Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 13th Nov 2009 17:01 UTC
Google TechCrunch's Michael Arrington is claiming Google's Chrome OS will debut next week - but his story does have an odd ring to it. He goes on and on about how driver support will be shoddy, but that makes no sense - isn't Chome OS supposed to be built on Linux? The only way I can see initial driver support to be shoddy is when Chrome OS has its own, custom graphical layer, instead of using X. However, were that to be the case, I'm sure Google would at least support some NVIDIA, ATI, and Intel chipsets. In any case, it's a rumour - do with it as you please.
Order by: Score:
Bill Shooter of Bul
Member since:
2006-07-14

Yes Android is based on linux, but its also pretty different. In anycase, it doesn't really matter to me what a single individual says about the product before its widely released. Its interesting, but its not going to drastically influence me to try it or not. If that were the case, i'd be running hurd ;)

Reply Score: 1

Drivers
by bralkein on Fri 13th Nov 2009 17:18 UTC
bralkein
Member since:
2006-12-20

I'm not entirely sure how closely the graphics drivers tie in to X on Linux, but even if Chrome's display system can use the existing drivers, there could still be problems. When KDE 4 first came out, there were a lot of problems caused by the fact that KDE was doing things (graphics-wise) that weren't commonly done on the Linux desktop at the time. This caused a lot of weak points in the drivers to be exposed, where functionality which was previously rarely-touched was being more thoroughly exercised.

I believe this was particularly the case with the nVidia binary drivers (which I use and recommend), but the drivers were actually fixed fairly quickly. I remember Aaron Seigo saying at the time that it was necessary for KDE to push the limits of what the drivers were capable of in order to exert pressure to get the drivers improved. It seemed to work from the nvidia end of things, anyway.

Reply Score: 3

Comment by Kroc
by Kroc on Fri 13th Nov 2009 17:20 UTC
Kroc
Member since:
2005-11-10

A good experience is better than wide hardware support.
This will be an OS for users, not for geeks.
It will be announced with support only for a select list of netbooks—support will be expanded over time.

Google will *not* pull a “Desktop Linux” and ship a shoddy experience and expect users to pull the weight.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by Kroc
by Tuishimi on Fri 13th Nov 2009 17:37 UTC in reply to "Comment by Kroc"
Tuishimi Member since:
2005-07-06

I am fairly excited about this. I am running Windows 7 on my netbook but since I am not really USING my netbook right now, I'd live to try this out...

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by Kroc
by Tuishimi on Fri 13th Nov 2009 18:01 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Kroc"
Tuishimi Member since:
2005-07-06

http://www.chrome-os-blog.com/?nOYuKH6T

These look like some fairly realistic screenshots of alpha version. Obviously they could be 100% fake. Anyway, cannot wait to see what it REALLY looks like.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by Kroc
by righard on Fri 13th Nov 2009 19:32 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Kroc"
righard Member since:
2007-12-26

I hope those screenshots are fake, elese it uses backslahes for file locations. I don't like that because I'm very dualistic ;)

Reply Score: 2

Hope it uses DRI2..
by diegocg on Fri 13th Nov 2009 17:20 UTC
diegocg
Member since:
2005-07-08

Because if it doesn't and they make a new graphic stack, Google is going to f--k us up....

Reply Score: 2

limited hardware support
by Praxis on Fri 13th Nov 2009 18:50 UTC
Praxis
Member since:
2009-09-17

well as long as Chrome OS fully supports the hardware its being shipped on its overall level of support should be less of an issue. Most consumers would only get Chrome OS from buying it somewhere and would get working support and most geeks would understand "we only made sure it worked on this set of hardware use elseware at your own risk" Lack of support for printers, scanners, cameras and such could be more of a problem though.

I'm pretty interested to see what Chrome OS dropped from the standard linux bundle. Obviously it has to have the kernal but beyond that its anyones guess. Personally I'm not expecting to like it and I think some people are getting their hopes way to high. Google did not set out to make a desktop Os here, it will probably be much more limited than that, much simpler and more clean perhaps, but certainly more limited. I don't expect to be warmly welcomed among the linux crowd. Expect a lot of "Chrome OS doesn't run foo, its useless crap" style blog posts when it does come out. Of course Google doesn't really care what the linux crowd says about it since its not aimed at the linux crowd and thats perfectly fine in my book.

