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Try Out Chrome OS In a Virtual Machine

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the that-didn't-take-long dept.

Operating Systems 289

itwbennett writes "Some very generous Alpha OS geeks have snagged the Chrome OS source code and compiled a version to share with the rest of us, writes blogger Peter Smith. 'The build comes in the form of a virtual machine, which means you'll need VMWare or VirtualBox running, and of course the image of Chrome OS itself. The folks at gdgt are distributing the latter, and they've set up a page with all the links you'll need. You'll need to create a gdgt account if you don't have one yet. The Chrome OS image is only a bit over 300 megs, so it's a fast download. If you need a little more handholding, TechCrunch has a step-by-step guide to getting Chrome OS installed and running using VirtualBox, and a Chrome OS torrent they link to.'"

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289 comments

Torrent? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30181390)

I can't believe Slashdot is openly advertising a pirated OS with links to torrents.

Re:Torrent? (3, Insightful)

mister_playboy (1474163) | more than 4 years ago | (#30181482)

Torrents ought to be choice #1 in distributing files of any decent size. As an example, I thought it was utterly retarded that the recent Ubuntu 9.10 release didn't have the download torrents front and center. Why the hell not? Obviously they didn't have the bandwidth to handle all the direct downloads, as I started one just to see how slowly it would go. It crawled along at less than 1 KB/s for hours. They had the torrents advertised on the forums, at least, but they clearly made the launch harder on their servers than it should have been.

Torrents let you do more with less bandwidth. Take advantage of that! I understand some people may not be able to use them because of their ISP being a douchbag or whatever, and those people will need normal HTTP/FTP transactions and mirrors... but everyone else can use torrents and share your burden with you.

Re:Torrent? (1)

Mage Powers (607708) | more than 4 years ago | (#30181538)

Theres torrents available, just not from that gdgt place because they want people to log in...

Re:Torrent? (1)

Macrat (638047) | more than 4 years ago | (#30181572)

Link?

Re:Torrent? (3, Insightful)

DirtyCanuck (1529753) | more than 4 years ago | (#30181620)

http://gdgt.com/google/chrome-os/download/ [gdgt.com]

Yes it requires an account to download.

However it is not verified. AKA login immediately after.

I pounded the keyboard a few times and dloaded no problem.

I'd tell u my user and pass if I could.

Re:Torrent? (4, Informative)

DirtyCanuck (1529753) | more than 4 years ago | (#30181704)

User: DotSlash
Pass: Slashdot

Dunno if it allows multiple logins....

Re:Torrent? (1)

billiam247 (1105777) | more than 4 years ago | (#30181742)

+1, thank you for saving me from registering for yet another website that I'll only need to log into once.

Re:Torrent? (3, Informative)

cyberstealth1024 (860459) | more than 4 years ago | (#30181948)

try BugMeNot [bugmenot.com] next time. (just looked on bugmenot for gdgt) Crap, gdgt is blocked from bugmenot. well, you can use this for other websites that you need to log into on a one-time basis

Re:Torrent? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30181634)

Link?

http://torrents.thepiratebay.org/5170843/chromeos-image-999.999.32309.211410-a1.vmdk.bz2.5170843.TPB.torrent

Re:Torrent? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30181684)

warning!! That's the goatse/last measure OS. (If you don't know what that means, you don't want to find out. trust me.)

Re:Torrent? (0, Troll)

Espectr0 (577637) | more than 4 years ago | (#30181646)

Depends on who you ask. If you ask me, torrents not only clogs my connection regardless of upload/download speed so no one can browse the net, but are actually slower than most http/ftp downloads that support a few simultaneous connections.

That's why rapidshare et all are so popular. Besides, most people don't know what torrents are. You can't have them front and center to general users.

Re:Torrent? (3, Informative)

mister_playboy (1474163) | more than 4 years ago | (#30181792)

Depends on who you ask. If you ask me, torrents not only clogs my connection regardless of upload/download speed so no one can browse the net, but are actually slower than most http/ftp downloads that support a few simultaneous connections.

Any reasonable client lets you control how much bandwidth it uses... it's up to you to know how to configure your client so it allows you to do other things while you torrent.

That's why rapidshare et all are so popular.

Most people can't afford as much upload capacity as RS has... that isn't cheap, you know. My argument is that torrents are more useful for the uploader of the files, not necessarily the downloader.

Besides, most people don't know what torrents are. You can't have them front and center to general users.

Why is that? Because of the negative rap that torrents get. Which is why the bullshit in the original AC's post is a troll. I'm refuting this point of view.

Re:Torrent? (1)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | more than 4 years ago | (#30181648)

Torrents let you do more with less bandwidth. Take advantage of that!

I think torrents do not work the way you think they work. That's like saying it uses less gas to drive at 100mph than 50, because you get there so much sooner..

Re:Torrent? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30181690)

I think he means the server needs less bandwidth. Of course the downloaders will be uploading, too, using more of their own bandwidth.

Re:Torrent? (4, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#30181736)

Torrents are actually pretty inefficient(I don't mean to knock the design of the protocol; but making heavy use of last-mile upload capacity, which is some of the shittiest and most expensive pipe on the whole network, cannot be made as efficient as a conventional client/server setup). Further, they tend to promote the energy-inefficient situation of having large numbers of small servers, all bandwidth starved, spending hours nearly idling(but not able to sleep or shut down) as they wait for the bits to trickle in.

