NayuOS: A Chrome OS Fork for Developers

Chromebooks are great for a lot of things: they enable people who can't afford much to get a decent computer that does pretty much everything they need. In fact, there are a lot of things to love about Chromebooks, and they're getting increasingly popular.

Still, Google's operating system is very consumer-oriented. You won't find anyone on a Chromebook hacking away at some Python code. Instead, they'll be more likely to be browsing Reddit or posting pictures of their cats to Facebook.

That's where NayuOS comes in. It attempts to take the good of Chrome OS, sift through the bad, and create a totally free, secure and open environment that people can use to develop software on.

What makes NayuOS special?

Its ability to take the Chrome OS technology and de-Google it makes NayuOS special, effectively presenting a Google-free, lightweight operating system perfect for the type of hardware that Chromebooks occupy.

The overall goal here is total, complete software freedom as Richard Stallman defines it. No proprietary tools or services of any kind. It's completely decoupled from all of that - so much, in fact, that you actually lose some key features from regular Chrome OS when you use NayuOS (external device support, Chrome web applications).


When it comes down to it, NayuOS is basically ChromiumOS but re-branded and tweaked a little bit. It has some compelling features. For example, the developers have added the ability to interact with Git in NayuOS, something not present in Google's operating system.


It's very developer-friendly, to say the least. With it you have the ability to create Python and Flask applications as well as the ability to develop for Javascript. It's certainly not for consumers. However, if you're looking for a solid, lightweight development environment on your Chromebook, it's hard to say no to this operating system.


Installation for NayuOS is a device-by-device thing. Not every Chromebook on the market is supported, and they generally go with the most popular ones (or so it seems). You'll need to scroll down the home page to find if your Chromebook is supported. If it is, just find the image download link and download it.


On Chrome OS, run the following command to make the installation USB drive.

Note: you'll need to open a shell in Chrome OS by pressing "Ctrl + Alt + T", then typing shell and pressing the Enter key.

zcat your_board.nayuos.img.gz | sudo dd of=/dev/somedevice

This command takes a bit to complete, but after a while your installation medium will have been created.

Now it's time to boot into the drive. Enter this command to have Chrome OS boot NayuOS directly:

sudo crossystem dev_boot_usb=1

After that, just reboot with the USB drive in, and follow the instructions that NayuOS gives to get everything installed.


NayuOS is an interesting project. Few projects choose Chrome OS as a basis for an operating system, especially for development. If you're a programmer, this operating system might make you take notice.

Would you develop software on an operating system based on Chrome OS? Let us know below!

Image Credits:

Derrik Diener

Derrik Diener is a freelance technology blogger.

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