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Linux In JavaScript, With Persistent Storage

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the and-all-I-want-is-a-working-wireless-card dept.

Linux 171

An anonymous reader writes "Remember Fabrice bellard's [Linux-booting PC emulator in JavaScript] ? This modified version [Note: click on "emulator.html" in that directory to see it in action] allows the same emulator to boot the most recent linux kernel, 3.0.4, as well as providing the user with persistent storage. It is achieved by building a virtual block device, which stores data in HTML5 local storage. The block device can be partitioned and formatted as ext2, so it can be easily used."

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171 comments

uhhh (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37647630)

why?

Re:uhhh (5, Insightful)

Spad (470073) | more than 2 years ago | (#37647662)

Because you can? Because nobody else has done it? Because it's cool? Because it's a challenge?

It depresses me that everyone always responds to these articles with "Why?" and "What's the point?" and "What a waste of time". The whole of human achievement is pretty much the story of people doing things just to see if they can, or because it's interesting to them, or because it's never been done before.

Re:uhhh (-1, Flamebait)

wsxyz (543068) | more than 2 years ago | (#37647688)

I and think it's undeniable that, looking back on this achievement, 100 years from now, future men will consider it one of the non-negotiable cornerstones of their civilization.

Re:uhhh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37647716)

I wouldn't exactly say that javascript is cool.. Now doing it in Hypercard, on a Mac IIx, that would be cool.. and a much bigger challenge.

Re:uhhh (2)

houghi (78078) | more than 2 years ago | (#37647942)

You know the reason as to why they respond to these questions with "Why"? Because they can.
There is no reason to get depressed if people have not the same insight or opinion as you have. It will make your life a whole lot easier (and less depressing).
I am sure that some things these people do you will find a waste of time. Should they get depressed of that because you ask them "Why?" or "What's the point?".

The question of why is just as relevant as why not. The only thing it shows by your response is that you have different priorities. And that is a good thing. Remember: We are all individuals. ( ... I'm not.)

Re:uhhh (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37647986)

It depresses me that some people think whacking away at a keyboard at some random futility is in any way comparable to an achievement along the lines of climbing Everest or inventing the transistor. If I decide to smear myself in feces and shove chopsticks up my ass and run screaming in the street, *just to see if I can*, that's worthy of attention?

Re:uhhh (2)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 2 years ago | (#37648236)

That is worthy of attention. More so than climbing Mt Everest but less than inventing the transistor.

Re:uhhh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37648410)

OK, well then, keep an eye on Google News Montreal. Now where do I keep my chopsticks?

Re:uhhh (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 2 years ago | (#37648170)

The whole of human achievement is pretty much the story of people doing things just to see if they can, or because it's interesting to them, or because it's never been done before.

Most of the achievements that actually push the world forward have been either to impress girls, make money or scientific curiosity. Hobbies don't tend to have the ambition to do any of those things, only to have personal value to you. It'd be a snowball's chance in hell if me watching TV or playing video games lead to anything like an achievement (or well, lately games have been giving me 100s of achievements for random crap). Sports or exercise might get me in better shape, but I'm not about to set any records at anything. I like to develop as a hobby, I think it's cool to be able to control a computer into doing things for me, like some people like to teach their dogs tricks only with less fur and far more obedient.

The only time I go "Why?" is when I feel you're making it extremely difficult for yourself for no particular reason I can think of, like can you scrub this floor with a toothbrush. Of course you can, but like... why? I fully understand when people want to do it themselves, like make their own pasta from wheat even though it's available in the store but not just arbitrarily limit myself to poor tools. Even within a hobby it's fun to do the best you can. Somehow using a javascript engine to run Linux sounds a bit like using the worst possible tool for the job. Yes, it's half "Wow, you can do that?" but the other half is "With a toothbrush? Seriously?"

Re:uhhh (1)

DMiax (915735) | more than 2 years ago | (#37647828)

why?

To show that we have gone way too far allowing remote scripting facilities in the browser, to the point that websites can run a complete OS of their choice on our machine just because one clicked a link. Or maybe I am misunderstanding the intention? This is NOT considered a good thing, right?

Re:uhhh (3, Insightful)

Allicorn (175921) | more than 2 years ago | (#37647998)

Honestly, this should make you chuckle and smile and say "Wow!"

"Why" might be in there somewhere but if it's your first port of call, you're a lost cause - hand in your geek card.

