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October 15, 2009

Chrome OS, an Extended Google Chrome

As previously anticipated, Chrome OS is a Linux distribution that includes a custom version of Chrome as the default browser. Google has recently posted a build of the custom Chrome and some people installed the .deb package (it's no longer available officially, but you can download it from other sources).

Chrome for Chrome OS is not very different from the browser you can already install in Windows, Linux or Mac. The main difference is that the browser includes UI elements from a traditional operating system: clock, battery status, network settings.



Since Google Chrome will include most of the features that are necessary to use an operating system, it's obvious that the browser is the only visible component of Chrome OS, a lightweight browser-centric operating system.

There's no reason to anxiously wait for Chrome OS, when you can already use Chrome in your favorite operating system and get the same features. A metaphor has become reality, but the result fails to impress.

54 comments:

  1. Will see at 3PM at Google Event ! :)

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  2. What I like the most out of this operating system is, it's "light-weight", would be great for notebooks/netbooks. I also noted "ShortLinks" shortcuts will be hosted by Google, and stored on your Google account.

    One may assume, perhaps the move of "remote profiles" on multiple pcs running chrome OS, using your Google account to carry your settings and shortcut.

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  3. sucks. it runs on linux. i want pure google comon.

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  4. The screenshot looks just like Gnome but wasn't Chrome going to be a different desktop? Or are they forking Gnome.

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  5. @minijoo - So does Android and Google Search runs on BSD Unix. Linux is so good, there's no reason for Google to build another kernel. It probably wouldn't be as good.

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  6. Correct me if I'm wrong, but the files that started this recent Chrome-os-uproar were found on a server hosted by Google and not on one of Google's own company servers.

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  7. Perfect..!!! But, The Real Chrome's Success is the hardware support and get lots of lots drivers. "Although I do not have much money" I hope will get a new netbook just for ChromeOS... Once Again, Thanks so much for my Google Wave® Invitation ( The eMail is Over) {rasjomanny}

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  8. The screenshots show Google Chrome for Chrome OS running in Ubuntu 8.10.

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  9. @gravi_t:

    You're mixing up things: this is not the third-party Chrome OS Linux created available at http://sites.google.com/site/chromeoslinux. Google uploaded some recent builds of Chrome for Chrome OS at http://build.chromium.org/buildbot/snapshots. The code is already publicly available.

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  10. Would be good for laptop power and network events to be exposed to all webapps on all browsers -lets them know to refresh their mail when the laptop comes up/online again.

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  11. Underwhelmed.

    Here is a chance for a significant re-conception on the OS. I would hope it would be more than a warmed over Linux.

    Don't get me wrong, I really want GCOS succeed, and with inspiration!

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  12. But with this OS you will not be able to use a lot of programs and games. Why then use it?

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  13. Nice.

    So, how do I get left4dead running on it?

    *snigger*

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  14. Think not what desktop applications Chrome OS cannot support, think what applications will move onto a web browser in the future.

    An OS is just a program that runs other programs. Browsers do that as well, but its capabilities are miniscule to today's OS's. For now. Google is really pushing everything to be on a browser.

    If that happens, it's good news for them. More stuff happens in the browser, more web pages, and more relevant the Google search engine becomes.

    We'll see how rich the browser capabilities become in the future, and how Microsoft reacts. Will they resist to try and keep the status quo of Windows as dominant desktop OS? Or do they support Google, and fight it out in the search engine business with their Bing? They'll probably do both.

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  15. Quake 3 runs on a browser. By extension, L4D is also possible.

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  16. Quake 3 is too old game but newer games, animations, etc are just quite strainous for the browser based OSes. Heck, even runnin photoshop (or GIMP) with multiple layers is not possible. This OS is good only for light works, pro look elsewhere!!

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  17. Google's new plan to track user history........

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  18. A web based OS is easy to make and implement, it good Google is taking the first steps, we will all learn from them!

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  19. >>think what applications will move onto a web browser in the future<<

    Yes. Where I work, all the code written is for browsser based aps that bridge gaps in name-brand aps, to increase efficiency and satisfy business requirements.

