Tag Archives: Chromium OS
Anyone who knows Chrome, knows Hexxeh- the fellow behind pretty much every open source Chrome OS build available on the net. If you’ve used a Chrome build, and it wasn’t on a Chromebook- you probably used on built by him. You probably get the idea by now- he’s kind of a big deal, guys-at least when it comes to the Chrome open source community. Now, you’re probably wondering what Hexxeh has to do with this story, right?
Turns out, he’s been busy- on top of developing new Chromium builds for all of us to fiddle with; he’s also managed to do something very interesting with Apple’s new Macbook Air- he’s jammed Chromium into it.
I’m not just talking virtualization, either-Hexxeh’s tossed OSX out the window for this one. The Macbook seen here is one hundred percent Chrome. Pretty spiffy, no? Now, unfortunately, the Macbook Air isn’t going to have all the same features one might find in a Chromebook- it’s simply not built to accommodate some of the features that are standard fare for Chrome- such as verified boot or boot speed optimization. According to Hexxeh, his jury-rigged Macbook Chrome takes around twenty two seconds to start up- pretty damned fast, but left in the dust by a traditional Chromebook.
Aside from a massive leap in hard drive space and slightly improved graphics hardware(which you’ll need to do some BIOS tweaking to get up and running); Hexxeh’s Macbook Chrome isn’t all that different from a traditional Chromebook. I mean, you could have double the RAM if you shelled out extra for the 4 GB model, and about .24 GHz more processing power, but that aside…not a whole lot to see here. Still, Hexxeh says it’s pretty awesome-we should probably take his word for it. After all; he is the expert here. Anyway, those of you who enjoy tinkering with code are probably clamoring to find out how to do this yourself, aren’t you?
A very interesting design document recently went up on the Chromium Projects. I’ve got three words for you guys- Chromium OS Devices. Okay, okay. While that does sound kind of cool, I guess it’s nothing all that spectacular- After all, we’re less than a week from the launch of Google’s Chromebook- an event I”m very much looking forward to, by the way. And even now, people are musing about the possibility of Chrome phones, Chrome tablets, even Chrome desktops. It’s not much of a stretch to assume that Chromium might expand outward onto devices custom tailored to run it, as well.
We’ve seen just about every operating system installed already on the Cr-48 – OS X, Windows, Ubuntu and even Android. But until now, no one had thought to create images for installing Chromium OS, the open source version of Chrome OS, onto the Cr-48. Thanks to Todd Vierling, anyone with a Cr-48 and another machine to create images on a USB drive can now use Chromium OS on the test device.
Granted, Verizon is lacking in Chromium OS. But there is more flexibility and possible usefulness in using it on the Cr-48 if you’re interested specifically in having your way with it as opposed to just browsing the web.
For starters, there’s no ability to use Verizon’s network with Chromium OS due to the software being proprietary. But that is only one drawback. Added into the Chromium OS builds are better trackpad support, Java and additional command line tools.
You can see a list of the most recent builds here. All you need is a PC that is able to image external drives, very much like one does when using Hexxeh’s Flow Chrome OS build. You can then load Chromium just like you would if you were using Google’s recovery USB method that is outlined right here.
Of course, these are the latest and greatest builds of Chromium OS, so of course everything might not work as advertised. You’ve been warned.
If you end up using Chromium OS on your Cr-48, let us know what you think about it compared to the Chrome OS builds that are being used on the Cr-48.
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
There may be a very good reason why it has taken until the very end of 2010 for Google to hold an announcement regarding Chrome OS. It’s possible that the company has not been able to get Chrome OS out of a unfinished state yet.
It may or may not be a problematic issue, but the fact that we can see through the open source Chromium OS site some of the issues that are blocking Chrome OS from being launched in a more stable mode suggests that tomorrow’s event may be just a preview of what’s to come.
Some of the problems being reported include hardware issues with the prototype devices that are being tested by Googlers themselves. One titled “Clicking-and-dragging is difficult to do” describes a user becoming “mad with rage” because the trackpad did not behave as expected.
