How to try out Google Chrome OS
Well, on some of my early posts, I blogged about Google Chrome. How it was hyped up to be a newer OS than what most of us are used to, and now they have even given out many laptops or notebooks with the Google Chrome OS for people to test it out and give their feedback. Many of us signed up, only a few were chosen, however don’t feel left out, you can still try out the latest Chrome OS on your very own computer without damaging it, or installing it on your machine. Remember, we have virtual machines for that.
So if you are really interested in trying out the Google Chrome OS, but don’t have the time to do it right now, read on! I’ll just sum it up in a few short words. It’s like the Google Chrome Browser, simple and to the point, designed for ultimate web surfing. There you have it, it’s an OS designed to be on the web. It was not built to be away from the internet. In fact, the Google Chrome Notebooks have built-in 3G and that way you will never be disconnected. Does his mean that if my Google Chrome OS is away from the internet, it is completely useless? I don’t mean to be rude, but yes, about as useful as a dead dog. So what is this good for then? You may not realize this, but you are on the internet 90% of the time or doing something related to it. So Google decided, let’s go 100% see if people don’t care, and for a notebook, wouldn’t you know it, most people don’t care.
So how to test it out? Because you can’t believe everything I say. Well, this dude created a site where you can easily get the latest build of the Chrome OS. It’s Hexxeh. And on that page you can download USB .img’s and these can be put on USB’s to test on your real machine, I did this, and it works. I’d like to show you a photo, but I got lazy. Here are instructions and how to install a img on a USB.
These how to’s are editable so if you have anything productive to share about installing this, you can share, if not, don’t speak. Now, when you download the IMG it will come packed in a tar.gz, simply unzip and exctract IMG and follow the intructions on how to install on your USB depending on what OS you are using.
But lets say you don’t have an extra 2GB flash drive to spare. Well, there always Virtual Machines! Yay, there are now Vmware and VirtualBox images that you can download and install on your own machine. Woop! Woop! These won’t run as fast the the Live USB method, but you can still get a somewhat good feel for this OS.
Download the latest Vmware or VirtualBox from this link. Virtual Machine Images of Chrome OS. All these files are very compressed in order to maximize bandwidth so you will have to uncompress these using 7zip or whatever you like. And to install these on Vmware, simply extract and double click whatever you extracted, easy. For us people who like to do things manually. The Virtual-Box tar.gz has a vdi, you create a new virtual machine, I would recommend at least 1GB or ram, 2GB if you can spare it, and direct the new virtual machine creator to the vdi Google Chrome OS, when it asks if you want to make a hard drive, use one you already have. Don’t create a new one.
Once the virtual machines start, they have mouse integration enabled, so in and out is easy, you can log in with your Gmail account or use ID: facepunch Password: facepunch And now we see what it looks like.
This is what the login screen looks like, however i prefer to log in with my account. Just to really test it.
Ohh cool it got all my apps from my Google browser i use on my machine, i didn’t even have to set up sync or nothin’! That was easy. So as you can see, the interface is clean and simple, juts plain ole Google Chrome browser there, sometimes all you need. Also i apologize for the photos, i didn’t have time, or feel like editing them, so just the virtual machine is the Google Chrome OS, not the rest, the rest is Debian with a nice Gnome GUI. But back to the Chrome OS. On the right hand corner maybe you can catch a glimpse at the power button and the network icon. No close button of course, but i just love how this OS is crazy simple, yet can be made very complicated and personalized, depending on your browsing preferences.
To turn off, Click on Machine tab of the virtualbox and click ACPI Shutdown and it will log you out (Similar to pressing off button on Chrome laptop) and then you can shutdown safely)
Afte using this OS, all i can say is, wow, it boots fast even on a virtual machine, imagine how fast and cool web surfing would be on an actual netbook? So if you caught some of the numbers on the pictures, you may have seen, how long it took to boot up and other useful tid-bits. OK well, stop reading about it and actually use it! try it out! ok laters dudes.
PS, this was not the virtual machines post I was talking about, it will come later.
PS. I also would like to thank Hexxeh for making these available and and the people at the Chrome OS Project, if you want to learn more about Chrome OS, see this page. chromeos.hexxeh.net