So recently I had a Chromebox 3 (ASUS Chromebox 3, Core i7-8550U) given to me by a friend since they didn’t want it anymore and I learnt you could flash custom firmware on to allow you to run nearly any OS you want on them (Thank you MrChromebox). You can read about flashing custom firmware on to Chromebook’s and Chromebox’s here, to allow booting of other OS’s.
So I didn’t really have use for it as a personal PC replacement, since its not powerful enough (Gaming, etc) and everyone already has a fast enough machine in the family. So I wondered what else could I use it for, I could easily run it as a docker host, but I already have my file server running Debian, using Docker and ZFS. What would it run like as Proxmox host! I first looked over the amount of RAM and storage the device had, so I got that bumped up with some new bits from AliExpress, I changed 4GB of DDR4 RAM to 16GB and 32GB SATA to 512GB NVMe. I then booted the USB installer for Proxmox and followed the usual procedures for installing Proxmox, to my surprised everything installed fine, few moments later I was able to access the WebUI. I then migrated some VMs I had running on an Intel NUC, and its been a few weeks now since I started running a few VMs on it and so far no issues what so ever, its running nicely and also pretty quiet too.
I thought these little devices might be good way to create a little homelab, since perhaps their resell cost isn’t great, compared to something like a Intel NUC or similar sized PCs, turns out these devices keep their value, but if you find yourself able to get one or two of these for a for a good price, I would say do it! Flash the custom firmware, upgrade the RAM and storage, then you can use it as a hypervisor, docker host or maybe even a kodi player.
Nothing special to say in this post, just my thoughts on my little adventure with a Chromebox 😀