Re:uhhh (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 2 years ago | (#37648118)

why not?

it'as easy to challenge something someone does, isn't it? now that you have discovered this, what have you done lately? it's hard to do something interesting yourself, huh?

there's people who dress up like characters from dead tv shows, people who try to grow giant pumpkins, people who bend giant steel beams and call it art, and people who spend years of their lives leveling MMORPG characters. why? why not?

and, i suppose, there are people who try very hard to comment on slashdot forums in the negative, regardless of intellectual or probative value

hmmm, maybe you understand the esotericity of human endeavour after all

Great! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37647652)

So when the web browser becomes the OS we will still be able to issue cryptic command-line incantations to do things that everyone else has to point-and-click to do!

Re:Great! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37647682)

Mod +1 funny.

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37647654)

That's neat and it's clear that this guy has MAD skills. But, why the HELL would anybody spend so much time doing something so very technical and difficult with no value whatsoever? It isn't art, it isn't a literary piece it isn't useful. It is just a monumental waste of very valuable time.

WTF?

Re:Whiskey Tango Foxtrot! (4, Informative)

Slashdot Assistant (2336034) | more than 2 years ago | (#37647706)

From the author's site:

I happen to be interested by the implementation of Javascript engines these days - but I don't know yet if I will write my own any time soon ! Anyway, this emulator was a way to learn how to write optimized code for recent Javascript engines, in particular Jaeger Monkey (for Firefox 4) and V8 (for Chrome).

Re:Whiskey Tango Foxtrot! (4, Insightful)

niftydude (1745144) | more than 2 years ago | (#37647732)

Three awesome reasons:

1) Because you can,
2) Because no-one else ever has,
3) Because there are useful lessons that can be learned by performing an exercise like this.

and I'll go ahead and speculate on the fourth and possibly best reason:
4) Because the developer enjoyed solving the problems involved in doing it


The time he spent doing this is probably equivalent to the time you spent watching all 5 seasons of the Battlestar Galactica. I'll leave it to you to decide which was the more monumental waste of time.

Re:Whiskey Tango Foxtrot! (1, Interesting)

somersault (912633) | more than 2 years ago | (#37647758)

I think it's very cool. Technical, yes. Difficult? Probably not that difficult seeing as Linux is designed to be amazingly portable. It doesn't even need the C standard IO library to compile, so really you'd just need to emulate a few low level interfaces for things like memory access, keyboard input and a terminal display. There are a few different ways to implement it, but if he has it running quickly then that would be quite impressive :)

Re:Whiskey Tango Foxtrot! (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 2 years ago | (#37647996)

Having read TFA (well, the README), it's as the summary says and the only really new thing here is the HTML5 storage driver. So my last comment would have been better made on the previous article about JS/Linux. This storage driver is very useful if you want to mess around in JS/Linux, so it was a brilliant idea. It would be pretty funny to see X on this, maybe even with WebGL 3D acceleration.. I certainly wouldn't want to wait around for it to compile natively though!

Re:Whiskey Tango Foxtrot! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37648454)

This isn't Linux ported to the browser (e.g. C to LLVM to JavaScript, which has been done in other instances). This is a reasonably "normal" build of x86 Linux running on an x86 emulator written in JavaScript, with a few special-cased virtual devices and drivers.

I hope this JavaScript fad blows over soon. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37647694)

I really hope that this JavaScript fad blows over soon. While it was just mildly annoying back in 2008 when it started picking up steam, now it's just getting stupid.

Look, JavaScript was a mistake. It was poorly designed from the beginning, and it took 15 years before implementations of it weren't complete shit. Hell, it's basically a mistake of history and circumstance that it's so widely available.

As a language, there's nothing special about it. It's not "Scheme-with-a-C-like-syntax" like some foolish people claim. It's doesn't even do prototyped-based OO sensibly (refer to Self to see it done correctly). It's just a half-assed scripting language.

And don't go blaming the DOM for JavaScript's bad reputation. It's a poor language in any context. Lua is a better scripting language, and Python is a better prototyping language, and Java, C++ and C# are better languages for building large networked applications.

Get over it, guys. There's nothing special about JavaScript. It's merely a limited version of essentially every other programming language ever implemented. Just because you can use it to do stuff that other languages can easily do it does not mean that JavaScript is "unique" in any way.

The Ruby fad has already ended. I hope the JavaScript one ends just as swiftly.

