Tag Archives: Chrome OS Flow
For those of you who are not going to be able to get a Cr-48 laptop, there are still ways for you to use Chrome OS on an old laptop lying around. The most popular and accommodating to hardware drivers is Chrome OS Flow, release by a UK developer name Hexxeh.
There is also Chrome OS Vanilla from Hexxeh, which is essentially a compiled version of what the Chromium OS project are pushing out. For more information on downloading Chrome OS for yourself, go here.
Anyways, Hexxeh is now saying he plans on releasing a new version of his builds called Lime. We’re guessing that this is in an effort to update his build for the new Chromium OS builds that are arriving every day. This along with enhanced hardware support a la Flow would be a huge hit, we’re looking forward to trying it.
It should be available in a few weeks, barring any beta testing setbacks. To get on the beta list go to ##hexxeh on irc.freenode.org. Let us know if you get a chance to try it out!
via Hexxeh’s Blog
A few days ago Hexxeh showed off his newest Chromium project, which is porting his Chrome OS Flow build over to a tablet. Supposedly the device used is an O2 Joggler. Today, he’s posted an early version that is working with touch.
I can’t wait to get my hands on a Chrome OS tablet.
He ain’t talkin’ any more about it, but he posted this picture of a tablet running Chrome OS Flow earlier tonight.
I’m guessing based on the wires plus that this thing look torn apart that there’s no touch capability or input otherwise yet. But since Hexxeh’s been able to get a broad amount of hardware working on Flow maybe something significant will come out of this.
Hardware cost: $80. I was thinking it must be one of those Chinese ARM tablets, but Hexxeh confirms its x86.
I’m really hoping that we see a tablet with Chrome OS come out this year.
This post is based off of the “Download Chrome OS” link that is on the top of this page. I thought that it would be useful to add it to the blog as well. If there is anything I’ve left out, let me know. I keep the page updated as things change.
At this point, there are already several different flavors of Chrome OS available. It all depends on what kind of system you plan on installing it on, and we can give you a run down on what you need to know.
Google’s open source project for all things Chrome is called Chromium. It is from here where the rest of these folks got the source code to build an image for the operating system that you can then put onto a computer. If you have Linux and a 64-bit machine you can do this yourself. Or you can download one of the following prepackaged builds.
Chrome OS Flow
UK Student Hexxeh has put together a nicely packaged build that is small, works with a good variety of machines and auto-updates. There is also a wiki that offers some good community contributions.
Our partnership site ChromeOS-Blog has a release of Chrome OS that came out in April. Download info and instructions are available at the site.
Doug Anson of the Dell Linux team keeps putting out new builds of Chrome OS for the hardware specs of the Dell Mini series of netbooks. You can get his latest May build and readme from here.
64-bit Chrome OS
There is a version of Chrome OS that has been developed which supports 64-bit hardware called ChromiumOS64. You can download ChromiumOS64 here. Warning: this file is over a gigabyte.
Here is a cool video that pits a few operating systems against each other to see which one boots the fastest. The four OSs shown are (from top left clockwise) Ubuntu 9.10, Windows 7, Chrome OS Flow and Ubuntu 9.04.
Flow took about thirty seconds to load, while Ubuntu 9.10 came in second at around forty-eight seconds. Windows 7 and Ubuntu 9.04 took well over a minute.
It’s not surprising that Chrome OS Flow is the fastest, but according to the initial announcement from the Chromium team back in November 2009, Chrome OS was supposed to be able to boot in “a few seconds”. Does this mean we have a long way to go? It’s possible, but then again Google is going to require manufacturers to have certain hardware specifications for Chrome OS machines, so don’t be surprised if they are serious when they say this.
I get asked fairly often questions pertaining to Chrome OS. Actually this may surprise you, but I enjoy talking about it. I know for many this whole Chrome OS thing is a bit confusing. So let me take this post to make clear what is going on. One of the big issues I hear about is the difference between Chrome OS and Chrome OS Flow. For those who have not been paying attention here is the real lowdown.
Google is planning on releasing an official Chrome operating system towards the end of 2010. This will be a portable computerof some sort, like a tablet or netbook that is branded as a Google product that comes loaded with Chrome OS. For the time being, all we have is what is known as Google’s open source Chromium OS project. You can visit the official site here, it has documentation and videos discussing ideas and possible specs for both the hardware and software.
Chrome OS Flow was developed by a UK student named Hexxeh. He took the open source Chromium OS code found on the Chromium project resources site and created his own packaged “build” to work with most netbook hardware that you can put on a USB stick or load as a VM image. Flow is a good representation of what the commerical Chrome OS will be like, and that is why there is some talk about it. If you’re interested in trying it out, I suggest you head over to his site.
There are others who have created their own builds, most notably a 64-bit version and one that has been created by the Dell Linux team. But so far Flow appears to be the best representation of what to expect later on this year.
Any other questions? Comment or contact me.
Ok, so I’m not a Mac user. But I know there are some of you out there reading that are. So when I get asked how to create a USB image for Mac I’m at a loss of words. Fortunately there are directions, and even better, there is a video for those non-Mac users like me who look at the written instructions and have no idea what is going on. So here you go, I hope this helps out the Apple users:
So, how does Flow run on a Mac? I’m curious.
UPDATE: Hexxeh, the creator of Flow, has said that it probably will not work on Macs, anyone out there get this running?
There has been a lot of speculation that there will be a Chrome OS netbook that will be available from Acer in the middle of this year, which would only be about four months away. I’m not sure where this kind of information is coming from, but I think that this was something that was leaked by an insider to keep Acer’s name in the news about Chrome OS. Ther reality is that yes, we will probably see something from Acer in mid-2010, but it won’t be something that we as consumers will be able to buy yet.