Reply Score: 2

RE: limited hardware support
by vivainio on Fri 13th Nov 2009 21:15 UTC in reply to "limited hardware support"
vivainio Member since:
2008-12-26

I'm pretty interested to see what Chrome OS dropped from the standard linux bundle. Obviously it has to have the kernal but beyond that its anyones guess.


I'm expecting it to have lots of standard stuff. At least everything needed to be build & run Chrome, which means Gtk+ and X, to be exact.

Another guess is that it will have lots of stuff done in Javascript, to sandbox as much as possible. Much of the local file system stuff can be done through javascript and google gears anyway.

I don't believe they will be leveraging this too much yet:

http://code.google.com/p/nativeclient/

It'll probably also incorporate Dalvik VM and run Android apps.

Reply Score: 3

Android
by OSGuy on Fri 13th Nov 2009 21:47 UTC
OSGuy
Member since:
2006-01-01

I think Google is making a big mistake with Chrome OS. I cannot back up my opinion... I just do...If everything looks like a web browser and is inside a web browser, it's gonna be a big no for me.

They should instead focus more an a real OS -- their Android.

Edited 2009-11-13 21:47 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: Android
by james_parker on Fri 13th Nov 2009 23:50 UTC in reply to "Android"
james_parker Member since:
2005-06-29

Despite its name, Google OS is not an Operating System, but rather a Linux distribution (albeit one without X-windows as the basis of its graphical interface). Linux is the OS underpinning it.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Android
by sbenitezb on Sat 14th Nov 2009 01:56 UTC in reply to "RE: Android"
sbenitezb Member since:
2005-07-22

It is an operating system. And a Linux distribution.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Android
by james_parker on Mon 16th Nov 2009 19:15 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Android"
james_parker Member since:
2005-06-29

It is an operating system. And a Linux distribution.


No, Linux is the operating system. ChromeOS is a version of the Linux OS plus a set of custom libraries, frameworks, conventions (such as file system layout) and user interfaces.

Check any CS-oriented Operating Systems textbook or course syllabus, and you will find an accurate view of what is and is not a Operating System. Unfortunately some vendors (Microsoft in particular) has obscured this definition in the general public. I hold OSNews to a higher standard, however :-).

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Android
by sbenitezb on Mon 16th Nov 2009 21:37 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Android"
sbenitezb Member since:
2005-07-22

Right. ChromeOS then means ChromeObscureSystem? ChromeObviousSentence? Linux is just a kernel not a complete OS. I assume Chrome provides the rest that makes Linux boot up and some standard services and facilities that sit on top of the kernel and provide interaction with the user. Kernel + Shell is the OS.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Android
by james_parker on Mon 16th Nov 2009 22:09 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Android"
james_parker Member since:
2005-06-29

Right. ChromeOS then means ChromeObscureSystem? ChromeObviousSentence? Linux is just a kernel not a complete OS. I assume Chrome provides the rest that makes Linux boot up and some standard services and facilities that sit on top of the kernel and provide interaction with the user. Kernel + Shell is the OS.


"ChromeOS" is the marketing name/trademark. Linux, which consists of a kernel, an API/ABI, a DDI (Device Driver Interface), and a bootstrapping mechanism.

Shells, if any, are simply applications that execute on the OS. Many operating systems run quite nicely without a shell being one of the available applications (e.g. embedded operating systems).

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: Android
by sbenitezb on Mon 16th Nov 2009 23:07 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Android"
sbenitezb Member since:
2005-07-22

But you are confusing the kernel with the whole set. You assume the kernel only is all that's needed to launch applications, manage windows, etc. The kernel doesn't do that. ChromeOS IS an operating system. Like Debian, like Red Hat, like Ubuntu, etc. It doesn't matter what kernel it uses or what user-space applications and services, desktop environment or window manager it provides. And by shell I meant any user interface, text or GUI, that allows a user to communicate with the device or whatever thing the kernel manages.

