If you thought Chrome OS Flex was going to be the official way to get extra software support on an older Chromebook, think again. According to a Google support page, it is not recommended to install Chrome OS Flex on your Chrome OS device. For now, Chrome OS Flex is not the solution for Chromebooks past their software support date.
9to5 Google unearthed the support page, which reads:
Every Chromebook, Chromebase, and Chromebox has an Automatic Update Expiration (AUE) date. As of the EUA date, devices no longer receive software updates from Google. Google does not support installing Chrome OS Flex on a Chrome OS device that has reached its AUE date. Although you can install Chrome OS Flex on Chrome OS Intel or AMD x86 devices, we do not support devices that have reached their AUE date. You may have issues with firmware and hardware compatibility, installation, and updates.
While that may change in the future, it’s obviously a bummer for those whose Chromebooks are approaching or past their software support date. And, there is no evidence that Chrome OS Flex habit work, or at least work mostly, on an older Chromebook.
But it’s not an official long-term fix for having a Chromebook that no longer receives software updates from Google.
Instead, it’s more likely that Google’s ongoing effort to separate Chrome Browser from Chrome OS is a better answer. There’s also no guarantee that this approach will extend the life of Chromebooks, but it can.
Google plans for the Linux version of Chrome, internally called Lacros, to be the main browser for Chrome OS. By separating the browser from the operating system, it can then update one or both at any time. And potentially, that could mean Chrome OS updates beyond the current 8 years of new device support.
For now, Chrome OS Flex is therefore not the solution for updates after a defined support date. It’s meant to be used as Google said in its announcement: a way to repurpose old PCs and Macs into Chrome OS devices. Unofficially, he may also works on older Chromebooks. However, relying on an unofficial solution usually ends in disappointment.