Google released the source code to Chrome OS, and there are already some disk images floating around, but we Gentoo users know that if you want it done right, you have to compile it yourself. ;) Here's how I built a VMware image on Gentoo.
The build instructions say you need Linux, but Google, as usual, seems to assume that you're running Ubuntu when you're trying to build Chrome OS. Here are the steps I took to build it, following the documentation that starts here:
(If you don't really care about how I built it, and just want the image, click here.)
1. emerge debootstrap
(debootstrap is necessary to actually build the OS, but you can leave this running in the background while you do the next few steps.)
2. wget http://src.chromium.org/svn/trunk/tools/depot_tools.tar.gz
3. tar xzvf depot_tools.tar.gz
4. export PATH=$PATH:$PWD/depot_tools
5. gclient config http://src.chromium.org/git/chromiumos.git
6. gclient sync
(wait for a really long time while it downloads the source)
7. cd chromiumos.git/src/scripts
(at this point, you'll need debootstrap installed, it'll be in /usr/sbin so let's put that in PATH)
8. export PATH=$PATH:/usr/sbin:/sbin
(if this fails, and you have to rerun it, you might need to delete the repo/ directory between runs. also, a few of these scripts will sudo, mainly to set up the mounts in the chroot; read through the script if you don't trust it, it's pretty short)
11. cd ../..
(now, we download the browser. the link on the build instructions is broken, but this one should work:)
12. mkdir -p src/build/x86/local_assets
13. wget http://build.chromium.org/buildbot/continuous/linux/LATEST/chrome-linux.zip -O src/build/x86/local_assets/chrome-chromeos.zip
(now, we enter the chroot and continue with the build)
14. cd src/scripts
(at this point you should be in the chroot)
(grab a snack, this'll take a while)
(I ran into a conflict here: HAL on the host system somehow blocks ACPI from being installed in the chroot. Stopping hald on the host system worked around it successfully.)
If you made it this far, you have an image built! Awesome.
To build a VMware image, use the image_to_vmware.sh script:
19. ./image_to_vmware.sh --from=../../src/build/images/999.999.32509.204730-a1
Note that this script requires qemu-img. You can edit the script and replace qemu-img with kvm-img if (like me) you have kvm installed but not qemu.
I haven't tried building a USB image, but it should work something like this:
20. ./image_to_usb.sh --from=../../src/build/images/999.999.32509.204730-a1 --to=/dev/sdb
So, as of right now, I'm running Chrome OS in VirtualBox. It's pretty slow, being in a VM and all; I'm going to try to get it on my Eee later, when I have more time.
The boot time is pretty freaking ridiculous, especially since it's running in a VM. Something like ten seconds to a login screen. Can't wait to see how it does on real hardware.
There's some kind of bug where I get certificate errors for Google sites - but only the pinned ones. The pinned Gmail tab errors, for instance, but logging into Gmail in a new tab looks fine. Other people have reported similar problems for other builds, it looks like, so I'm expecting that it'll get fixed eventually. It might have something to do with how it tries to automatically log in based on your login credentials; that's complete speculation on my part, though.
The Chrome menu that was in the demo is missing in my build. Not really sure why. :( Could be because I used a different Chrome binary than the one they listed in the install docs. Will have to try that again once they fix the link. >_>