They do, though, have a great advantage, which is why we bother: In absence of a functional micropayment system, bittorrent is pretty much the best way of allowing the bandwidth costs of distributing something to be spread across all parties who are interested in receiving it. If it were possible to transact in 1cent increments, everyone would almost certainly be better off if the distributor just dumped it on Amazon EC2 or some other big hosting service and let interested parties pay the per-megabyte download costs directly(saving themselves the upload bandwidth and power costs). Since that isn't really viable(particularly, though not exclusively, if what is being distributed isn't wholly legal), bittorrent's easy sharing of hosting duties among downloaders is the next best thing.

Re:Torrent? (1)

Tynin (634655) | more than 4 years ago | (#30181974)

Excellent points. I find myself wishing to turn my computer off but have to leave it on for days to seed back to 1:1 ratio. It really would be awesome to allow for this kind of micro transactions. I'd just be concerned they would end up getting greedy and over charging to the point where the benefit would be lost on the end users, driving us frugal bastards back to leaving our bandwidth starved computers on all night.

Re:Torrent? (4, Insightful)

coolsnowmen (695297) | more than 4 years ago | (#30182102)

..which is some of the shittiest and most expensive pipe on the whole network, cannot be made as efficient as a conventional client/server setup).

Efficient in what sense? Certainly not time in release cases. If host A has a 100MB file and a 10MB/s connection, the most that host can upload that file at is 6/min. At 10,000 users this takes about 28 hours.
If the first torrent uploads to 2 people, and those two people to two more...etc it will quickly (4 hours) beat the single host case even if every pipe after the first is 1/100th the speed.

Re:Torrent? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30182258)

Who gives a shit that they're inefficient, what matters is that my download speed will be 1200 times as fast as 1 KB with a torrent because I won't be relying on a piece of shit mirror being banged by the 1000 users of Linux to DL their distro. Torrents give you better speed because you can take one piece from the server, share it, then intershare it between all the different peers. It works.

Re:Torrent? (1)

mister_playboy (1474163) | more than 4 years ago | (#30181754)

I understand exactly how torrents work. You are doing more with less in the sense that the file's uploading does not depend on only your bandwidth capabilities... which were not sufficient in the Ubuntu example I gave.

Re:Torrent? (5, Interesting)

ZorbaTHut (126196) | more than 4 years ago | (#30181724)

Why the hell not?

User confusion, really. Users are fragile and easily puzzled creatures. Every link you put on your website is a link the user can frantically flail onto and accidentally click. Then you end up with people on your forum asking why the OS isn't working. After all, they burned the file right onto the CD!

In the case of a beta OS meant to be run inside a VM, yeah, user competence is probably not a huge issue. In the case of an OS which is trying to be a mass-market OS, you want it to be as easy as humanly possible, and adding a torrent link to the homepage does not make things any easier.

Re:Torrent? (4, Interesting)

mister_playboy (1474163) | more than 4 years ago | (#30181864)

A very good point. I thought nothing of the impact the number of links on a page could have on navigation until I watched my girlfriend or my brother try to figure out which link was the one they needed when downloading software.

Re:Torrent? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30181874)

Only pirates use torrents. What are you, a commie?

Yes, Less Bandwidth used .. depends where you live (1)

ub3r n3u7r4l1st (1388939) | more than 4 years ago | (#30181914)

Most ISPs in the U.S.A. throttle torrent traffics, so you don't actually see the speed increase. Or you might even get completely blocked, in the case of universities network.

Re:Yes, Less Bandwidth used .. depends where you l (1)

mister_playboy (1474163) | more than 4 years ago | (#30181954)

Ironically, I could torrent just fine on a 50mbit connection at my university. 1 hour spent in the student union could easily see me upload 8-10GB... very handy for private sites.

Nothing to see here... (5, Informative)

Obispus (803786) | more than 4 years ago | (#30181430)

It looks exactly like the Chrome/Chromium browser, with a few more desktop icons and a weird window manager.

The only novelty is that the lack of a "shutdown" option seems to be intentional; the local machine is supposed to be stateless in the sense that it commits all transactions remotely before announcing their completion. Plan 9 also tried to achieve that goal, at least initially.

Kudos to the people who put these images together, though--they've saved many of us significant time.

Re:Nothing to see here... (5, Insightful)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | more than 4 years ago | (#30181660)

Well - the other thing that's rather cool is that it boots to usable system in less than 5 seconds (on the VM). For most OS's I play with, it's 30-90 seconds..

Re:Nothing to see here... (1)

Herby Sagues (925683) | more than 4 years ago | (#30181714)

And why is that important? I boot my system perhaps every two months (the system boots itself monthly, but I'm probably sleeping at the time).

Re:Nothing to see here... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30181770)

Cause some people don't want to leave there system on all the time. Like in order to reduce power consumption. So we don't have to dump a giant ice cube in the ocean every few years. I guess we could just increase the orbit of the Earth by exactly 1 week.

Robot Party Week!