Re:I hope this JavaScript fad blows over soon. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37647768)

LOL, so those strings of characters you mention which produce an array of bytes which are interpreted mechanically by the processor are soooo much better than the string of characters in javascript which produce an array of bytes which are interpreted mechanically by the processor. Yup, you're right.

Re:I hope this JavaScript fad blows over soon. (1)

santosh.k83 (2442182) | more than 2 years ago | (#37648644)

You can only afford to nest virtual machines up to a point, after which the drag on performance becomes unaffordable, even on the fastest machines. A JavaScript x86 emulator is really cool, and it might be interesting to those who want to run (or serve) system code over the net, or push the limits of JS and it's implementation, but that's about the extent of it's potential as far as I can see.

Re:I hope this JavaScript fad blows over soon. (3, Insightful)

Svippy (876087) | more than 2 years ago | (#37647770)

Do you want us to use Flash instead? O! Enlighten us, wise one, about the numerous other languages that are available for web browsers!

Re:I hope this JavaScript fad blows over soon. (2)

bmuon (1814306) | more than 2 years ago | (#37647800)

News flash: it won't and it will only get better.

Re:I hope this JavaScript fad blows over soon. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37647868)

Well, obviously - that's the only way it can go.

Re:I hope this JavaScript fad blows over soon. (2)

somersault (912633) | more than 2 years ago | (#37647810)

The special thing about it, is that it's available on almost any modern computing device, down to phones. It's become the Windows of programming languages in a way - not the best option, but it's just so damn common that you should at least learn to use it. I don't know why we don't have any alternative scripting languages for browsers yet. CoffeeScript looks nice, but it just compiles down to JavaScript anyway.. so not the most efficient way to do things if you need to ship your framework as libraries on your website rather than it being built into the browser.

I did suspect that Ruby was a bit of a fad, but it is a nice language all the same.

Re:I hope this JavaScript fad blows over soon. (4, Insightful)

Junta (36770) | more than 2 years ago | (#37647816)

Hell, it's basically a mistake of history and circumstance that it's so widely available.

Herein lies the reason why javascript is not 'just a fad'. No matter your opinion of the DOM and javascript syntax, it is *capable* of being used to get the job done and it is everywhere. Other than making tasks absolutely impossible, it's hard to offset in difficulty the benefit of being everywhere. No other language will be everywhere so long as javascript is 'good enough'. Any browser attempting to bring their own favored child in will not meet with adoption because Javascript will work too and on other browsers. Short of getting Microsoft, Google, Apple, and Firefox to adopt the language with *zero* footprint to start with, nothing will change.

Re:I hope this JavaScript fad blows over soon. (1)

dingen (958134) | more than 2 years ago | (#37647896)

Lua is a better scripting language, and Python is a better prototyping language

So you're saying we should build a Lua/Python interpreter in Javascript so we can use these superior languages in our browsers?

Re:I hope this JavaScript fad blows over soon. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37648240)

No, encourage browsers to use the script tag for languages other than JS. That was the original intent.

Re:I hope this JavaScript fad blows over soon. (0)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#37647924)

and Java, C++ and C# are better languages for building large networked applications.

As for Java: A browser maker wants to blacklist the Java plug-in [slashdot.org] because of how it interacts with SSL.

As for C++ and C#: You have to be an administrator to install a C++ or C# program on a PC, and a lot of people don't know the administrative password of the machine they use. This could be because A. they aren't the head of the household or B. they aren't in the IT department. It's even worse on a set-top box:, you have to be a major corporation to get a C++ or C# program digitally signed for installation.

Re:I hope this JavaScript fad blows over soon. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37648132)

Umm, you don't have to be an administrator to install a C++ or C# program on a PC. I compile and install C, C++ and Java software to my unprivileged user's home directory all the time on Linux, Solaris and Mac OS X systems. I run Windows programs written in C++ and C# from my unprivileged account's desktop just slightly less often. I've never run into problems.

Heck, my mother (she's 76) has her own PC running Windows 7, and even she knows how to download and install software on her own, while using a non-administrator account.

Why do you JavaScript morons and Web 2.0 weenies always make the false claim that "you have to be an administrator to install a program on a PC"? Do you realize how badly it undermines your credibility when you so publicly show that you don't even know how to install software?

Software Restriction Policies (0)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#37648836)

Umm, you don't have to be an administrator to install a C++ or C# program on a PC. I compile and install C, C++ and Java software to my unprivileged user's home directory all the time on Linux, Solaris and Mac OS X systems.

