Update 28.01.1016: what’s new in Chrome OS 48
Chrome OS – the Linux distribution made by Google and based on Gentoo Linux and Google Cloud services. Google built Chrome OS for their devices – Chromebooks – small netbook-like devices. The biggest part of Chromebooks success – cheap ~$200 devices for students, small business and non-IT specialists: ready Google Cloud infrastructure – Google Docs, Drive, E-mail and other can save your money. Powerful $800+ laptops are a good thing, but some small tasks can be made on weak hardware. Internet connection today good in big cities and this is very good to work with clouds – ChromeOS automatically syncs your settings and data if you need it. Easy and minimalist interface is very usable for kids and old peoples.
Some digits: Chromebooks now has ~14% of the laptop market (~8% in the previous year). Worldwide sales in 2015 are rather than 7 million devices (23% up), in education segment – 73% in EMEA, 69% – Asia/Pacific, 60% – USA. Impressive, right?
Interfaces and software
General and most important part of ChromeOS – Chrome Browser from Google. Yes, Chrome Browser in Chrome OS. Also available: small and fast window manager, image viewer, file manager. System settings (language, time, themes) are built-in to Chrome Browser. Unlike typical Linux Distribution the Chrome OS don’t have a package manager – all applications can be installed only as Chrome extensions.
For installation, you need a USB Flash device with 4 GB+ memory. * For Chromebooks – please check the instructions from your hardware vendor. Samsung and Acer devices are supported boot from USB Flash image, use
Ctrl+U in developer mode. * For other hardware – setup your BIOS/UEFI for boot from USB device.
Google does not provide builds of Chrome OS, only recovery images for Chromebooks. We can use the Chromium OS – open source project and
Chrome OS for Developers. Just download image from here and write it on USB Flash:
// For x86-64 machines: $ curl -O http://chromium.arnoldthebat.co.uk/daily/Camd64OS-20151109010101.img.7z $ 7za x Camd64OS-20151109010101.img.7z // /dev/sdX - your USB Flash Device, be careful # dd if=Camd64OS-20151109010101.img of=/dev/sdX bs=8M
OS X users can also use
dd, Win32 Image Writer for Windows.
Now we can boot from USB Flash disk – Chrome OS works nicely, but we can also install it on hard disk or SSD. Just press
Ctrl+Alt+F2 and login with user
chronos and password
NOTE: next command wipe all your data on HDD/SSD
Run the installation:
You can also open a terminal in Chrome Browser with the
- cheap devices for all
- fast working on new and old hardware
- cloud infrastructure
- easy interfaces
- browser is one and only – not enough for advanced users and tech specialists
- Google monopoly in software
- good network connections are necessary
- application store only for registered users
In the end of the story my personal recommendation: try it, Chrome OS or Chromebooks can be useful in your business, work and family and also can give a new life for your old hardware.
Whats new in latest release – Chrome OS 48
- improved notifications after a file download
- default applications for photos now is a Google Photos
- new recovery screen
- multimedia player has new material design interface
- new wallpapers
- IPv6 address is now visible in network settings
- Unofficial Chrome OS build for Raspberry Pi 2