That’s because one of the biggest computer shows, Computex, will be convientley showing off the wares of many manufacturers in early June. Doesn’t that sound like mid-2010 to you? Plus, Computex is held in Taipei, Tawian. That means that major companies such as Asus, MSI and of Acer will be there, and they will probably be showing finished products that run on Chromium builds.
Also, in late May, Google will hold its developer conference, dubbed Google I/O. A look at the sessions that will be held has some Chrome OS topics scheduled. There may be some news that comes out of the conference, most likely of which will be an announcement of a uniform programming language for use across Google’s platforms to help streamline development when the operating system is actually released. This will most likely be of Google’s own experimental language, called Go.
Look, anyone that has taken a look at the latest builds of Chromium by running Hexxeh’s Flow would know that while the OS is progressing, there is still some development that still needs to be completed before Google is going to give the green light for manufacturers to sell devices with this platform. While I’m sure they want to get something out that competes with Apple’s iPad soon, rushing the development cycle for this is not going to create a lasting impression on users if the product is not ready.
So if you’re in such a hurry, Acer, why don’t you advertise the fact that you have the Windows 7/Android AOD250 netbook on the market? Sure, it’s not a tablet. But it’s probably a more polished product that what Chrome OS can offer consumers over the next six months:
So expect to see some interesting hardware developments by June, but don’t expect to see something that you can actually purchase until the beginning of the fourth quarter.
I’ve finally gotten Chrome OS Flow downloaded, imaged to a USB stick and running on a machine. It took some time, as when I started the download yesterday morning I came back later in the day only to find that less than half of the archive for the build had been downloaded before it petered out. Hexxeh noted this in his Twitter account, so this must be a widespread outage that occurred. Once I finally got the download finished in the wee hours, I couldn’t get it to run on any of my machines – probably because I wasn’t actually awake anymore.
The best part of this new version that I found was that it now can store your wireless settings. That’s helpful, because now you can jump right into whatever you need to do once you get logged in. In the past, you would get some ugly “cannot connect” pages every boot, but once you configure your network from the upper right hand corner for the first time, it is good to go.
For whatever reason, I was only able to use the facepunch/facepunch login to get into Flow. Attempting to use my own Google account would not work. Thanks to a commenter, I found out that a quirk to Flow requires me to login using a wired connection using my account, and then after that it is cached. Still dealing with beta, and that’s how it goes.
Flash is working on this one, and the sound is working too. The power indicator is also functional, although I never really had an issue with it in past builds. I busted out some tunes on Lala, and I was excited. This is starting to look like something I could use on one of my machines on a regular basis. YouTube videos ran fine, and I think Hexxeh had to spend quite a bit of time getting the Nvidia hardware to work correctly for Flow in order to get codecs to run.
I didn’t see any elements of customizable windows for the applications that had been previewed via a screenshot at first just a week ago. Hexxeh tossed a comment on this post saying it does work, by clicking on the Chromium logo in the upper left and it would pop up. It does work now, and you can get access to many web apps that are already out there. I had some problems moving icons around, but I’m still happy with the fact that these pseudo-bookmarks work to get me to places like Facebook, Google Docs and status updates for Flow.
There are added network preferences in the options menu, among a few other tidbits that have been changed. However, I don’t want to write too much, as this is still an early release and these things are subject to change. I know Hexxeh spent a lot of time trying to get this working, and he is planning on using his new auto-update system to work out any bugs and system changes that there may be. So go ahead and download this, try it out. The resources are on Hexxeh’s site, and include a bug tracker, so check it out right here.
UPDATE: I have modified this article based on the comments below. Feel free to offer your own. I have also found that Extensions do not work.
2ND UPDATE: Extensions do work, you have to hit Enter through the menus when asked if you want to install the extension instead of using your mouse. Its kind of quirky, but at least they are working.
Just a few minutes ago, Hexxeh has announced that the latest version of his custom build of Chrome, called Flow, has been released. As of this writing, his website says that it has received over two hundred downloads. We’ll be giving Flow a shot later on today, and let you know what we think about it.
You can download Chrome OS Flow from here.
Update: You can check out our review of Flow right here.
Since the first release of the Chromium Project’s source code to the public back in November, a UK student who goes by the name Hexxeh has been steadily releasing custom builds. Unlike the Chromium code updates that are regularly put out by Google, this is a better packaged version for public consumption. The builds are small enough to pop onto a USB drive, boot up on whatever computing device that is laying around, and is quick to start up and utilize. It’s been the best early look users have had to see what Chrome OS will be able to do once it reaches a commercial stage later this year.
Recently, Hexxeh has been posting some hints that his newest version, Chrome OS Flow, could be the best release yet for mainstream purposes. The focus on this time, now that a lot of hardware has been tested and is supported in his builds, is to focus on the application side of the operating system. And that’s not a bad idea since many wonder if Chrome OS will be able to function as a regular personal computing replacement, or just another gadget that is stacked up for our personal information disposal.
A new way of constructing the builds, which Hexxeh has dubbed ReFlow, will also be introduced. This will allow for more time to be spent on actually testing and updating Flow as opposed to using up a lot of time creating the build itself.
Expect Flow to require a 2 GB USB Stick, have auto-update for patches and updates as well as is expected to be released on February 12.
Some other new features include user interface changes in addition to the aforementioned applications menus that are customizable and fixes for issues that plagued last release (Chrome OS Zero) for sound, Flash and Bookmark Sync. Also, if you have an application that you want to have included in the Flow directory, you can find more about submitting it to Hexxeh right here.
Update: Apparently there has been problems for Hexxeh getting Flow released, as the Chromium project has changed some features. We’ll be posting when Flow comes out.