Feeds

Dell sows 'experimental' Chrome OS for Mini netbooks

Google that sours after 36 hours

Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management

A team of Dell engineers has released a very unofficial version of Google's Chrome OS for use on the PC manufacturer's Mini 10v netbooks.

Dell isn't on the official list of Chrome OS hardware partners. And the company's founder and CEO believes his netbooks go sour after 36 hours. But you now have ready access to an early open source incarnation of Google's browser-happy "operating system" that's been tweaked specifically for those 36-hour machines.

With a post to the company's Community Blog, Dell technology strategist Doug Anson tells the world that he and "some other Dell folk" have managed to get the open source ChromiumOS up and running on a Mini 10v. And he kindly provides a link to their USB key image file.

Anson's description of Google's "operating system" is far from surprising. "Without a network connection, ChromiumOS is not very interesting," he says. "With a network connection, ChromiumOS shines." He and his fellow Dell folk have managed to tap the Mini 10v's Broadcom WiFi adapter, but there are (many) caveats. "It's definitely not perfect (read: highly experimental, untested, unstable, yada yada...," Anson says, "but it does appear to function."

He warns that the network manager may need 5 to 10 minutes to "see" available access points and that the manager and its underlying components "can easily break or get hung."

"When in doubt," he says, "reboot and give it another try."

And you'll have to reboot by hand. The image lacks a reboot/shutdown option, leaving the power button as your only option.

Anson also warns that the entire image "comes with absolutely no support of any kind and is to be considered highly experimental and completely unstable." But he does confirm that Google's "operating system" boots quickly. Though he hasn't quite duplicated the 7 second boot time claimed by Google, he does manage 12 seconds on his Mini 10v.

Google Chrome OS is still a year away from its arrival on commercial machines, but last week, the Mountain View Chocolate Factory released an early open source snapshot under the ChromiumOS moniker. Google's says its engineers will work with external programmers on the same code tree, but we're assuming the real work will take place behind closed doors.

Based on Google's Chrome web browser, Chrome OS does not run native applications and works only with certain hardware. It will not, for instance, run on traditional hard drives. It works only with solid state drives. ®

New hybrid storage solutions

More from The Register

next story
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
'Windows 9' LEAK: Microsoft's playing catchup with Linux
Multiple desktops and live tiles in restored Start button star in new vids
iOS 8 release: WebGL now runs everywhere. Hurrah for 3D graphics!
HTML 5's pretty neat ... when your browser supports it
Mathematica hits the Web
Wolfram embraces the cloud, promies private cloud cut of its number-cruncher
Google extends app refund window to two hours
You now have 120 minutes to finish that game instead of 15
Intel: Hey, enterprises, drop everything and DO HADOOP
Big Data analytics projected to run on more servers than any other app
Mozilla shutters Labs, tells nobody it's been dead for five months
Staffer's blog reveals all as projects languish on GitHub
SUSE Linux owner Attachmate gobbled by Micro Focus for $2.3bn
Merger will lead to mainframe and COBOL powerhouse
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.