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: Android
by james_parker on Mon 16th Nov 2009 23:21 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Android"
james_parker Member since:
2005-06-29

Again, look at the Syllabus of an Operating Systems course (geared toward a CS major), or a textbook on Operating Systems.

Here are links to three of the most commonly used textbooks (these links allow viewing the Table of Contents):

http://www.amazon.com/Operating-System-Concepts-Abraham-Silberschat...
http://www.amazon.com/Operating-Systems-Internals-Design-Principles...
http://www.amazon.com/Modern-Operating-Systems-Andrew-Tanenbaum/dp/...

None of them include discussions of windowing, shells, and any and all other libraries, frameworks, and applications that are often provided by vendors to increase the utility of an operating system. These are not part of the Operating System itself, however.

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: Android
by nt_jerkface on Tue 17th Nov 2009 08:34 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Android"
nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

Linux is a kernel.

ChromeOS is an OS.

The kernel is the core of the operating system and the first software abstraction layer that allows access to the hardware.

So I'm really not sure where you are going with this.

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: Android
by WereCatf on Tue 17th Nov 2009 09:34 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Android"
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

Linux is a kernel.

ChromeOS is an OS.


I personally see them both as OSes. When the Linux kernel is used as-is as the only software layer and the application runs directly on top of it then it is an OS. When Linux kernel is used as a foundation for a much larger standardized software, API and ABI selection then it is not an OS as of itself but rather only a part of one.

Feel free to disagree, but for the sake of any discussion it'd be nice to explain why you disagree and not just say you do.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Android
by Praxis on Sat 14th Nov 2009 01:59 UTC in reply to "RE: Android"
Praxis Member since:
2009-09-17

Android is also based on Linux, it uses the linux kernal with a custom userspace so you can't just load normal linux apps on it.

Android is really pretty limited when you compare it to a desktop Os, this goes for pretty much every other smartphone os as well, except for maemo which is linux based and uses a much more conventional userspace so you can install most normal linux apps on it with minimal effort, though it might not always be wise to do so.

If Chrome OS goes the Android route, then pretty much nothing would run on it as is and you'd need to port everything. While Chrome OS will no doubt make heavy use of web apps that would need no porting, not being able to use any native linux apps would be a bold move by google, and I'm not sure it would pay off.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Android
by helf on Sat 14th Nov 2009 02:51 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Android"
helf Member since:
2005-07-06

"Kernel".

Sorry, drives me insane. ;)

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: Android
by OSGuy on Sat 14th Nov 2009 05:48 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Android"
OSGuy Member since:
2006-01-01

not being able to use any native linux apps would be a bold move by google, and I'm not sure it would pay off

And exactly why would you want to run native linux apps? If you want to run native linux apps then get a proper linux. I've commented in the past, someone needs to take this bloated piece of *cr* cough cough "code" and do radical changes. The changes would be so big, one can't even tell it is even remotely close to Linux. Get rid of X.ORG and even the file system structure and do something about it - aka SkyOS.

*Only* then will Linux see the light on the desktop. Don't expect to concur the desktop with GNOME/KDE, it's not gonna happen anytime soon.

Edited 2009-11-14 05:49 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE[4]: Android
by Praxis on Sat 14th Nov 2009 09:15 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Android"
Praxis Member since:
2009-09-17

well I think Moblin has done a decent job cleaning things up without breaking anything. The problem with following the Android model and completely breaking things is that it means you start off with zero developer support. Android could do it cause smartphones are still an emerging market and the form factor requires a new UI or more for most applications anyway, so Android didn't turn developers away. If Chrome OS does a Android style break however I think it will turn developers away, why should they have to re-write all their stuff just cause google wanted to be different. Again I realize that Chrome OS will be focused on web apps so the platform will have stuff to run, but its going to be competing against platforms like Moblin that can run web apps just as well and draw on applications from the overall linux ecosystem. So I think a Moblin style soft break is much more likely to succeed than an Android style hard break.

