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Chrome OS image released for Dell netbook

Nov 30, 2009 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

Dell employee Doug Anson released source code for a version of Google's Linux-based Chrome OS that runs on a Dell Mini 10v netbook. The Mini 10v implementation of the pre-release code for the cloud-oriented OS is “unstable,” but offers WiFi support and fast browsing, and boots in 12 seconds, says Anson.

Following Google's release of the pre-beta "Chromium OS" open source code on Nov. 19, it didn't take long for hackers to compile bootable images of the code, which will form the basis for Google's netbook-focused Chrome OS. Last week, we tested one of the images, from the gdgt website, via VirtualBox, and despite the limitations of the early code, found a flexible, extensible web browsing environment that runs well in as little as 256MB of RAM (see image below).

Chrome OS, by way of Virtual Box

Now Dell Technology Strategist Doug Anson has hacked a version of Chromium designed to run on a Dell Mini 10v netbook (pictured below), which normally runs Ubuntu Netbook Edition. Unlike the previous images, this USB key image file does not require a virtual machine, and is therefore a "real" working version, although admittedly very rough, according to Anson. It is designed to tap the Internet via the Mini 10v's Broadcom WiFi adapter.

Dell's Linux-ready Mini 10v

"The Chromium browser is extremely fast and makes for a great Web-centric browsing experience," Anson wrote in a blog. "Boot time appears quick too — about 12 seconds from hitting the power button."

While a 12-second boot is impressively zippy, it's almost twice as slow as the boot demo at Google's announcement presentation, when Chrome OS booted up on an Asus Eee PC in seven seconds. Google has said that it hopes to reduce boot time to as low as three seconds.


The announcement of the Dell Mini 10v Chromium OS distribution from Anson may be found here, and the download page should be here.

An eWEEK story on the project may be found here.

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