Re:Nothing to see here... (-1, Troll)

Penguinoflight (517245) | more than 4 years ago | (#30182468)

The power required to go through boot-time checks and massive hard drive use is almost always greater than power used in standby over a typical computer-off period. Stop pretending to be an eco-terrorist and admit that you're just shutting your computer off because you're afraid of teh viruses.

Re:Nothing to see here... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30182112)

It's important on your 10" netbook

Re:Nothing to see here... (1)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | more than 4 years ago | (#30182486)

Clearly it's not important to you. Those of us with laptops and netbooks often prefer to shut them down. I tend to suspend a lot, but 5 seconds is actually as fast as it is for windows to restore from suspend...

Re:Nothing to see here... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30181916)

Well - the other thing that's rather cool is that it boots to usable system in less than 5 seconds (on the VM). For most OS's I play with, it's 30-90 seconds..

"Usable System" is quite a bit of a stretch in this case...

Platform shift? (5, Interesting)

mcrbids (148650) | more than 4 years ago | (#30182156)

I've been waiting for the next platform shift. It's been moving towards cloud computing for about a decade, now, but aside from killing the client-server application, the Internet really hasn't caused any major change in platform.

We all still boot an O/S and run applications on the O/S, some of which are Internet-access applications. But it's struck me for some time that the browser really *should* be the next generation O/S. With plugins and all, Firefox is showing lots of signs, but it's just not stepping up to the plate - I guess the vision isn't quite there - the guys at Firefox still see the browser as a browser.

A decade ago, the idea of moving any kind of application "into the cloud" was a laughable concept that most people wouldn't dare touch. Nowadays, it's so common that perhaps 50% of all software development is now oriented around "cloud computing". I wouldn't be surprised if the number was even higher.

So Google's taking this trend to its logical conclusion: why bother with "local" at all?

It's an interesting take, and one that's sure to really upset the Winopoly if it's got any success at all. The flaws of the Winopoly are obvious and horrible - security woes too many to number, spam spewing from the many leaks, disks that crash, and an Operating System so big, complex, and cumbersome to work on that not even one of the wealthiest companies in the world can do much about it.

After investing untold billions into the Windows codebase, the result was Windows Vista/Windows 7, which is a bit prettier but certainly won't be introducing meaningful change. It might even be more secure, as much as something larger and more complicated is ever more secure than simpler, ancestral systems.

But Chromium takes us a whole new direction. My guess is that it *belongs* in a VM/application style software stack, where you can either run it alone on a netbook or something, or run it as a Win/Lin/OSX application. VMWare makes this a reality, even if it's never set up as an "application".

My guess? It's going to succeed, but in about 5 years' time. Google really needs to unify Chromium and Android. They should be virtually identical platforms. Microsoft is going the other way with IE - trying to pound the web, kicking and screaming, back into Windows proprietary extensions.

They *still* haven't figured it out...

Re:Nothing to see here... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30182460)

Yeah but most other operating system work with more than 2 ethernet cards (they can even *detect* which card you have on boot), work in virtualbox, work offline, have a 'demo' or 'livecd user' account that you can use to try them out with.

My experience with Chrome OS:

- "Network not connected and offline login fail"
- read blog, set to intel card
- "Network not connected and offline login fail"
- set to a couple other vbox cards
- "Incorrect username or password"
- enter bogus creds from slashdot posts
- "Incorrect username or password"

So basically you can't even try out the OS without a google account? The cloud is supposedly so great yet incapable of a 'demo' or 'guest' account? Weak sauce, google.

No wireless. Less space than a nomad. Lame. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30182108)

It's comments like yours Obispus that makes Slashdot THE place to come to for Informative commentary on where the computing world is heading.

Back to going over the Chrome OS source...

Not real Alpha (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30181446)

I got really excited until I realised that this wasn't for the DEC Alpha processor. Shit.

Re:Not real Alpha (4, Insightful)

nametaken (610866) | more than 4 years ago | (#30182466)

I got really excited until I realised that I was about to punch my required Google credentials into a VM prepared by someone I don't know or trust. :(

Counterpoint (5, Insightful)

symbolset (646467) | more than 4 years ago | (#30181448)

There's a lot of handwaving [itworld.com] about how Chrome is not Windows, how it won't let you use photoshop on the netbook, as if you would. Here's a hint: if you're trying to run Photoshop on a 10" screen, you're doing it wrong.

Look for disastrous reports from Gartner, Forrester and of course the Rob Enderle / Maureen O'Gara flackalyst duet on how Chrome is the worst thing since smallpox. These are your clues that this is the real thing. They said the same things about the When Google says they released the source, people build it and publish virtual machines the same day.

Netbooks are stepping up in performance, as this four-threaded model [reghardware.co.uk] shows, and will soon be able to do many more things. Yes, VDI is starting to ramp. There is still a place for Chrome. It's the dead-simple desktop interface that many of the technology impaired need. It's a point on the graph twice the distance on the line from Debian to Ubuntu.

A bunch of people are going to whine it doesn't support disk. It's a next-generation operating system and solid state is the storage of the next generation. It has local storage - just not the slow kind you're used to. There is no more reason to support the legacy spinning disk on this platform than there is to support tape storage or floppy disk. Moving parts are so 2008.

