November 20, 2009, 7:57 AM — So by now you've either sat through a LiveBlog of Google's Chrome OS event, or you've read our story, Google Chrome OS Unveiled: Speed, Simplicity Stressed. Maybe you've watched the video (embedded below, in case you missed it) Google prepared to introduce Chrome OS to laypeople.
This is all well and good, but launch is a year away and if you're an OS geek you can't wait that long to get a chance to play around with a new OS. Now if you're an Alpha OS geek you can snag the source code and compile a version yourself (for some of us, that's a daunting task), and if you're a really generous Alpha OS geek you might compile a version and share it with the rest of us. And that's just what has happened.
The build comes in the form of a virtual machine, when means you'll need VMWare or VirtualBox running, and of course the image of Chrome OS itself. The folks at gdgt are distributing the latter and they've set up a page with all the links you'll need. You'll need to create a gdgt account if you don't have one yet. The Chrome OS image is only a bit over 300 megs so it's a fast download.
If you need a little more handholding, TechCrunch has a step-by-step guide to getting Chrome OS installed and running using VirtualBox and a Chrome OS torrent they link to.
What better way to pass a Friday than 'researching' an upcoming OS so your company is prepared for it?