Review of the ChromeOS VMware Image

Review of the ChromeOS VMware Image

I was more than curious as to how Google’s upcoming operating system (aimed for Netbooks) turned out, so I took the time to set it up on VMware Workstation 7.0.  I found that Google provides its source code for both Chrome and Chrome OS under its open source name Chromium, and that some people have gone to the trouble to compile Chromium OS and provide a VMware ready image, this is how I went about my testing.

I have provided some screen shots below:

chrome-os-login chrome-os-icontab chrome-os-network chrome-os-battery

ChromeOS: Downloading the ChromeOS VMware Image

Since we here at Piranha Method are friendly and helpful, we have conveniently provided you with the ChromiumOS VMware Image for download without requiring registration.

Download: Chrome OS VMware Image now.

ChromeOS: Installing the VMDK Image

Helpful tips, if you download it:
  1. To use the vmdk file, open VMware and create a new virtual machine (choose custom).
  2. Next step choose “I will install the operating system later”, then on the Select Guest Operating System choose Other > Other, you can name this Chrome OS
  3. The CPU, memory settings are up to you, but it doesn’t take a whole lot to run Chrome OS as its mostly a browser.
  4. For the network type make sure you use bridged networking rather than NAT or else Chrome OS won’t be able to log on and get on the web.
  5. The recommended Bus Logic is fine for the next step.
  6. On the select a disk option, choose Use an existing virtual disk, this is where you will load the VMDK you downloaded and extracted.
  7. The user name and password to log in to Chrome OS / Chromium OS is your Google account (or GMail if that’s all you ever use from Google).

ChromeOS: Booting up for the first time.

The first thing you notice about Chrome OS is that its boot time puts all current operating systems to shame, you literally power up and in mere seconds your presented with a log in screen.  Now this isn’t your usual operating system log in screen, because instead of having accounts on your computer you simply have accounts with Google.

ChromeOS: Logging in

So having logged in with my Google account, I am presented with a browser, nothing more.  Chrome OS is all about getting the user onto the internet as fast as possible, in Google’s opinion that’s how the future of computers will be, everything Cloud operated meaning programs run from the web browser and data stored on servers.

ChromeOS: Using the Interface

You will notice Chrome OS has a unique tab that provides Icons to the commonly used Web 2.0 applications like Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo! Mail, Google Calendar, Google Docs, YouTube, Hulu, Facebook, Twitter and much more with the ability to “get more”.  This interface is a tab you cannot close out like the rest, and its design is still heavily in development and subject to change. You will also find that upon logging in your Gmail account will be open in a tab, as well as a tab for Google Calendar for you to log in.

Other then that, you have your usual Chrome browser User Interface and features, as well as 2 custom dropdowns in the top right corner (since you can’t close out the browser or minimize/maximize) one of which covers your Wireless network features, and the other your battery.

Like I said in the beginning, their Chrome OS is being targeted for Netbooks and is supposed to release before years end pre-installed on new Netbooks. Since the whole idea is that everything is done on the web, that mean’s your Netbook will not require as much processing power or memory, and no real hard drive space.

ChromeOS: Final Thoughts & Conclusion

I have to say after taking the time to play with Chrome OS, I feel Google is on the right track for small hand helds and Netbooks with this sort of operating system.  Overall its just a very dumbed down Linux kernal that runs fast and does what Google wants it to do.

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