Test drive the light-weight Google ChromeOSIn Blog
It’s been a year or so since Google started thriving on an idea for a light-weight cloud based OS. Apparently after it’s success with the Google Chrome browser, they developed the ChromeOS engine. There are several builds available on it, in various forms too, like VMWare images, Vbox images, USB images, etc.
I downloaded and tested the Vanilla ChromiumOS build, developed by hexxeh, it was the most recent one, whereas the last stable release was months old.
I began by downloading the USB image file, compressed and sized about ~380MB, after decompress it is an image file of about ~1.9GB of .img format.
With the help of Win32ImgWriter, I burned the image on to a 4GB microSD and tried booting from it right away on the PC, but, it failed. Then I realized maybe it supports booting on notebooks, I used it on a Dell Inspiron, and there I see, the Chrome Logo appeared. I was asked to enter my Google account details, maybe that was for the system to stay in cloud to store user data. On first run, it also asks to take a picture to save it as account identity, I mean to say, all drivers were loaded, including that of webcam on the laptop.
After my login, I was presented with the Google Chrome browser window, and actually nothing else on the screen. A notification-like bar on top of the screen, having 2 icons originally- one for the battery status and the other for network connectivity.
The usage was pretty slow, as it was running Live from a microSD card, but the use of internet was very snappy. Pages were rendered nice and fast. Flash was also supported, so I could watch some YouTube videos right away. I browsed through the Chrome store, there are a lot of apps available.The browser homepage was like your cloud-desktop, featuring tabs for apps, store, history.
I also kept an eye on the battery status, it was hardly used. So definitely this OS proves to be light-weight, fast, and also more secure. Since most of us use the internet at majority of time, this system looks ideal for it.
Go ahead, download a build and try out.