There’s been a bit of confusion about Google’s new operating-system-that’s-really-just-a-browser. While Google did announce yesterday that the OS would be designed for upcoming “netbooks” with larger screens and keyboards and solid state disks, the most important thing Google announced was that the project was open source. And the code is available today. And that means anybody that knows there way around a Linux command line interface can go in and tweak to their heart’s content. And that’s why last night geeks around the world started building the pre-release version of Chrome and installing it on virtual machines and netbooks.
For instance, want to know how Chrome OS looks on an Asus Eee PC 701 with a 7 inch screen and a keyboard that’s decidedly not full size? Just check out the video after the break, courtesy of Brad Kellet.
It doesn’t quite live up tot he promised 7 second boot time on this relatively sluggish hardware. And the login screen doesn’t really scale well to the 800 x 480 pixel display. But the OS does boot relatively quickly, all things considered, and as you’d expect it looks almost exactly like the Google Chrome browser for Windows.
So if you want to try it out, you can go and grab a pre-compiled disc image. Gdgt has a VMWare disc image, and The Pirate Bay has at least one pre-compiled disc image. Or you could, you know, install the Chrome browser on an existing system.