What is ChromeOS Flex?
ChromeOS Flex is an exciting new operating system for Macs, Linux devices, and PCs. ChromeOS Flex was designed to make older devices faster and more secure.
Why is ChromeOS Flex important for digital signage customers?
Many customers have older devices, or even newer devices that aren’t compatible with certain digital signage softwares. ChromeOS Flex allows these customers to enroll devices in the Google admin console, and lock them down in kiosk mode. Kiosk mode makes digital signs tamper proof and secure. Flex also allows users to control updates, and enables digital signage software to work with the operating system seamlessly.
What devices are ChromeOS Flex compatible?
Google is constantly adding to the list of ChromeOS Flex certified devices. One example is the AOPEN Ace Mini, which we recently reviewed. View the full list of ChromeOS Flex certified devices HERE. This list will indicate whether a device is certified, if minor issues are expected, or if major issues are expected.
Flex works on most Windows, Mac, and Linux devices made over the last 10 years. For every certified model the following actions are guaranteed to work:
- Audio input, at least one method
- Audio output, at least one method
- Internal display, if present
- Video output
- Network—Wi-Fi, Ethernet, or both, if present
- Touchpad, if present
- Sleep and resume
- System UI and graphics
- Webcam, if present
These actions are not guaranteed to work:
- Automatic screen rotation
- Keyboard shortcuts and function keys, such as brightness and volume
- SD card slots
What about devices that aren’t on the certified models list?
Flex might work with no issues on devices that aren’t already listed as certified models, but Google can’t guarantee that it will work properly between updates.
How do you install Flex?
Installing ChromeOS Flex is simple. First, you’ll need a USB drive to create a bootable version of Flex to try before installing. Next, install Flex to replace your current operating system. Finally, add Flex to other devices with a USB drive or through network deployment.
How is ChromeOS Flex different than ChromeOS?
- Verified boot and Google Security Chip: ChromeOS devices have a Google security chip built in. This security chip enables devices to use verified boot, a procedure which prevents devices from booting up if they are infected. Since Flex devices don’t have a Google Security Chip built in, verified boot is not available.
- Firmware Updates: Flex devices do not automatically update BIOS or UEFI firmware as ChromesOS devices do.
- Virtual Machines and Apps
- Google Play and Android apps: Not supported on Flex.
- Virtual Machines: Flex does not support running Windows virtual machines.
- Some performance factors vary by model such as: Boot Speed, Battery Life, and Power Savings
- Device Management
- Zero-touch Enrollment: Not supported on Flex.
- Forced re-enrollment: Not supported on Flex.
- Simple Certificate Enrollment Protocol: Supported on Flex.
View the FULL LIST of differences.
Best Practices for Deployment
- Enable Secure Boot
- Clear and Enable TPM
- Restrict bootable media and BIOS or UEFI access
- Only use official Flex Images
View the FULL LIST of Best Practices.