It appears you've never used a thoroughly locked down machine with /home mounted noexec.

I run Windows programs written in C++ and C# from my unprivileged account's desktop just slightly less often. I've never run into problems.

It appears you've never used a thoroughly locked down machine with Software Restriction Policies [microsoft.com].

Why do you JavaScript morons and Web 2.0 weenies always make the false claim that "you have to be an administrator to install a program on a PC"?

For one thing, PCs have the measures I described above. For another, please address video game consoles and other set-top boxes, which won't run anything unsigned or self-signed.

Re:I hope this JavaScript fad blows over soon. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37648056)

... Lua is a better scripting language...

Hahahaha. Oh wait, you were serious? Let me laugh even harder.

And you think there are things special with Lua? Yeah, maybe special about being awful.
Nobody thinks there is anything special with JavaScript, it was the one that won the browser scripting wars.
Where was Lua then? It wasn't even in the running.

Your awful opinion of JavaScript won't do anything to it.
It is a very, very capable language. The only terrible thing about working with JavaScript is working with the terrible DOM that it is built around. The HTML DOM is what is wrong with JavaScript.

It will still be here as long as browsers still exist, and will outlive everyone here probably, unless Native Execution Inside Browser Sandbox takes off. (NEIBS, the new buzzword coming to you in a near future!)

Re:I hope this JavaScript fad blows over soon. (1)

santosh.k83 (2442182) | more than 2 years ago | (#37648660)

"(NEIBS, the new buzzword coming to you in a near future!)" Awful... I much prefer NaCl...

Re:I hope this JavaScript fad blows over soon. (2)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 2 years ago | (#37648252)

It's been present on pretty much all browsers of any note since the late 1990s. Love it or hate it, Javascript stopped being a fad a decade ago, and has so much momentum now that unless you want to give up web development, you'd better just man up about it.

Educational sandbox? (4, Interesting)

Irick (1842362) | more than 2 years ago | (#37647718)

This could be a great thing to embed into online how-tos and the like for teaching basic or even advanced linux. ... heh, embedded linux on the rise again :P

Sandbox is all you have (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#37647904)

Some post-PC pessimists are under the impression that this educational sandbox will soon end up being all you have because the operating system publisher or hardware maker won't give you the cryptographic keys to boot anything else unless you represent a major corporation.

Re:Sandbox is all you have (1)

sourcerror (1718066) | more than 2 years ago | (#37648330)

"unless you represent a major corporation"
So we'll have RedHat, Ubuntu, and Oracle Enterprise Linux and Suse. And I guess the Ubuntu folks get a key for debian as well.
Of course it would negatively affact minor distributions, and I'm totally against it, but don't pretend that Linux would just suddenly disappear.

Re:Sandbox is all you have (1)

bartonlp (1241662) | more than 2 years ago | (#37648444)

The "secure boot" if mandatory will make it almost impossible to recompile source to optimize your system. Also, good by Gentoo. I think mandatory "secure boot" is a big mistake and Microsoft should be ashamed of itself, but monopolies seldom are ashamed.

Re:Sandbox is all you have (1)

santosh.k83 (2442182) | more than 2 years ago | (#37648724)

Either the PC manufacturer has to provide an easy and standardized mechanism for the user to add his own signing keys, OR, provide an easy and standardized mechanism to disable 'secure' booting. If not, the PC will be no more than a glorified MS version of iPad, and I'll be boycotting any such manufacturer. So will a LOT of people I'm sure, and public and legal pressure will certainly be brought to bear on them.

Re:Sandbox is all you have (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#37648796)

If not, the PC will be no more than a glorified MS version of iPad, and I'll be boycotting any such manufacturer.

Until all well-known laptop manufacturers choose to start making "a glorified MS version of iPad". When faced with a choice between a $350 mainstream laptop with only the Windows key and a System76 laptop for twice the price, what will the general public choose?

Re:Sandbox is all you have (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37648662)

Only the bootloader needsto be signed for secure boot, so as long as grub is signed, you can boot whatever yoou want. Worst case, upstream grub is signed and a downstream distro has less oppurtunity to ship a beta or forked version of grub.

Hell, Windows has boot.ini on Win2k3 and below and whatever Vista and above you... you can boot linux from the NTloader just fine if you have a system tah only has MS signing keys and no way to disable secure boot.

The license of GRUB, for one thing (2)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#37648784)

Only the bootloader needsto be signed for secure boot, so as long as grub is signed, you can boot whatever yoou want.

