In this tutorial, I go through the steps of installing Raspberry Pi Flint OS. I also do a brief overview of what exactly the operating system (OS) is and any setup that you will need to do on first boot.
FlintOS is an operating system that is built on the open source version of Chromium OS. Unlike Chromium OS for SBC that I have covered earlier this one is still being worked on. It’s a lot more stable with most of the basics working just fine.
Not all of the Chromium OS apps will run on the Raspberry Pi as some of them are quite intensive and need a fair bit of resources. For example, “Cut the Rope” will run the first mission and that’s as far as you will get.
Flint OS is perfect if you only need a basic operating system that is able to run a popular range of applications such as Google docs or even the web versions of Microsoft Office apps. You’re able to access the Chrome web store, so you have a wide range of extensions, applications, themes and much more to install.
It’s important to note that if stability is hugely important to you, then I do not recommend installing this operating system until it has been worked on a little bit more. However, if you love experimenting and trying out new things, then you should totally try this out.
If you’re interested in the equipment that you will need for this tutorial, then you can find a handy list right below. I highly recommend that you use a Pi 3 for this tutorial.
- Enjoy making stuff? So do we. join us!
- Flint OS on Raspberry Pi:What is Flint OS?
- Flint OS for Raspberry Pi: What You’ll Need
- Flint OS Raspberry Pi Installation
- How to Install Flint OS Raspberry Pi
- Flint OS Review: Hands-on With Flint OS on the Raspberry Pi
- Flint OS Raspberry Pi DIY Chromebook: Final Thoughts
- About Flint OS
- Future of computing
- Built for the internet era
- For you, for everyone
- Where to use?
- How can we help?
Ethernet Cord or Wifi dongle (Raspberry Pi 3 has WiFi inbuilt)
The process of installing Raspberry Pi Flint OS is basically the same as any other operating system that you would install for the Pi. I will detail how to get it installed below.
1. First head over to the Flint OS website and download the latest zip file. Once downloaded, unzip the file, so you’re left with a .img file.
2. Next, you will need some tools to be able to write the image to the SD card. Previously I have used Win32diskimager, but for this tutorial, I used Etcher (mentioned on the Flint OS website).
So first download the program over at the Etcher website. (It’s available for Linux, Mac, and Windows)
3. Open Etcher and select the image that we downloaded and unzipped earlier.
4. Next, select the SD card, make sure you double check to ensure it is the SD Card otherwise you might accidentally wipe a hard drive.
5. Next, click flash and wait while it writes the image to the SD card.
6. Now safely remove the SD card from the computer and insert into the Raspberry Pi.
7. It’s now time to move onto booting the Pi up.
Setting up Flint OS is incredibly easy, so you shouldn’t run into any issues. Below are the very few steps that you will need to follow so you can get this all setup correctly.
1. First, you will need to connect to a network. If you have a Pi 3, then the onboard WiFi is supported in the latest version. Dongles and Ethernet should also work.
2. It will now check for updates, and this shouldn’t take more than just a minute.
3. You will now need to login to your Google account. Alternatively, you can continue as a guest.
4. It will now log in and load up all your previous information (If you have used Chromium OS with the account before).
5. You’re now able to use Flint OS.
There isn’t a huge amount to talk about when it comes to using a Chromium operating system. It’s very simple and straightforward, however, if you need more information, then this information from Google is handy.
Note: Some of it refers to features that are only on Chrome OS which is different to Chromium OS.
At the time of writing this tutorial, Flint OS has a few issues here and there but is in much better shape than Chromium OS For SBC. Flint OS is also still in active development, so a lot of the issues are likely to be fixed in the future.
If you find your screen has frozen wait a minute as sometimes it lags and takes a bit of time to catch up. If it’s still not doing anything, then you will need to reset the Pi.
Most of the basics work just fine such as profile changing, installation of apps, extensions from the web store and much more.
The Flint OS subreddit is probably the best place to go to talk about issues, development, and anything else related to the operating system.
I hope this tutorial has helped you install Raspberry Pi flint OS without any issues. I also hope that it has shown you yet another cool OS that’s being developed for the Pi. If you have any feedback or anything else related to this tutorial, then be sure to leave a comment below.
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By Moe Long / Tutorial / 30th June 2018
Flint OS on Raspberry Pi:What is Flint OS?
Similar to Chromium OS, Flint OS is an open-source version of Chrome OS. Adopting cloud technology for a browser-centric desktop experience, Flint OS is engineered for speed and security. Since it abides by an Internet-first principle, Flint OS boots up quickly. Though based on the Linux kernel, the primary interface is the Chromium web browser. With a browser engine, there’s an onus on web apps instead of more traditional desktop or mobile apps.
Benefits of running Flint OS include its quick boot time, security, and architecture simplicity. You may navigate Flint OS with a variety of input devices from keyboards and mice to touchscreens. There’s planned Android app compatibility, and since the OS is cloud-based, you’ll see low resource consumption and excellent battery life. Aside from the Raspberry Pi and single-board computers, Flint OS works on x86 PCs as well.
Flint OS on Raspberry Pi pros:
- Low resource consumption
- Excellent hardware compatibility
- Simple, secure, fast
Flint OS for Raspberry Pi: What You’ll Need
Creating a do-it-yourself Chromium OS computer with Flint OS is inexpensive. You’ll need a Raspberry Pi board, power supply, microSD card, and a case. Additionally, peripherals must be used for navigation. All software require is completely free to use.