Re:Counterpoint (5, Interesting)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 4 years ago | (#30181490)

Tho I'll agree about Enderle and O'Gara, there's not much to ChromeOS at all. Apps? Look to the web.

I already have browsers coming out my ears. I like doing some of my own processing on the fat multicores in my notebook.

Google still hasn't shown a real 1) educational 2) business case 3) entertainment or 4) porn case for ChromeOS. Any of those could drive it. Right now, it's just a lightweight ROM-able appliance and a Microsoft/MacOS/Linux killer looking for a spot marked X.

This is centrist computing at best, and a goofy attempt at targeting the bloat in all of the aforementioend operating systems. Snooze.

Re:Counterpoint (1)

spinkham (56603) | more than 4 years ago | (#30181534)

Web tablets. That's the real market for ChromeOS. Otherwise, I agree with you, snooze city.

Re:Counterpoint (1)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 4 years ago | (#30181550)

Google still hasn't shown a real 1) educational 2) business case 3) entertainment or 4) porn case for ChromeOS. Any of those could drive it. Right now, it's just a lightweight ROM-able appliance and a Microsoft/MacOS/Linux killer looking for a spot marked X.

They dont have to. What educational/business/entertainment/porn gives the search engine per se, already digested? is just a tool, and you are the one that applies it to whichever case.

Besides, regarding porn, rule 34 [xkcd.com] is still there, even for Chrome OS

Re:Counterpoint (5, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#30181664)

While their initial plans don't mention it much, I suspect that(if they can get a decent initial launch as a basic consumer netbook OS), ChromeOS could be absolutely killer across a fair swath of the small business market.

Here's why:

In medium business to enterprise IT, there are a bunch of really useful abilities that are taken for granted. They cost a fair amount of initial effort and money; but once you achieve them, you are get the benefits on all client machines. Those are, centralized storage of files and configurations and centralized application of updates and policies. If some cube-dweller's computer dies, IT can shove another one at him, he logs in, and all his files and settings are right there again. Easy, standard.

On the small business side, they are lucky if they have real backups to recover from, never mind being able to treat client machines are more or less interchangeable, consumable parts.

Imagine, though, tying ChromeOS' interesting single sign in setup to Google Apps for business(with an interface for managing the ChromeOS preferences tied to your employee logins added to the ones used for parceling out file access and email accounts)... You'd get idiot-proof access to the same client-independent features, and automatic backups, and single sign on stuff that the big guys have, on cheap, common hardware, without any need for much local IT expertise.

Obviously, this would not be trivial, nor would it necessarily be possible immediately. Google would likely have to either partner with or duplicate and exterminate a number of business software outfits to expand their offerings sufficiently for this to be attractive. Worst comes to worst, they could use Native Client to bring particularly stubborn blobs onto the web. Also, since anything you can get on ChromeOS you could also get in your browser on a full machine, there would be nothing preventing businesses from using a mixture of chrome and full computers.

Re:Counterpoint (4, Insightful)

chuckymonkey (1059244) | more than 4 years ago | (#30182054)

I think that Google is going to take some market be surprise soon. Think about it, they have wave. An open protocol that can be used across platform to manage and edit documents, projects, chat, email... /etc /etc. I have a feeling that they are timing a launch where they are going to launch ChromeOS, and Android app, and apps for other major platforms for Wave all at once. This would allow anyone using Wave to be working on projects anywhere they have internet essentially. Think about it, you could be working from your phone on a project with a person in Tokyo using a laptop and another in Spain using a desktop and it would work seamlessly. That is going to be killer for business.

Re:Counterpoint (4, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 4 years ago | (#30182170)

Imagine, though, tying ChromeOS' interesting single sign in setup to Google Apps for business(with an interface for managing the ChromeOS preferences tied to your employee logins added to the ones used for parceling out file access and email accounts)... You'd get idiot-proof access to the same client-independent features, and automatic backups, and single sign on stuff that the big guys have, on cheap, common hardware, without any need for much local IT expertise.

I just unplugged your water. Your wunder platform just nosedived. Even better, I just took a frontend loader through the fiber backbone in your area. Maybe tomorrow, probably the next day, until then, well, there's always picking your nose.

Do you think this hasn't been done before? For fuck's sake, either the current group of marketers and IT types have amnesia or literally grew up in a cave. There's a reason timesharing lost out to personal computers.

Re:Counterpoint (5, Interesting)

vux984 (928602) | more than 4 years ago | (#30182406)

In medium business to enterprise IT, there are a bunch of really useful abilities that are taken for granted.

In this spare we already have Citrix, Terminal Servers, Roaming Access Profiles, etc. They've got a blackberry enterprise server hooked into their exchange server, and everyone uses outlook to schedule their meetings. The finance people want excel. The marketing group wants powerpoint. The graphic artists want photoshop. The CEO wants an imac on his desk.

Where does gmail and some watered down office apps fit into this? Seriously.

On the small business side, they are lucky if they have real backups to recover from, never mind being able to treat client machines are more or less interchangeable, consumable parts.

On the small business side, everyone has an ipod, and they run simply accounting or quickbooks, or some industry specific accounting/point-of-sale/CRM suite.