I do think Chrome OS will drop X in favor of something else, and they won't be using one of the standard DEs, but I see no reason it should change the filesystem structure, it would create compatabilty issues for the sake of something that any reasonable system would hide for normal users anyway. If the user won't see it, why change it. Radical changes from the user pov can still be running on a more conventional backend

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Android
by OSGuy on Sat 14th Nov 2009 09:40 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Android"
OSGuy Member since:
2006-01-01

but I see no reason it should change the filesystem structure, it would create compatabilty issues for the sake of something that any reasonable system would hide for normal users anyway

Again, why should we worry about compatibility? I am talking about a whole new system such as SkyOS with Linux/BSD kernel. I am talking about a system that should not care about Unix apps. Linux apps should not even be remotely considered let alone running them. 0% compatibility, a fresh new system built on top of linux. That is how you fix a mess. By keeping Linux apps compatibility it would be nothing more than just another distribution....If I was in charge of Chrome OS I would make sure that my goals are met regardless whether is compatible with the rest of Linux or not. My sytstem would be a fresh new system, centralized API (WIN32) and with same standard rules for all apps something that X.ORG severely lacks.

Edited 2009-11-14 09:49 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Android
by Delgarde on Sun 15th Nov 2009 01:56 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Android"
Delgarde Member since:
2008-08-19

0% compatibility, a fresh new system built on top of linux. That is how you fix a mess.


Ok, so you're looking to build something that *nobody* will use? There are, like, a billion pet project out there from people who have tried that. Nobody uses them, barring their creators.

Why? Because if you start with nothing, with no compatibility with existing software, you don't have anything that people can use. Can't check email, until someone writes an email client. Can't browse the web, no web browser yet. Photo editing? Forget it - you don't even have the Gimp, never mind Photoshop. Watching movies? Nope. Word processing? Nope. Spreadsheet? No, don't have that either.

From what I've seen of all the past attempts to start from scratch, you'll end up with a terminal client, a clock in the corner of the screen, and a badly done version of Minesweeper. Just what you need to attract the masses to your new desktop, right?

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: Android
by OSGuy on Sun 15th Nov 2009 04:07 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Android"
OSGuy Member since:
2006-01-01

Ok well that is because there is no commercial company such as Google, IBM etc to back them up financially and smaller companies such as Serenety Systems (eCS) are not financially strong enough to launch massive advertising and invest with all their strengths.

You know, if IBM takes the matter with eCS seriously and advertise it among their partners, they will slowly but surely create a "new standard" for office apps but the the point is, IBM is lazy.

They took OOo and built upon instead...They want to climb up the easy way. Well not so fast. The only way for IBM to succeed would be to take eCS seriously and bundle a version of OOo that looks almost identical to MS Office 2003 and start advertising. Port all of their server tools to eCS, seamlessly integrate VB for Windows compatibility.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Android
by No it isnt on Sun 15th Nov 2009 18:03 UTC in reply to "RE: Android"
No it isnt Member since:
2005-11-14

What makes you think Chrome OS won't use "X-windows"? It's only speculation from a vague statement that it will be "Google Chrome running within a new windowing system on top of a Linux kernel". What they define as "windowing system" is entirely up to the reader.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Android
by Praxis on Sun 15th Nov 2009 18:58 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Android"
Praxis Member since:
2009-09-17

What makes you think Chrome OS won't use "X-windows"? It's only speculation from a vague statement that it will be "Google Chrome running within a new windowing system on top of a Linux kernel". What they define as "windowing system" is entirely up to the reader.


Just a guess, though I might have been influenced by some of the early press that did assume new windowing system meant not X, though now it is clear thats not the case. Though Android doesn't use X (I think, too lazy to check right now) So it goes back to the argument of whether they are making something more like Moblin or more like Android. I'm not really basing my speculations on anything more than gut instinct in this area. We will see next week hopefully.

Reply Score: 1

What it is:
by zenulator on Sat 14th Nov 2009 10:49 UTC
zenulator
Member since:
2008-06-29

"Google Chrome OS is an open source, lightweight operating system that will initially be targeted at netbooks."