- Raspberry Pi board (Raspberry Pi 3 recommended)
- 5.1V micro USB supply
- Raspberry Pi Case (optional, recommended)
- Installation medium (microSD card)
- Peripherals (keyboard/mouse, touchscreen, etc.)
- Extraction software (i.e. 7Zip)
- Image mounting software (i.e. Etcher)
- Flint OS image
Total Cost: $35+. You can purchase a standalone Raspberry Pi 3 board for $35 and use existing components you may have, like a keyboard, mouse, micro USB power supply, and microSD card. Or you may pick up an all-in-one kit.
Flint OS Raspberry Pi Installation
First, head over to the Flint OS download page and select the FlintOS ARM image, listed as Flint OS for RPi.
Once that’s complete, extract the img.xz file using a program such as 7Zip.
Now, you’re left with an IMG file. With an application like Etcher, mount your image file to a microSD card. Wait a few minutes for the image to finish mounting, and you’re ready to pop your microSD card into your Raspberry Pi and begin setting up the operating system and using Flint OS on the Raspberry Pi.
How to Install Flint OS Raspberry Pi
Flint OS Review: Hands-on With Flint OS on the Raspberry Pi
Overall, the experience isn’t too unlike Chromium OS. However, when comparing Flint OS vs Chromium OS, I enjoyed Flint OS a bit more. Because it comes with a pre-set wallpaper, the default desktop is prettier than the gray of Chromium OS. Sure, it can be customized, but there’s clearly a lot of effort put into Flint OS. As for general use, it’s almost identical to Chromium OS. Performance was roughly the same, with snappy navigation and the same apps available.
Don’t expect fantastic performance for more intensive tasks like video playback. Still, Flint OS is an affordable means of setting up a Chromebook for basically the price of a Raspberry Pi board. For general web browsing and even light office work, it’s an excellent project PC. Since I use Google Docs for much of my writing, I’m inclined to keep a Flint OS microSD card on hand for use as a low-powered desktop.
Flint OS Raspberry Pi DIY Chromebook: Final Thoughts
Boasting an intuitive installation process, a short yet functional set of apps at the ready, and low resource consumption, Flint OS is an excellent operating system for transforming a Raspberry Pi into a Chromebook. Once you begin using Flint OS, it’s pretty much the same as Chromium OS. Unlike Chromium OS, Flint OS retains compatibility with x86 PCs for wide-ranging hardware compatibility.
It’s able to handle everything from Chromium web browsers with multiple tabs to the Slack web app, and even Chrome apps like Polarr. That’s impressive considering the modest power of the Raspberry Pi. Plus, there’s planned Flint OS Android apps compatibility in the future. Once Android apps on Flint OS become available, it’s slated to become even more useful. This is an operating system ideal for anyone seeking a Chromebook on the cheap. Since input devices such as keyboards, mice, and touchscreens work with Flint OS, you can use a Raspberry Pi touchscreen to make a tablet or even laptop.
Your turn: What Raspberry Pi operating systems are you using?
Flint OS is a fast, simple and productive operating system built on open source Chromium OS
About Flint OS
Future of computing
Flint began with a vision where all applications and services we use today will be living in the Cloud. With the ever advancing browser platform technology and web frontend performances, it’s not surprising that most things we do today with the internet can be done through a single browser window. We are stepping into an era where installable apps will soon become history.
Built for the internet era
Powered by Cloud technology, driven by the open source community, equipped with an optimised custom kernel, bundled with the best browser platform and incorporating numerous user experience enhancements, Flint OS is here to take you to a new horizon of computing.
For you, for everyone
Boots up fast and it never gets slow
Runs on powerful x86 full-fledged laptops, on single-board-computers like the Raspberry Pi and of course anything in between
Works with keyboard/mouse and touch/swipe
The ultimate simplicity in architecture with sophisticated security measures that let you forget about viruses and malware
Fully automated update mechanism never troubles you for that extra 10 minutes’ waiting time when you are just trying to work
Love Android apps? Great! We are building support into Flint OS.
Better battery life! Running applications in the cloud means your device lasts longer
And best of all: you already know how to use it because it looks and feels like your favourite browser
Where to use?
Flint OS now works perfectly on most x86 and ARM based hardware platforms. We are particularly interested in making Flint OS run on single-board-computer (SBC) solutions based on ARM architecture, such as the Raspberry Pi, SBCs with RK3288 and RK3399 chips. With this, we breathe new life into the arena for the touch-enabled interactive terminals. Our clients include dual-screen smart POS machines, interactive classroom whiteboards, connected shopping mall wayfinders, smart vending machines and automated digital signages just to name a few. We provide the best user experience with minimal maintenance and development cost.
Flint OS can be deployed and managed across schools and organisations big or small, via a centralised cloud-driven management portal. Either utilising older hardware or incorporated into new hardware giving business customers flexibility in their purchasing decisions.
How can we help?
We are happy to customise Flint OS according to your needs and the use-case scenarios, including porting Flint OS to your existing hardware platforms, optimising end user experiences, bundling with designated software applications and bespoke developments.
We offer consulting services for industrial solutions, providing Flint OS and hardware solutions for smart device vendors, migrating applications to the web platform and integrating Flint OS into existing framework.
We also provide IT-as-a-Service for schools and businesses using Flint OS and our partner cloud-driven SaaS. Flint OS can be centrally deployed and managed for your organisation, benefits include improving efficiency, freeing from malware nuisance, lowering management overhead and also revitalising old and obsolete hardware.