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Managing Chromebooks in Five Easy Steps

The popularity of Chromebook devices has exploded in recent years.  The simplistic usability, coupled with affordability, has made these devices a popular solution for students, authors and general users.

VMware Workspace ONE has a full suite of management functions for Chromebooks that simplify oversight, security and configuration.  In this blog post, I’ll share how to manage Chromebook in five easy steps.


1. Getting Started

Before managing Chromebooks in Workspace ONE UEM, you’ll need to configure Chrome Device Management in the Google portal.  A step-by-step guide for this process can also be found here.  We will not cover enrollment processes in this blog post, so make sure you review the enrollment guides included in the link above as well.


2. Profile Basics

Let’s set up a few example profiles.  Once you’ve configured device management properly, you’ll see the Chrome OS icon when adding a new profile (Devices > Profiles > Add).

Next, choose the Context.

  • A Device Profile will apply to the entire device, regardless of which user is logged in. Please note that device profiles are applied to Smart Groups in Workspace ONE UEM.
  • A User Profile will only apply to specific users logged into the device. For this reason, user profiles are applied to User Groups in Workspace ONE UEM.


3. Device Profiles

For the device profile context, you can configure settings for network, sign-in, security & privacy, time zone, kiosk, and system updates.  In this example, we will test out a profile for system updates.

Choose the System Updates payload on the left.  You can configure Chromebooks to auto-update, to target a specific platform version, and to manage how release channels will be managed.  For this example, we will enforce auto-update to the Beta channel with a maximum delay of 3 days.  Choose Save And Publish to complete the configuration and push the profile to the assigned Chromebook devices.

4. User Profiles

Next we’ll configure a profile under the User Profile context.  Go back to the profiles page and click Add to add a new profile.  Choose Chrome OS once again as the platform.  This time choose the User context.

Under the user profile context, Workspace ONE UEM enables administrators to configure settings for network, content, security & privacy, URL access control, application control, power management, printing, and hardware.  For this example, we’ll configure a profile for power management.

The power management profile for Chromebooks primarily concerns idle times.  You can configure how long the device is allowed to idle before a warning is shown, before the screen is dimmed, before the screen is turned off, and before the system is suspended/logged out/shut down.  Please note that all of these times are configured in milliseconds.  Like any good power management setup, you should stagger the times so that the actions go in the desired order (generally warn > screen dim > screen off > suspend).  Here’s a completed example:

This profile will force the system to suspend after 20 minutes.  Prior to that, it will warn the user at five minutes, dim the screen at 10 minutes, and turn off the screen at 15 minutes.  We’ve replicated these settings for the Connected to Power condition as well as the Running on Battery condition.

Click Save And Publish to complete the configuration and assign it to your devices.


5. Next Steps

Still need help deciding how to drive value in your organization using Chromebook management? VMware Professional Services offers services to help you get started.  Please contact your VMware sales representative for more information on this service offering.


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