    If IE would have been 100% W3C spec-compatible MS might not have been facing Chrome OS today...

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  20. I just want everyone to take a step back, and ask why on earth would anyone want to run compute-intensive apps from within a browser?

    It's bad enough expecting ajax-driven websites to respond in a timely fashion, let alone behave correctly. :(

    It's such a bad idea on so many levels.

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  21. @bestgeek

    But considering how Google are developing O3D to allow sites to use a GPU directly, this drawback will evaporate away.
    And Native Client is also there remember. They have been developing the *&^% out of that to make it secure as possible.

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  22. I found a video demo of that thing at http://chromeos-blog.com . 3 mins.

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  23. And what about printer support in Chrome OS. If they simply use the linux stack it will be pretty poor. JoliCloud is then a much better option. The Alpha already runs very stable on my Netbook.

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  24. I think I don't get it: that's all right that the browser have a look, feel and interface virtually the same for different platforms. I really love Chrome's interface.

    Also, for me it's baseless your speculation that there is no need to wait for OS itself. OS offers more than just an interface integrated with a browser (which BTW is a very good news), for me as Windows user this makes a whole difference.

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  25. I think MS should go to the EU and sue Google to allow other browsers to run on Googles Chrome OS and that There needs to be an option on initial start up on which browser and search engine the user wants to use.

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  26. Active Desktop version 2....history repeats itself.

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  27. I don't understand why people keep talking about "unimpressive" and "disappointing". ChromeOS turned out to be exactly what they said it would be ...gasp... an OS that can essentially only run the Google Chrome browser and that's it.

    I don't think it's meant to replace Windows or Linux on your netbook, but it can certainly be a great option for a quick-boot browser-only environment for you to check your e-mail and stuff.

    If they can make it a "near-instant" boot, I would install this on every notebook I own, but I would never install this as an exclusive OS.

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  28. If they can crack Micro$oft's monopoly, more power to them!

    Everything Micro$oft produces is hard to use, inadequately documented, and expensive. Micro$oft products waste your time. They desperately need some competition.

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  29. I think Google should just port WebKit( from Apple) to Linux and then just pretend that they created a new operating system. :-)

    This way they don't need to hire any developers and can spend all their money on cool TV commercials that can be played during the next season of American Idol.... or they can just keep all the money and just push their new OS on the search page.

    They can then stick all this money in secret bank accounts until Microsoft and Apple both fail taking down the rest of the global economy.

    They can then use their money to raise a huge army to take over the world.

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  30. "A metaphor has become reality, but the result fails to impress."

    I think the author of the article has published an article devoid of any real content.

    If Chrome/OS "fails to impress," why wouldn't you state why you are not impressed.

    My first, and last, visit to this site.

    Anon

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  31. Satirists, cynics and critics, some of your points are valid, but finally (and hopefully) an OS that is geared for web only. That is something that I have been searching for, for about a year. I want the majority of my system resources going towards loading and interacting with web apps. No more, no less and I (and a few others) only want that. Fast boots, fast loads and great web performance. I hope Google OS delivers.

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  32. bogus brower your uploaded or downloaded files may corupt. downloads automaticly stops and nerver start and on yahoo upload wait wait and wait nothings happened.

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  33. Regarding the Chrome browser on Linux, the article says it is not officially available but I got it just now from the Google site:

    http://www.google.com/chrome/intl/en/linux.html

    There is a place here to sign up for spam about the release and a link to early access versions. There are DEBs at the early access page. Runs fine, looks great.

    Regarding Chrome OS, though it might not be good for every desktop, I can see uses for it e.g. Netbook that only needs to do surfing and simple documents etc, internet appliance like media server etc that do not require a complete Gnome interface to use. I use and Android phone and have been impressed with the OS so far.

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  34. "Chrome for Chrome OS is not very different from the browser you can already install in Windows, Linux or Mac."

    Since when can you get Chrome for Mac?

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  35. WOW! What innovation. Linux and a browser. What'll they think of next?

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  36. OOOh no comeon Google, all this is a simple Lunix destr. , we want a real OS

    @minijoo : sucks. it runs on linux. i want pure google comon.

