Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 19th Nov 2009 20:01 UTC
Google Google has just unveiled its Chrome OS operating system during a press event at the company's headquarters, and it's pretty much exactly what we expected it to be: a streamlined Linux kernel booting straight into the Chrome web browser. The code is available starting today.
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Sleep/resume would be pointless on ChromeOS. Firstly you would disable the builtin security.

Why? What does loading state data have to do with security?

Secondly, there's absolutely no point in restoring the data which was in memory. All data is in the cloud already! Finally I doubt that it would actually speed up the boot process.

Data != machine state. And just because sleep/resume on your typical OS involves saving memory and CPU state to disk, that isn't the only way to implement it. The PURPOSE of sleep/resume is to allow saving your working session after a power off so you can resume your work later, not to increase boot speed.

Chrome OS would probably simply write out what tabs (apps) were launched and reopen them upon restart (admittedly it isn't quite that simple, as there are some details that would have to be worked out so that apps could store their internal state if needed, but it is doable non the less). It could save this state data locally and/or in the cloud, so that it would be possible to resume the session on a different machine.

And no, this does nothing to speed up the booting of the machine, but that isn't the purpose of the feature to begin with - people only see it as a way to speed up machine booting because cold booting is so slow...

Yes thinclients can have interesting applications, ChromeOS is a crippled thinclient, which can only connect to webservices.

You see that as crippling. Traditional (modern) thin clients are simply mechanisms that move all the processing to a server - the server is doing most of the same work the client would be doing otherwise. A particularly archaic "feature" of this is that the server is doing a boatload of RENDERING work, it has to run the damn graphics stack. Even with X, it has to run a substantial portion of the graphics stack, it may not do the actual rendering, but it is still attached to the graphics stack at the hip. I see THAT as crippling.

The beautiful thing about web services (if they are built correctly) is that they are completely ignorant of even the existence of a graphics stack...

But the thing is browser only linux distros have been around longer than ChromeOS. What Google is doing here is nothing exceptionally new, but somehow the same people who were previously saying "who would ever want something like that" are now falling all over themselves on Googles "paradigm-shift".

But it is NOT a browser only Linux distro... It is a browser that essentially runs on a firmware. Linux just happens to be the firmware for the time being. The browser IS the OS, no one is seeing the big picture because they are stuck on the whole "Linux Distro" bit - Linux is just a cog in the wheel that the user cannot interact with AT ALL. I expect Google to rapidly whittle down the kernel to only the absolutely bare minimum required to run the browser as efficiently as possible.

Remember I said this: It will NEVER run a piece of native code compiled for Linux outside of what Google ships for it... It may have a sandbox at some point for running plugins - but I doubt even that.

The fact that it is limiting is the whole point... That is what makes it a paradigm shift. If it was made capable of running native code then people WOULD run native code on it - and that would defeat the whole purpose. Google is trying to sell the world on running cloud apps - why would they then create an OS for running conventional ones...

It may fall flat on its face, who knows - but I think it will catch on. Remember, as long as it never runs native code (it won't) it will remain 100% compatible with existing fat clients running a browser. If you are happy with a traditional OS there is virtually no reason to run it, other than it (hopefully) will make it possible to build extremely small, light, efficient, and inexpensive devices that you might find attractive as alternatives (or in addition) to your existing computer.

Its for companion devices now - it wont replace a conventional machine for most people. But if you wake up one day in the future and everything you need to do on a computer can be done through a cloud app well...

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