"Speed, simplicity and security are the key aspects of Google Chrome OS. We're designing the OS to be fast and lightweight, to start up and get you onto the web in a few seconds. The user interface is minimal to stay out of your way, and most of the user experience takes place on the web."

"Google Chrome OS will run on both x86 as well as ARM chips and we are working with multiple OEMs to bring a number of netbooks to market next year. The software architecture is simple — Google Chrome running within a new windowing system on top of a Linux kernel. For application developers, the web is the platform. All web-based applications will automatically work and new applications can be written using your favorite web technologies. And of course, these apps will run not only on Google Chrome OS, but on any standards-based browser on Windows, Mac and Linux thereby giving developers the largest user base of any platform."

It's not going to be a Windows, OSX or Ubuntu replacement. Chrome OS is designed as internet appliance operating system. Built to run web apps and serve up Googles services with out the overhead of a full desktop operating system. I wouldn't be surprised if if the dalvik vm wasn't built in. I've run android on several pieces of hardware. From cell phones to small arm boards to an x86 desktop and and like java, android apps are pretty much write once run anywhere. Only time will tell not web articles from rumored unnamed sources.

Release early, release often.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by Luminair
by Luminair on Sat 14th Nov 2009 18:50 UTC
Luminair
Member since:
2007-03-30

what is with all the important OS news getting bumped off the OS news front page? this is a serious concern for me

Reply Score: 2

not the x
by 10wattmindtrip on Mon 16th Nov 2009 12:41 UTC
10wattmindtrip
Member since:
2007-04-01

I'm confused when I read speculation on whether or not Chrome OS is using X or not.
Not long ago, I read an article on a "leaked" Chrome Browser for ChromeOS. Now, it had a .deb file extension, ran on Debian without problems.
My question is simple: If Chrome OS is supposedly introducing a new windowing system, wouldn't their version of Chrome _not_ run on Xorg?
I hate to express what I think of ChromeOS as I, like everyone else out there, has absolutely no real idea of what this OS is going to be other than what Google has stated. So I'll keep my distance on that, but I still don't think they got rid of X, unless I'm ill informed and that "browser leak" on the chromium ftp was fake.
Either way, I am very interested in seeing what Google has done.

Reply Score: 1

Android doesn't use X and comes with a browser
by nt_jerkface on Tue 17th Nov 2009 07:50 UTC in reply to "not the x"
nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

but more importantly they're Google, they have plenty of cash to fund porting projects.

The downside of not building off X is losing application compatibility but this is a netbook device which is designed to have limited functionality.

Expect android for netbooks, which means no X.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by MadRat
by MadRat on Mon 16th Nov 2009 12:44 UTC
MadRat
Member since:
2006-02-17

I'm not surprised that Google didn't bolster a closed source non-mainstream OS. But I am surprised they went with Linux when so many foss options were available. I was hoping it was something like BeOS.

Linux just turns off too many MS Windows users to ever replace the latter. Putting lipstick on the pig - so to speak - doesn't cure the problem.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by MadRat
by 10wattmindtrip on Mon 16th Nov 2009 13:17 UTC in reply to "Comment by MadRat"
10wattmindtrip Member since:
2007-04-01

I thought the same in regards to why they chose the linux kernel. I think it would have been amazing to see a force like Google behind something like Haiku-OS or even buy out the BeOS code. Though, I must admit I'm not surprised they went with the Linux kernel. It's mature, stable and fast. I don't think that the user experience should reflect on the kernel. I think what most people outside of the geeksphere think about linux has nothing to do with the kernel but rather, the user experience with the tools/GUI interaction. Google can help the image by providing a simple, clean, fast OS directed toward the nongeeks of the world. We'll see how that goes.

Reply Score: 1

Portability is probably the reason
by nt_jerkface on Tue 17th Nov 2009 08:45 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by MadRat"
nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

a lot of work has already been done when it comes to Linux/ARM.

But yea investing in something like Haiku would have been more interesting.

Reply Score: 2