NayuOS is an ongoing project at Nexedi: since we mainly use Chromebooks as part of our development tools, we want to have more customizable, secure and privacy-compliant devices. We also love Free Softwares so we do want a Free alternative for Chrome OS that fits our needs.

Why choosing Chrom* OS instead of another GNU/Linux distribution?

For whom is Chromium OS?

For developers

Chromium OS is much more developer-friendly, since there is a large range of tools for development (Python2.7, gdb, ...) and networking (tcpdump, rsync, ...) that are not available in Chrome OS. Having Python2 means that it is easy to run an HTTP sever on the local network and develop web applications!

For people who care about privacy

Chromium OS is fully Open Source. This is necessary for better privacy and security: you don't have to trust Google, you can look at the code and ensure that the software does what you expect from it! However, it requires you to switch to developer mode, which is by default less secure (no more boot verification, shell in the browser and VT2 access, available root access with no password, ssh daemon running, ...) but allows you to use your device without restriction.

Of course, you still have to be careful with the location of the storage of your personal data (file system, Google's servers or your own, ...).

What is NayuOS and what are the benefits?

NayuOS is a customization of Chromium OS that is going to be used at Nexedi and that we want to share since it can be useful to others.

We want to improve the development environment, the usability and configuration of the system and the privacy of the users. Right now, our technical goal is to:

Be aware that, at least for now, NayuOS disables the verification usually checking the root file system at each boot.

Download the images

The build process based on Buildout in our decentralized cloud technology SlapOS makes possible to build many images for Chromium OS and our modified version NayuOS for specific boards using the latest releases of Chromium OS.

NayuOS images

board code machine name release R47 (latest build for this release, but a bit old) release R48 (latest build)
auron_yuna Acer C910 Chromebook 15
clapper Lenovo Chromebook N20
leon Toshiba Chromebook
lulu Dell Chromebook 13
peppy Acer C720 Chromebook
quawks ASUS Chromebooks C300
swanky Toshiba Chromebook 2
samus Chromebook Pixel 2015

Old builds can be found in the images directory.

Verify the image

Verify the hash by checking in the hash.txt file (R47 latest, R48 latest) of the extracted image, and compare with the value of the freshly downloaded image.

      zcat your_board.nayuos.img.gz | sha512sum

The values should be the same.

Install the image on your Chromebook

Before doing anything, it is safer to make a recovery USB stick, just in case...

In order to install Chromium OS on you Chromebook, you will have to create a bootable USB stick. To do this, you can use:

Once you have your image, you need to activate the developer mode on your device: generally, you have to turn your Chromebook off and hit ESC + F3 (the "reload" key) + POWER button.

You should then get a screen saying that "Chrome OS is missing or damaged", this is just an dissuasive message, hit CTRL + D and confirm by hitting ENTER that you want to enable the developer mode.

Then, you need to allow your device to boot on USB. For that, get a shell:

and type:

      sudo crossystem dev_boot_usb=1

Reboot and press CTRL + U at boot time to boot on USB. You will be on a live Chromium OS system. If you want to install it for real, open a terminal and type:


After that, don't try to turn the developer mode off (hitting SPACE at boot time), or you will have to reinstall the original Chrome OS!

If it does not boot...
If you were in developer mode under Chrome OS, you may have to switch back to normal mode (hitting space at boot time). Then, you can follow the instructions above.

How to build the image?

If you want to build the image yourself, you can find more informations on:

Known issues

Some issues that may be fixed in the next versions.

Tips and tricks