The license of GRUB requires that it be distributed with "Installation Information", which includes private keys for signing. Operating systems would need to be shipped with a non-GPL bootloader, and makers of home PCs would have no incentive to include keys for this bootloader because boot-time malware could work by installing it and setting it as default.

you can boot linux from the NTloader just fine if you have a system tah only has MS signing keys and no way to disable secure boot.

The NT loader of Windows 8 will check the signature on any kernel it loads, and (I'm guessing) so will the NT loader of Windows 7 and Windows Vista after a service pack to allow their use on machines that require UEFI secure boot.

New Java VM/Script? (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 2 years ago | (#37647764)

Oracle is making announcements about Java 7 and 8 this week. Supposedly the new stuff is better integration between Java and HTML5, and between Javascript and the JVM.

Will that revised tech be good support for an interactive user shell with a Javascript commandline calling Java objects, reporting back HTML5 in a DOM? Interactive HTML5 GUI objects that can take GUI events back into Javascript logic or just Javascript glue to Java objects in the JVM?

Will Android's Dalvik JVM follow that route, or take its own route to that architecture?

Re:New Java VM/Script? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37647858)

dunno, you can already glue the webkit-view on android to dalvik code. if you want.

most often there's no point.

Re:New Java VM/Script? (2)

g4b (956118) | more than 2 years ago | (#37647900)

I dont think Java will play a big role anytime soon in most of the web. Especially this demo shows, that js itself has become so powerful, that powerful conversion a compilation apis will evolve, completely removing java from interest in the web. and I fear the people who might consider your path of using integration to a VM in the background will use adobe products more for these tasks, where interaction is already given - even if the flash vm sucks.

Your point is however interesting, because it shows what you think of, something which crosses barriers of mobile (no adobe!) and desktop browsers - there the only problem is, the number of applications for this model being used both in browsers and mobile devices are too few; the development cost of apps building either on complete web based logic or application based logic for mophos are smaller; and at last: while java is a common thing between android and the desktop, there is already the separation between oracle and dalvik and the separation between ios, symbian, winmob, and others, not all supporting java or flash as common backbone, again throwing up the question if targeted dedicated apps using common apis are not cheaper.

So my answer is: does not matter what oracle does there. It's a market which already falls from its zenith.

Java plays a role in conversion languages however at google. I still prefer pyjamas.

Re:New Java VM/Script? (1)

g4b (956118) | more than 2 years ago | (#37647954)

ah yeah, and there is the werewolf in the vampire: .net with silverlight and browsers would compete here too on windows devices.

but vampires get fewer after generations of desperate although somehow successful geeky witchhunts.

Re:New Java VM/Script? (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 2 years ago | (#37648380)

I don't see a GUI shell on a JVM being a Web technology. Except that the GUI and JVM could be remote from each other, transparently. Mainly I'm interested in a GUI shell to an OS and a complete machine, distributed or not. That's not really the "Web", though it could be the "Internet".

I'm especially interested in a mobile platform that works this way, so Android - which is an OS dedicated to running a JVM.

I'd like to use a fully dynamic GUI markup format like HTML5 for presentation, Java classes for computation and data management, and all the existing platforms, libraries, code in repos and tools supporting them for application development. I think an environment that's Javascript for interactive programming, Java for compiled heavy lifting, HTML5 for presentation would be very flexible yet highly specific in application. It would be the modern revision to ksh/C/printf, inherently networked, on JVM instead of C/Unix VM.

I suppose the missing piece would be Sqlite, if it were better integrated to server-side full SQL (explicit JOINs, Java/script stored procedures, etc), corresponding to ksh/C/printf's dbm. Just as Javascript is the dynamic/interactive control language for interfacing HTML5 to Java, Sqlite could be the lightweight data metamodel gluing full SQL to HTML5 local storage.

With that platform (HTML5/Javascript/JVM/Java/Sqlite), there'd be as little difference between "the Web", a local app, and "the Internet" as there is in C/Unix between domain sockets and remote sockets, or as there is on (properly used) X between distributed client/server and both on localhost. So "the Web" would go away as a distinction. Which, especially for mobile use, is essential given the continuing unreliability and diversity of networks and other hardware in use during a single session or across multiple ones by the same user for a continuing purpose.

