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Hardware Requirements

Developing an operating system requires a hardware-rich environment. The ChromiumOS development infrastructure supports a range of configurations from the traditional local workstation and device-under-test (DUT) to a fully remote setup where both the build machine and DUT are in the cloud.

Note: ChromiumOS hardware comes in many form factors including laptops, clamshells, tablets, and Chromeboxes. The rest of the Getting Started guide may refer to the test Chromebook or DUT, but the instructions apply to any ChromiumOS form factor.


ChomiumOS development requires the following hardware:

It is recommended that you connect the DUT to the network that has access to the build workstation over Ethernet. Deploying builds from the workstation to the DUT often involves transferring files that can be several hundred megabytes to gigabytes in size. This configuration requires the following:


Whether you are building ChromiumOS locally on a workstation or relying on a distributed compilation system, building and testing the platform is resource intensive and benefits from a powerful machine. The following workstation specs are recommended:

Googlers: Please visit go/cros-hardware-acquisition for details on acquiring the hardware you need to develop ChromiumOS.

Flexible development options

The development workstation may be sitting at your desk, or you may access a remote, cloud-based workstation (e.g., Google Cloud Workstation).

The ChromiumOS build system requires a Linux distribution. The OS may be installed on your local workstation, on a cloud-based compute instance, or in a container on your development device.

For both the cloud-based workstation and the Linux container options, your main development machine can be any system which supports connecting to the workstations over the network through SSH or running a virtual machine. You can even build ChromiumOS on ChromiumOS using the Linux terminal feature!

USB thumb drive

Putting the DUT into developer mode requires booting from a USB thumb drive formatted with a ChromiumOS image containing test and debug tools. Once in developer mode, the device can be flashed over the network from the workstation. The minimum required size of the thumb drive is 8 GB.

Up next you will configure your workstation development environment to meet the requirements of developing ChromiumOS.

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