. You'd get idiot-proof access to the same client-independent features, and automatic backups, and single sign on stuff that the big guys have, on cheap, common hardware, without any need for much local IT expertise.

Except its missing a key feature: the ability to run the apps they rely on.

If you were starting a new business, and set out to only use stuff that was in chromeos you might make it. But for any established business shoehorning everything you need into whats available from google is outright absurd.

Just today one of my clients needed to download a 2.2GB iso image from a vendor in australia and burn it to DVDs. This is a trivial task most of us would take for granted. Can't do it in ChromeOS. They burned 5 copies and then ran some simple software that came with their printer to print attractive labels for the DVDs they'd just burnt. Can't do that in ChromeOS either.

Another client used some software provided by Fedex Courier to print out a bunch of shipping labels.

Another runs a VB6 app someone wrote to query data from the enterprise SQL server.

Another runs a C# app to decode the lathe parameters for cutting a proprietary contact lens design.
Another client.

It goes on and on and on.

Also, since anything you can get on ChromeOS you could also get in your browser on a full machine, there would be nothing preventing businesses from using a mixture of chrome and full computers.

Politics. Nobody likes getting the 'dumb terminal' when somone else got a 'full pc'.

Re:Counterpoint (1)

cynyr (703126) | more than 4 years ago | (#30181708)

some sort of kiosk home automation interface. with all the apps and heavy lifting being done on the server. for what i want to do away from my desktop the only app missing is a IM client.

Web apps are where it's at (1)

symbolset (646467) | more than 4 years ago | (#30182196)

Did you know that all of the mainframe vendors (IBM and, uh, IBM) have built web front-ends to the mainframe so their platforms can remain relevant?

I already have browsers coming out my ears. I like doing some of my own processing on the fat multicores in my notebook.

That would be sweet. I'm having trouble seeing how this release is preventing you from doing that since you don't have to install it - in fact, installing this looks to be quite a chore. You should avoid it until it's more stable.

The hot new buzzword is "cloud", but the cloud is just virtual machines rendering services to clients, and the services are the same processing of storage to render output they always have been.

Google still hasn't shown a real 1) educational 2) business case 3) entertainment or 4) porn case for ChromeOS.

Ahem. It's been one day since they released the source code. They haven't launched the OS and don't intend to for a year. Don't you think you're being a tad bit impatient? If you want to test the alpha for those properties you're welcome to, but Google hasn't promised anything because it's very early.

Interesting note: Google has two operating systems released right now. How odd is that?

Re:Counterpoint (1)

gravos (912628) | more than 4 years ago | (#30181524)

I don't expect nerds to be excited about this one so of course we're going to see these "LOL CHROME IS LMAO" comments like below. But Chrome OS really is sufficient for what many people want to do with their computers. I don't think my mother could really tell the difference between a netbook with Chrome OS and one with Windows, except that the one with Chrome OS gets her to what she wants to do faster.

Re:Counterpoint (1)

reub2000 (705806) | more than 4 years ago | (#30182280)

It is? I've never seen a computer user use a computer for just internet. They always have this or that app that they run. And even if they don't using anything on their computer other than a browser, the thought of plunking down cash for something so limited wouldn't be very appealing. I see chrome os being limited to specialized situations where an internet-only would be needed.

Re:Counterpoint (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30181542)

Whoever modded this "interesting" must have misclicked while aiming for funny

Re:Counterpoint (2)

lhoguin (1422973) | more than 4 years ago | (#30181594)

A netbook with Chrome OS is the perfect solution for companies with employees that need to access their company's intra/extranet while working in the field. Most of the security is already done, all IT has to do is restrict them to a set of the company's URLs and they're good to go.

I don't see it as anything other than a novelty toy for other consumers, though. But then I don't see the point of netbooks, and people buy them, so I'm probably wrong.

Crud (1)

symbolset (646467) | more than 4 years ago | (#30182104)

Ever not get a link right? Sometimes it's a nuisance that you can't edit a posted slashdot post. <sigh> I wouldn't change it though.

handwaving [wired.com].

As long as I'm following up to fix the link, I might as well point out that this absurd article tries to tar Google's cloud services with Microsoft's T-Mobile Danger brush - as if the two were related in some way other than as polar opposites. That link works better if you're tying Microsoft's cloud services since they're the ones to fire the footgun in that case. They try and say that if you paid for Photoshop on your PC, you're licensed to use it on your netbook. They point out that this alpha OS that's a year from initial release hasn't signed a single cellular provider and doesn't yet support cellular wireless data - even though it was Google that made any-app-you-want any-device-you-want data-only wireless [google.com] possible. They even quote an analyst from some thinktank I've never heard of (Interpret?). The only way to describe this article is "hit piece". Later let's examine why this author would do this, and who he's trying to help. For now I want to talk about the extremely disruptive nature of this change, in the context of stuff many of you don't konw.

