A Comprehensive Guide to Choosing the Right Operating System for Your Chromebook

Chromebooks have gained immense popularity in recent years due to their affordability, simplicity, and ease of use. While they come with Chrome OS as the default operating system, many users are now looking for alternative options that better suit their needs. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore different operating systems compatible with Chromebooks and help you choose the right one for your device.

Understanding Chrome OS

Chrome OS is Google’s operating system designed specifically for Chromebooks. It is a lightweight and fast operating system that relies heavily on cloud-based applications and services. With its focus on web-based activities, such as browsing the internet, using web apps, and accessing cloud storage, Chrome OS offers a seamless experience for users who primarily work or consume content online.

However, if you require software applications or tools that are not available in the Chrome Web Store or prefer a more traditional desktop experience, you may want to consider other operating systems.

Linux-based Operating Systems

One popular alternative to Chrome OS is installing a Linux-based operating system on your Chromebook. Linux offers more flexibility and compatibility with various software applications compared to Chrome OS. Two commonly used Linux distributions for Chromebooks are Ubuntu and GalliumOS.

Ubuntu is one of the most popular Linux distributions among users due to its vast software library and user-friendly interface. It supports a wide range of applications that can be installed locally on your device.

GalliumOS is specifically designed for Chromebooks and provides excellent hardware compatibility out of the box. It offers a lightweight desktop environment optimized for performance on lower-end hardware.

Windows 10 on ARM

Recently, Microsoft has made Windows 10 available for ARM-based devices like some models of Chromebooks through its Windows Insider Program. This allows users to install Windows 10 alongside or instead of Chrome OS on their devices.

Windows 10 brings familiar desktop functionality with a vast range of software compatibility, making it a great choice if you heavily rely on Windows-based applications. However, it is worth noting that not all Chromebooks support running Windows 10, so ensure your device is compatible before attempting to install it.


CloudReady, developed by Neverware, is an operating system based on Chromium OS, the open-source project behind Chrome OS. It aims to bring the Chrome OS experience to older hardware that may not be officially supported by Google.

CloudReady provides a similar interface and functionality as Chrome OS but with added features and improved performance on older machines. It also supports Android apps through the Google Play Store, expanding its capabilities beyond what Chrome OS offers.


Choosing the right operating system for your Chromebook depends on your specific needs and preferences. If you primarily use web-based applications and prefer simplicity and speed, sticking with Chrome OS might be the best option for you. However, if you require more versatile software compatibility or a traditional desktop experience, exploring Linux-based distributions or even Windows 10 could be worth considering. Additionally, CloudReady offers an alternative for older hardware that may not meet Google’s official requirements.

Remember to research compatibility and review installation instructions carefully before making any changes to your device’s operating system. With the right choice of operating system, you can enhance your Chromebook’s capabilities and tailor it to better suit your workflow or personal preferences.

This text was generated using a large language model, and select text has been reviewed and moderated for purposes such as readability.