Google Chrome OS goes open source in Chromium OS
Google today has officially open sourced its under-development Chrome OS operating system under the Chromium OS project.
The code is available now at: http://www.chromium.org/chromium-os/building-chromium-os - I'm currently in the process of trying to build a full system now (so more to come from me soon). Right now the gziped Tarball is 232 MB (pretty small for an OS) and the official build milestone number is 0.4.22.8.
Google is working with Canonical, the lead sponsor behind the Ubuntu Linux project on part of the underlying OS. Chris Kenyon VP of OEM services at Canonical blogged today Canonical is
contributing engineering to Google under contract. So, that means that
there IS a link between Ubuntu and Chrome OS! That's a surprise. But hey it's still all open source.
Aside from the Chromium OS announcement today, Google has provided a whole lot of interesting information about Chrome OS.
During a live event (that was also webcast) today Google detailed what we should all look for in their new ChromeOS.
Basically it's all about the web. Apps are in the cloud as well as users' data. Sundar Pichai, VP of Product Management at Google explained that the local hard drive in Chrome OS should just be thought of as a local cache for syncing with the cloud. That's cool.
Going a step further, by design Chrome OS will specify a reference hardware architecture which will require Solid State Drives (SSDs) instead of regular hard drives. The idea is to provide for a faster overall user experience.
"Every application is a web application so users don't have to install program," Pichai said.
Pichai also showed off how Chrome OS would have a new apps tab to make it easier to load and access apps.
The screenshot (left) gives us a glimpse of how that new apps tab may look. Those apps are basically just url shortcuts, organized in a window.
There is also an Mac OS 'fish-eye' type of interface for scrolling between open windows which looked pretty interesting as well.