Long ago there was this guy [faqs.org] who wanted to make phone calls over radio. He was a bright guy and rigged up the radios to talk to the phone through an acoustic coupler, only to find that "The Phone Company" (at the time there was only one, AT&T) would not permit him to connect his device to a phone on their network. Like any stubborn geek he persisted in his insistence that his equipment could not harm their network. Unlike your common geek he sued all the way to the Supreme Court, gaining fame and support along the way. Ultimately his efforts resulted in the Carterfone decision, and all of the advanced telephony changes we enjoy today including dialup, wireless phones, cellular phones and the Internet, and propelled him to ignonimy. Somebody needs to find this man and reward him for what he's done for us. It is because of his persistence and efforts that the AT&T monopoly was broken and we enjoy the advancements we have today.

Kids today (lawn, get off) are going to have trouble grasping this idea, so let's walk it back and forget some things: Forget tweeting your various stages of pooping. Forget SMS'ing pics of the dead squirrel you found. Forget texting. Forget even calling Mom from the corner that you're going over to Tommy's house to play the latest online game, because none of that is possible. You're like the poor kids who have no cel, except nobody has one so it's NBD. Now forget wandering around the house with the wireless phone, because that wasn't possible either. Now you've got a phone or two in your house if you're not poor but you can only talk on them when you're withing a few feet because there's this coiled wire that connects you to the phone which is either mounted on the wall or attached to the wall with a wire so Mom can hear everything you say - but it gets worse! Mom can't even own this phone - she can't upgrade it to a new model from the store because it doesn't belong to her. She only leases it from the phone company. They don't even have to make new models of phone, because what is she going to do if they don't? The phone company can cut off even this limited access any time they like or charge her anything they like (and they liked a LOT) because they're not just the phone company - they're the phone company. They don't have to care -- that was actually their motto. "We don't have to care: We're the phone company." Oh, the horror! I wanted to rip the onion from my belt and throw it at them to express my disgust.

This any-device cellular is as much a transformative and distruptive change. I hope Google doesn't go on to do as much damage to our economy as that did, but there will be damage. That's the nature of change.

Re:Counterpoint (1)

KibibyteBrain (1455987) | more than 4 years ago | (#30182314)

You'd be amazed what sane people will try to do on their notebooks and netbooks. At the end of the day it's a 10" computer. For it to not do anything a 10" computer could in theory do is surely a negative any way you try to slice it. For example, I don't have Photoshop on my netbook, but I do have GIMP and Paint.NET. I have used them to do touchups that would have been hard if impossible to do in a web application, if only because I would have had to upload fairly large images. I have edited quick videos on a netbook. Not because I wanted to but because I had it there at the time. The whole point of a netbook is to have a computer when you normally wouldn't be able to have one with you. If you just want a simple portable data access device, try a smartphone. The iPhone or an Android phone can do everything ChromeOS on a 10" netbook can do, and more. So I'd really ask, if you just want a netbook to check email and search the web, it is in fact YOU who are doing it "wrong".

It's like the old AOL, except AOL looked better (1)

alen (225700) | more than 4 years ago | (#30181458)

i played with it for 30 minutes today. the entire thing is a web browser and they have some non Google stuff there to keep the DoJ away. believe it or not there is an icon for Hotmail there as well as Yahoo, Hulu, Facebook, Twitter and the rest is Google apps. Each "app" just opens a new browser tab.

Re:It's like the old AOL, except AOL looked better (1)

RealTime (3392) | more than 4 years ago | (#30181808)

believe it or not there is an icon for Hotmail there as well as Yahoo, Hulu, Facebook, Twitter and the rest is Google apps

Why does this surprise you? Android, another Google-authored operating system (but for smartphones as you likely already know), comes with bookmarks in the browser for all sorts of non-Google properties.

What's with this cynical belief that Google is so self-serving?

Your statements are similar to those who believe Google tries to lock users into its services without ever having visited The Data Liberation Front [dataliberation.org].

Are you jealous of Google's success or something petty like that?

Re:It's like the old AOL, except AOL looked better (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30181836)

A bunch of the chromosexuals at work kept going on and on and on and on about Chrome OS and how it was going to destroy Mac OS X and crush Windows.

I laughed at them.

Re:It's like the old AOL, except AOL looked better (2, Insightful)

sglewis100 (916818) | more than 4 years ago | (#30181968)

i played with it for 30 minutes today. the entire thing is a web browser and they have some non Google stuff there to keep the DoJ away.

Yup, good thing they did that. Would hate to see Chrome abuse it's monopoly. But that's not enough, they should open source Chromiu... oh wait. What's the OS' market share again?

Can't Get It To Work In VBox (1)

The MAZZTer (911996) | more than 4 years ago | (#30181536)

I don't suppose anyone else has run into this problem, the VirtualBox forum community doesn't seem to be any help with this:

After I log in, a gradient blue backdrop appears along with a mouse cursor. Then nothing. I can move the cursor around but other than that the system seems frozen.

I tried 5 different builds... one of which I compiled myself. 3 of them had this problem, the other two couldn't even find the network card and had no offline user so I couldn't get past the login screen.

Shameless Plug (4, Informative)

Jrabbit05 (943335) | more than 4 years ago | (#30181566)

Torrent and Info: http://pastie.org/706872 [pastie.org] http://dl.dropbox.com/u/457451/ide.vmdk.torrent [dropbox.com] Because making an account on some shady website that's exploiting the situation seems wrong.

