The name of the extracted installer file
    • /dev/sdN—The USB drive

Warning: It is easy to overwrite data, so double-check the destination before you run the command.

Can I uninstall ChromeOS Flex?
When you install ChromeOS Flex on your device, all existing data that is currently on the device is erased and permanently unrecoverable.

Google does not provide steps for how to uninstall ChromeOS Flex. Instead, you can install a different OS on your device using instructions provided by the device OEM or another OS provider. Typically, installing a different OS removes ChromeOS Flex from the device.

Why can't I use Windows to format my ChromeOS Flex USB installer?

When you‘ve finished using your USB device as a ChromeOS Flex installer, you might want to wipe it and use it for storage again. We recommend that you use Chromebook Recovery Utility to format your ChromeOS Flex installer. If you use the default Windows method, the device’s storage capacity might appear to shrink because Windows does not recognize all ChromeOS Flex partitions.

For instructions on how to format your USB drive using Chromebook Recovery Utility, see Format your USB drive.

Why is storage limited when I live-boot ChromeOS Flex?

While you can live boot ChromeOS Flex from the USB installer, Google recommends that you fully install it on devices. When you live-boot ChromeOS Flex, limited storage is available because of the layout of ChromeOS Flex's partition table.

ChromeOS Flex is a relatively large OS compared to common linux distributions. To make sure that you can use USB drives from as many manufacturers as possible to create your ChromeOS Flex installer, we reduce the size of the installer image, which limits storage space. For the moment, this is not a feature that can be changed.

To avoid keeping files on the limited live-boot USB drive, consider using a second USB drive, SD card, or Google Drive to store them.

Live booting is only recommended for temporary exploration or testing. We strongly recommend full installation for the best ChromeOS Flex experience.

What happens to my existing files and OS when I install ChromeOS Flex?

When you install ChromeOS Flex on a device, it completely erases all data—including all programs, settings, and files that were previously saved. Be sure to back up all important files before you install ChromeOS Flex. Files erased during installation are not recoverable.

Can I use a CD-ROM, DVD-ROM, or floppy disk drive with ChromeOS Flex

In general, CD-ROM, DVD-ROM, and floppy disk drives do not work with ChromeOS Flex.

Can I use USB Wi-Fi dongles with ChromeOS Flex?

ChromeOS Flex officially certifies only whole-models as configured from OEMs. We don’t support peripherals, including Wi-fi dongles, but they often work.

Why do I need Chrome Enterprise Upgrade or Chrome Education Upgrade?

Before you can enroll ChromeOS Flex devices in your organization, you need to purchase a Chrome Enterprise Upgrade or Chrome Education Upgrade for each device you want to manage. Then, you can use your Google Admin console to manage devices, apply policies, and get support.

How often are ChromeOS Flex updates released?

ChromeOS Flex follows the same release cycle as ChromeOS. For details, see Manage updates on ChromeOS devices.

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