    ^^ realy

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  37. Is it just me, or is everyone making a big stink out of a piece of software that hasn't even been developed yet. To claim that something in its pre-alpha development stages is "disappointing" is a bit harsh. Let's wait and see what happens when Google Chrome OS is released for real.

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  38. @FredTheKat

    An interesting mention is that the Netscape guys planned to go in this direction (they just never reached that status), and Microsoft has a webapp feature built right into Windows (look up .HTA), Apples WebKit engine has a few OS like features on Mac OS X and iPhone and the guys at Mozilla continually talk about the web being the future OS.

    Really Google isn't being innovative, what makes them special here is that they're the first to get up and make a browser based OS (for the desktop at least, as Palm sort of beat them to the punch).

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  39. They are ugly, they have long way to go.

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  40. They've done a good job with Android, which also uses a Linux kernel.

    OSX is using a BSD-variant kernel, it's not just "another BSD distribution."

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  41. You can download the latest Chrome OS from http://getchrome.eu

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  42. I updated my Internet Explorer and it finally works! I dont think this will work with older versions. Thanks!

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  43. This is not a good thing at all.
    This means we will have 0 privacy! Subjected to bottlenecks on servers, and when the server is down, or down for maintenance you can not get your work done!
    But most importantly is the privacy issue, everything you do can and will be tracked.
    Linux is good, i like Ubuntu, and Knoppix, i like the Chrome OS, but I can not imagine being limited to only my web browser.
    That would SUCK!
    I like the way things are, and am sick of all these companies coming out of the woodwork trying to change the standard.

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  44. Unbelievable. Why are they just making it a browser? At least have a little bit more than that. This was a perfect chance for innovation. I think you'll find a company called "Good OS" at www.thinkgos.com already started making something like this ages before Google did. They are using the chrome browser too. I was hoping it wouldn't be a cloud computing OS. Turns out they are just churning out another one of something that's already made.

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  45. I think this is pretty lame. Sure I would like a cool new light weight OS, but I also want to be able to do stuff and might not be on the internet.

    I just disappoints me that companies choose to take the easy way out and end up with unexciting end products. I have always found it irritating that software is tied down by old hardware - sounds like Chrome is going to be the same way.

    Someone needs to actually make an OS that can compete with windows and stop wining about how Microsoft has a monopoly. Or Mac needs to make it so there OS can work on machines that are not specifically designed into Mac computers. Give us some good options.

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  46. If you are interested in alternative operating systems be sure to check out Haiku OS. The Alpha version has just been released, it is compatible with BeOS and is something to look out for in the future. Requires just a 2GB partition or can be run off a USB flash drive. Read more about it here:

    http://ninjarabbits.blogspot.com/2009/11/download-haiku-os-alpha-1-release.html

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  47. No one claims that this is a replacement for Windows or Mac OSX or whatever, it is simply another idea. Obviously you're fairly unlikely to be playing COD4 in your browser or whatever, but web is evidently the future, so they're taking hold of it! Sounds good to me! And as for why they are using a linux kernel... well why not? it works, so you may as well use it, plus it saves people learning something else!

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  48. "I think this is pretty lame. Sure I would like a cool new light weight OS, but I also want to be able to do stuff and might not be on the internet."

    Then don't download it you tool. Why bitch about something you have no interest in using?

    No one gives a damn if a pure Web O/S can't support your big PC needs. IT'S A WEB O/S FOR A REASON.

    If you need a big, flashy, bloated, overweight O/S, go spend $300+ on any version of Windows. I'm not hating on Windows (I'm a Windows User on Desktop, Linux on Laptop), but honestly...don't bitch about something you clearly don't even understand.

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  49. I love how people are predicting the ways in which this will suck (oh noes big brother, server backlogs, teh internets are falling) without actually using it. Mobile data connections (3g, 4g, wifi) are going to be ubiquitous in 5 years, or sooner. You will always be on the internet. Download the VM and give it a whirl.

    So far my biggest gripe is that I can't get it to support more than 800x600 in Virtualbox on OSX, and the buffer limit seems to not let me add any higher resolutions even though my hardware should be more than adequate.

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