Re:Shameless Plug (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30181632)

bugmenawt / menawt (probably won't last long; they block bugmenot). But you don't need them to get the files as you pointed out. To their credit, though, gdgt is hosting the whole 300 MB archive and not just the .torrent as I originally had thought.

Re:Shameless Plug (2, Informative)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | more than 4 years ago | (#30181696)

You can also "steal" my login information: username: ninny

password: password

It will work until some wanker changes the password. .

Re:Shameless Plug (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30182164)

lol I changed it.

Also, NIGGER.

Re:Shameless Plug (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30182356)

You can also "steal" my login information: username: ninny

password: password

It will work until some wanker changes the password. .

Correction: It will work until some ninny changes the password.

Not interested (1)

Snaller (147050) | more than 4 years ago | (#30181618)

Google wants everybody online all the time - I want an OS that works when I'm OFFLINE - I'm guessing this isn't.

Re:Not interested (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30181802)

There's no reason why ChromeOS wouldn't support apps running in offline-mode. They would just have to be written in HTML5/Javascript (or running on NativeClient) so they would be properly sandboxed.

Re:Not interested (1)

Draek (916851) | more than 4 years ago | (#30182226)

True, but for that there's, oh, every other OS on the face of this planet. I'd recommend Minix, just for kicks.

No thanks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30181628)

Google's go is interesting and a truely a head-fucking excercise in adapting to new syntax... Everything else they've done since search has been a waste of time.

Chrome/Chromium is like the perfect Gnome desktop browser and ChromeOS is like... just fucking kill me now! If they'd written it in vala, it'd be worth a dive into the code. ChromeOS isn't even worth that -- what a complete and total waste of time.

Re:No thanks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30182032)

vala? The language that's even more pointless than go? great idea!

Re:No thanks (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30182100)

>>Everything else they've done since search has been a waste of time.
Gmail? - waste of time. checked.
Picasa - waste of time. checked.
google docs/calendar - waste of time. checked.
Android - waste of time. checked.
Me finding old historical books for free on Google books - waste of time. Checked.

You are right!! Everything, I mean, every fucking thing they did was waste of time.

Now go back and start sucking steve job's dick. he is missing you.

Can it be installed on actual hardware? (1)

SleepyHappyDoc (813919) | more than 4 years ago | (#30181702)

I saw an Eee PC running one of the demos in their presentation...is there a build available for that?

Quiet on the post front... (3, Insightful)

HoldmyCauls (239328) | more than 4 years ago | (#30181750)

Am I the only one with a CPU lacking virtualization? :(

Re:Quiet on the post front... (0)

1s44c (552956) | more than 4 years ago | (#30181846)

Am I the only one with a CPU lacking virtualization? :(

Yes, Support the economy by upgrading.

ChromeOS is a Good Thing! (5, Interesting)

a.ameri (665846) | more than 4 years ago | (#30181772)

ChromeOS is a very good move for everyone involved. Remember, this OS and the devices it will run on are not targeting average slashdotters. I can personally vouch that I come across daily contact with people, business people not just teenagers, who don't use anything other than their browser. The worst aspect of a computer for them, is upgrading, updating all applications, viruses, malware, and general maintenance of the system. They nearly all fail in these, and after a year, they think their laptop is not usable anymore and go and buy a new one. They would LOVE this OS, and are they primary targets of it. Also, synchronisation between multiple computers is a bitch, that even they most fail at. And they hate leaving their documents here and there. Files and directories don't work for them, it's a broken metaphor for most people, and as much as love to organise my files in hierarchical directories, they simply don't care. They just want access to their information, when they need, as conveniently as possible.

I hate Web apps as much as the next guy on this forum, and even use my trusty IMAP client for fetching my emails from Gmail. But I can't deny that web apps are the future, specially when HTML 5 comes off age and becomes widespread. If you look back at what the Web looked like 5 years ago and compare it to now, you'll see that it will be irresistible in 5 years time. Have a look at http://www.chromeexperiments.com/ [chromeexperiments.com] to get a taste of what we are looking at.

On a more general note, anyone who is comparing this to old failed projects based on thin clients, X terminals or net pcs, is missing the point. Yes, the technology behind this might be similar to those, but times are changing. On the one hand, people are getting used to ever-present always-available services. On the other hand, 3G is now widespread, affordable, and provides great utility for many. Laptops and phones are converging. 2007 was the year of netbooks, 2010 might be the year of smartbooks (running ARM processors). Smartphones are morphing into Internet tablets (e.g,, N900). These are very different, and interesting times.

Yes, this is cloud computing, and yes, it raises huge privacy issues. It is up to us the tech savvy crown to raise these issues and address them.

Slashdotters can always run their trusty Debian or Fedora or FreeBSD or on their computer. And they remain great choices. But Google is pushing applications to go online and cross browser. They are pushing for open source drivers. They are pushing for open standards and cooperation with upstream and downstream projects. This is a Good Thing (TM) for all of us, even if we are not the target consumers of this OS.

Re:ChromeOS is a Good Thing! (1)

dewatf (209360) | more than 4 years ago | (#30182090)

The main reason Google is developing Chrome OS is so that there will be a simple platform for running web apps for their staff, and as a bonus any corporate clients using their apps. Google are spending a lot of money on developing their own version of Ubuntu to provide a desktop for their staff, and simpler more secure platform has advantage for them.