So it does matter what Oracle does. Because it matters how Oracle's new JVM implements Javascript support, since it's the most common JVM in use. And because Oracle's JVM sets the context for what Google does with Dalvik for all the Android devices rapidly eclipsing (pun not intended, but realized and approved :). the rest of the JVM instances. Especially in the context of Oracle's existential lawsuits against Google's Android. The support in each (and, preferably, the same in both) of those defining JVMs will determine whether "Web 3.0" has a platform like the one I described.

But, probably at least as important to me, is whether I get that platform. I've been waiting for it instead of a VT100 XTerm for over 10 years, ever since a "Netscape GUI CLI" plugin appeared briefly and then disappeared.

Re:New Java VM/Script? (1)

g4b (956118) | more than 2 years ago | (#37648574)

Now I understand. There is however in this scenario also the possibility that Google will Go another way.

9.80 BogoMIPS (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37647774)

Pentium MMX. Is that what everyone gets as well?

Re:9.80 BogoMIPS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37648080)

Yup, Pentium MMX and 9.80 BogoMIPS here too

Sequence of last story and this one... (2)

Junta (36770) | more than 2 years ago | (#37647778)

"Windows 8 is going to use less memory"
"Oh yeah? Well Linux can run in javascript, ha!"

Its all nice and stuff (-1, Troll)

dev658 (2480058) | more than 2 years ago | (#37647788)

Except that the author [evenweb.com] of original emulator is an asshole.
This is because he didn't release the source of it (its obscured javascript) and he nether licensed it under a free licence.

And author of this mod, who say that he obtained a permission to _host_ these obscured files just supports that bad guy.
Both should be ashamed of this. They didn't do a rocket science, nobody would want to buy this stuff.

Re:Its all nice and stuff (2)

wzzzzrd (886091) | more than 2 years ago | (#37647854)

don't click, it's goatse.

Re:Its all nice and stuff (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37648462)

Some of us like goatse, you insensitive clod!

New malware vector? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37647798)

Rather than using javascript to load infected files that use *.pdf and other infectible formats, they can now run a botnet just using an infected ad straight inside your web browser.

Re:New malware vector? (2)

GuldKalle (1065310) | more than 2 years ago | (#37648064)

But where is the advantage? I would assume that the linux VM would face the same restrictions as any other javascript in a browser.

Re:New malware vector? (1)

ksandom (718283) | more than 2 years ago | (#37648466)

As soon as someone figures out a more useful way to access the internet than simply tunneling through http/s, this will effectively provide rooted-box-in-a-box. Ie stuff-all effort to get a huge number of hosts at your disposal. Persistent storage provides an easy way to resume where you left off.

Next step forward in "An OS in a browser in an OS" (1)

knuthin (2255242) | more than 2 years ago | (#37647804)

Look at everyone going meta.
Now I want to run X on this virtual machine and fire up a browser. (Maybe just install Lynx on it if I can't install X on it.)
That'd be a browser in an OS in a browser in an OS. :D

Re:Next step forward in "An OS in a browser in an (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37648036)

Yes. And the nice thing about this is that you can make things as slow as you need to. For a while, there was a threat that hardware would outpace the demands of software, but now that we're building everything in bloated virtual languages running in virtual machines running on virtual hardware, we can NEST that shit and continue to drive the demand for ever faster hardware.

Because otherwise, you know, my 2002 desktop runs KDE 4.7, Win7, the latest firefox and thunderbird, and everything else I throw at it with no problems. There's serious danger in that I haven't needed to upgrade it for a decade. We can't have that now, can we?

Recursion (1)

garyebickford (222422) | more than 2 years ago | (#37648128)

That'd be a browser in an OS in a browser in an OS. :D

... and that could be extended to an arbitrary depth!

Re:Recursion (1)

ksandom (718283) | more than 2 years ago | (#37648544)

That would be an interesting competition.

reporter: With me now is Tom who has just booted a computer inside a computer, insiiiiide a computer sixTEEN times!
tom: Yes, it took about a year to boot the last layer of nesting and takes nearly 2 hours to run ell ess, but it was totally worth it. I'm really excited.
reporter: And what do you want to do with it now?
tom: In a couple of years, I hope to be up to 17 layers, and it's my life ambition to get up to 32.

Seriously though, if I was to do such a thing, I'd put it in a VM to begin with. So at least then I could pause and resume the VM on different hardware so that I could continually upgrade the hardware as newer stuff became available. Now what would be really cool, is to implement hibernate (or suspend to ram and dump the ram) so that the browser could be changed out without rebooting the JSVM. Now that persistent storage is sorted, perhaps that isn't too hard?