Recently, Google VP of Engineering Andy Rubin took to Twitter in an effort to take a shot at the openness of Android when compared to Apple’s iOS. That certainly got former Mozilla engineer Joe Hewitt fired up, tweeting some thoughts about the actual openness of Google’s smartphone platform.
Since it’s pretty hard to get in-depth on Twitter about the technicalities of open-source, Hewitt wrote a full blog post and he makes a lot of good points. Unlike Android, Chromium has been developed in the public eye and people outside of Google are capable of following the progress with builds of both the browser and the OS.
TechCrunch’s MG Siegler is reporting that there has been chatter about a “RC”, or release candidate build on the Chromium code site. It does indeed seem to be the case that there appears to be a version of Chrome OS that is going to be at a stable release.
This screenshot comes from on a post from October 3, so Chromium OS is at or near version 0.9.78.0. That’s got to be pretty close to version 1, which if the versioning is anything like Android (1 was the first release for devices) would mean an official release.
Hexxeh posted last night some images of Chromium OS’s new HTML option menus, just as Chromium browser is now experimenting with the feature by placing the menu as a tab up top rather than as a window. Since everything is supposed to be browser-based in Chrome, it makes sense to show that the internal workings of the platform itself can be run with web technologies.
In addition to the options in Chrome browser, the operating system settings are a tad bit more complex. There is a System, Internet, Users and Labs sections to go with the standard browser Basics, Personal Stuff and Under the Hood (in the U.K. version it’s called Under the Bonnet). The most interesting thing I find here is that the Labs component has become an option menu, which probably foretells where that experimental section is heading in the future.
Anyways, here are the screenshots.
A HTML-driven options menu has come to Chromium OS, as shown off on Hexxeh’s blog.
Google is making its Apps product more secure by enabling a two-factor authentication option for administrators.
Computerworld wonders if Chrome OS tablets are even a good idea because they seem to think “it doesn’t run apps”.
Google plans on distributing mobile devices to businesses in an effort to compete with location-based services.
Will Google’s social strategy be worthwhile for anyone other than the company itself?
In a blog post last night, Hexxeh announced his release of a new version of his Chrome OS builds called Vanilla. Instead of creating one of his own and auto-updating it, however, he has decided to take builds from the nightly release of Chromium. This simplifies the task of building it yourself – which requires a 64 bit machine to do.
It makes sense for Hexxeh to start offering Chromium as Chrome OS Vanilla. I had been starting to think that separate builds from the UK student were becoming unnecessary since Chrome OS is so close to a release. Now one can easily get a copy for USB booting.
Take note: not all of these builds are going to work, but as they are tested by large numbers of people there will be feedback on those that build and those that do not.
Anyways here is a link to the downloads, and have fun. We’ll be taking a closer look at the build as soon as well polish up this post.
Here is how you boot a USB drive with Chrome OS.
Hey Hexxeh, where’s that touchscreen enabled version of Chrome OS you showed off last month?
Here’s how Google plans to make $10 billion per year on the Android platform.
The dev channel of Chrome browser has been updated; a fix for PDF loading is part of the release.
Instead of Chrome dev automatically loading the PDF viewer, you now have to use a switch to activate it.
New Gmail features have been exposed via the Chromium OS bug tracking system.
The Official Google blog has a post detailing some of the major Google Apps news as of late.
TechCrunch’s MG Siegler has posted some new screenshots and details on Chromium OS, saying that Google is heavily testing the operating system internally, that the zipping and unzipping of archives will be important to the platform and that there is a feature that allows one to browse without being signed into a Google account.
You can see that profiles have been added to the login screen, adding more functionality than just a sign-on form.
Of course, those who are privacy minded will appreciate the fact that you are able to browse without using your Google account, according to this screenshot.
Another recently added user interface feature has been the sidebar tabs option. You can see it in the options drop down from the wrench icons in the public Chromium releases, but this one looks more polished than I’ve seen before.
One other screenshot of interest Siegler posted was a content browser, something I had not yet seen but very much neccessary for the OS to be useful. The viewer off to the right gives it a web-like quality.
Thanks to Planktno for letting me know.