Google's business is advertising and tax avoidance by billing all their business to Ireland, not operating systems. They developed Chrome for similar reasons. Chrome has 3.6% of the browser market as of November, down from 3.8%, and it's not like it matters to them.

Chrome OS, like most OSes, isn't going to change the world. It will have its uses though.

Fast download (4, Funny)

R.Mo_Robert (737913) | more than 4 years ago | (#30181862)

The Chrome OS image is only a bit over 300 megs, so it's a fast download.

I'm on dial-up, you insensitive clod!

The real deal about Chrome OS (4, Insightful)

Storchei (723338) | more than 4 years ago | (#30181912)

Call me paranoiac! Call me antique! Tell me whatever you want, but THEY MUST BE OUT OF THEIR MINDS if they think I would leave ALL my stuff on THEIR SERVERS.
It might be faster than blinking, but I simply DO-NOT-LIKE the paradigm they're trying to spread.

It reminds me the "old" ATM machines, when a mainframe did all the processing. I guess I don't have to recall it was a bank who owned the mainframe and that you must pay them periodically.

I think the idea of avoiding the startup delay is really cool, but has a SMALL detail.. data is stored on GOOGLE servers, which means if Google powers down their servers you cannot access your data.
Tomorrow Google could say, "ok, since now you must pay to use our services.." And that's when you regret your decisions. I haven't mentioned the fact they can do whatever they want with the data in their servers (yeah.. yeah.. the data confidentiality agreement - i don't think so).

Nevertheless, I think it might be suitable for some people in some cases. Computers would require less hardware, which is a pro.

In summary, I like the idea of speed up the OS, but I think some stuff is private property and must remain as such (at least for my stuff).

i just got off the toilet (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30182002)

i shit out an obama.

plop!

Define killer app (5, Insightful)

Art3x (973401) | more than 4 years ago | (#30182062)

I don't know about you, but long battery life to me would be a killer app. I think that the standard six hours or less shows a peculiar lack of any progress. Sure, I can go to a coffee shop with my laptop. But I can't relax at a coffee shop with my laptop. How long will a smart-phone CPU with a notebook-sized battery last, I wonder?

I also consider a boot time of less than 10 seconds a killer app. The standard 45 seconds or more that even Windows XP (old) on my Core 2 Duo (new) gives me is baffling after 25 years of the PC. (Really, its more like two minutes before it is really ready to give me attention.) If my computer shuts down in two seconds and boots in three, l wouldn't plan my morning around it: "Time to make coffee --- no, wait, start the computer before you make coffee, then it will be ready at the same time."

Security is also a killer app. Encrypted home directory + read-only root + twin root partitions + a lot of other things = a lot more peace of mind. What if my laptop is stolen? Well, at least they're not going to find anything on it. My house guest is asking me if he can borrow my laptop. If it's a Windows laptop, I (but admittedly not the average user) will do a quick mental check --- do I have anything private on it that he might see? Is he going to accidentally download a virus on it? Etc. Sure, I can do things so that it will be less of a problem, but it's a lot easier if the computer already is set up as much as Chrome OS is for sharing.

Now that I look at them, what do these things all have in common? A less-stressed user experience. I don't have to think as much as I used to about taking care of my computer. Sure, it won't run Final Cut Pro. But I say, you should have made these the priorities --- at least with some --- any of your models. Get battery life, boot speed, and security to where you would have expected to be in the 21st century. Then branch out to fancy applications. Which is exactly what will probably happen. Browsers are only getting abler.

but the performance hit... (1)

Gible (526142) | more than 4 years ago | (#30182078)

So you could just run this and save Google the hassle of creating linux or mac versions of Chrome :)

compile it yourself (1)

kregg (1619907) | more than 4 years ago | (#30182192)

If you compile it yourself you can run the "live disk" and it isn't too hard to do if you have Ubuntu Karmic. I am running Chromium OS on my laptop right now, it is nice a snappy with a pretty fast boot time - around 9-10 seconds.

Holy shit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30182252)

It's a Linux with a GUI but without X-Windows!

WoW (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30182306)

Wake me up when ChromeOS can run World of Warcraft

Oooh, shiny! (2, Insightful)

Shimmer (3036) | more than 4 years ago | (#30182432)

C'mon people. I'm sure this is a very nice project and perhaps it might eventually be popular with Grandma Homeuser, but is everyone so dumbstruck by the Google name that they can't state what must be said?

First of all, it's not an OS, so please don't call it an OS. That term has an actual prior meaning that should not be hijacked in an attempt to sound geeky-cool. Perhaps "operating environment" is the right term? In any case, it's just a web app in the end.

Secondly, as a developer, I will never ever ever use this kind of app as my main interface. I need to be able to write/compile/debug software that executes on my actual hardware, not just on some virtual machine in the sky. If you take that away from me, you are taking away one of my most important freedoms. Not to mention that you're also thrusting me back into the 1960's. I own a computer, not just a "terminal".

Third, all your data lives in the cloud. This isn't a showstopper for me personally, but I know it's a big problem for many people. Speak up!

Folks, once the coolness factor wears off, are you really going to want this? I think not.

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