The next thing I'd do is try to automate as much as possible. Because once it starts slowing down, it would be pretty frustrating to interact with.

Re:Recursion (1)

garyebickford (222422) | more than 2 years ago | (#37648838)

The next thing I'd do is try to automate as much as possible. Because once it starts slowing down, it would be pretty frustrating to interact with.

:D
Oblig.: Sand Universe [xkcd.com]

Questions (1)

bigsexyjoe (581721) | more than 2 years ago | (#37647822)

What's the login? If I download it, will my js Linux remember things from session to session? Could I install a webserver on it?

Re:Questions (2)

felipekk (1007591) | more than 2 years ago | (#37647976)

I logged in with root and no password.

I guess you could install a webserver on it, then maybe even host those same files (including "emulator.html")...

Then on another session open a web browser, point to your webserver and open the emulator...

That way you'd have an emulated web server serving an emulator that is being run on an emulated web browser emulating linux.

Re:Questions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37648052)

root with no password. I don't know. Very unlikely.

What I want to know is how difficult would it be to install other things on it like the gcc compiler. It would be perfect for the Linux programming intro course offered at my school.

Re:Questions (1)

Cyphax (262239) | more than 2 years ago | (#37648726)

The first link in the article above should point to a different version of this emulator, which actually did include gcc and a small hello world program. I remember playing with that shortly and being hugely impressed by the fact that works really, really well. :)
This whole emulator is massively impressive imo. :)

Makes me wish (2)

sgt scrub (869860) | more than 2 years ago | (#37647836)

While jsLinux is cool, and this is a cool addition, it just makes me wish JavaScript wasn't the only languageVM embedded in the browser. The thought of what could be done if one could take advantage of what the various scripting languages do best instead of trying to fit JavaScript to everything makes me sad.

Native Client (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#37647930)

Google Chrome has "Native Client", a verifiably type-safe subset of native code. One might, for example, port DOSBox to Native Client.

sorry this isn't what you people make it out to be (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37647878)

This isn't linux in javascript. This is more of an output to screen from a linux server.

1. All the important code has been "compiled" with some javascript "compiler" that basically takes javascript code and fucks with it to where you can't read it
2. Does not follow the GNU license.
3. There isn't enough code to make it a full linux in javascript.
4. You won't be able to copy this and run it off your own computer

nothing to see here people

Re:sorry this isn't what you people make it out to (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37648020)

There should a "Post as Anonymous Troll" option.

Java (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37647880)

I suppose at some point someone might get a JVM running in Javascript...

buy slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37648024)

mod me out without posting or proving this isn't real
nice job
never again
enjoy your bots and bullshitting people

Worthless (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37648088)

Doesn't run in my Android browser.

this is what I like least about slashdot (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37648154)

blah blah blah SCO.... blah blah... now Linux is more relevant than EVER! blah blah blah.... built on JavaScript just because we CAN! blah blah

Christ, people, get a grip.

A Persistent Block Device "How To" would be nice. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37648350)

Where are instructions about how to create the advertised 'persistent block device'? Perhaps I missed it but the readme says that "This project allows the virtual machine to access a persistent block device. This means a user can format and partition this device inside it's virtual machine." BUT I do not see the instructions anywhere obvious. Even booting up this virtual machine ... I had to guess to login ... I eventually found user 'root' and an empty password would work to login. A quick 'df -h' does not reveal any persistent block device present. So I ask myself ... after going to all this trouble to host this demonstration ... why aren't there a few more instructions other than "For more details, see the source code." offered?

Signed perplexed.

Will it run VMWare vSphere (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37648504)

Start it up in VMWare instance. Start up VMWare. Hot move the instance running the web browser to itself. It would so rock.

Obligatory "Yo Dawg"... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37648548)

We heard you like Linux... so we put some Linux in your Linux so you can Linux while you Linux.

Self contained thin client applications, anyone? (1)

Tastecicles (1153671) | more than 2 years ago | (#37648696)

This'll be handy for those who've bought into the Google Chromebook and discovered that all they get is a browser... no, seriously, don't you guys think you were even the slightest bit done over, when you can get a webbook for £60 with free lifetime data allowance?

security problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37648824)

and still no one sees the security problems and thinks maybe just maybe html5 encompasses far too much for web a browser.

increase features to hell with the consequences!

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