Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Google Chrome_OS working on EeePC 901

Although I haven't seen anything special in the Linux version of Google Chrome to entice me away from Opera as my favourite browser, I decided to have a look at Chrome_OS.
The first download link was abominably slow (<10 kB/s) but I eventually stumbled upon this which enabled be to get the gzipped iso at about 180 kB/S.
Unetbootin handled the unzipped iso with ease to create a LiveUSB.
I then used this to boot to Chrome_OS but it seems not too much works here (although I didn't really try).
However, the LiveInstaller does work and I used this to install Chrome_OS to a 2GB usb key (just one partition and no swap). The install is very squeezed for space (about 1.6GB) but I just didn't have a larger key available.
Although I installed Grub to the mbr of the key, I couldn't get it to boot from there (although once again, I didn't try too hard).
So, I reverted to the old stalwart of placing the kernel and initrd files in the /boot folder of Ubuntu and booting from the Ubuntu Grub in the sda mbr. Here's the /boot/grub/menu.lst stanza that I'm using:

title Google ChromeOS Beta i686-0.4.207 (on 2 GB USB key)
root (hd1,1)
kernel /boot/chromeos/vmlinuz- root=/dev/sda1 #splash=silent showopts
initrd /boot/chromeos/initrd-

Two strange things here are that Chrome_OS saw the usb key as /dev/sda rather than the expected /dev/sdc. Also, even then it wouldn't boot (claiming that /dev/sda1 wasn't found) until I commented out "splash=silent showopts" in the kernel line. I have no idea why this made such a difference.
So, I ended up on the Chrome_OS desktop background but this really seemed to be the only substantial difference from OpenSUSE.
Although wired Internet worked fine, I wasn't able to get a wifi connection (even though wifi works out-of-the-box in OpenSUSE 11.1 on this machine).
As things stand however, there seems no reason at all why anyone would want to use Chrome_OS as it seems to be little more than a watered-down version of OpenSUSE with Google Chrome browser being shoved down your throat.

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