Thursday, November 26, 2009

Chromium OS -- what's my opinion after 3 days of use?

Well, I already posted about installing Chromium OS on a USB key and booting from that to my EeePC 901.
As it's basically just the Chrome browser, there's absolutely no point in using this right now other than the excitement of being able to participate right from the very start in what's likely to be a major player in the OS field in years to come (for Netbooks, at least).
However, after seeing the glowing review presented by Engadget today, I thought I should update my own views which are quite a bit more subdued.
So, here's a summary of my experience to date with ChromiumOS.
As before, I downloaded the zipped ChromiumOS.img from here and dd'ed it to a 4GB usb key using the commands shown in the link. This actually took 29 minutes on my MacBook 6,1 which is not fast.
Then I transferred the usb key to my EeePC 901 and booted to the key. I used "facepunch" as the username and just pressed enter for the password. The complete bootup took just 30 seconds (14 to reach login page) before getting to the Chrome browser.
I had to have my network cable plugged in, as I cannot get wifi to work in ChromiumOS on this machine.
Possibly the biggest problem I have with this OS (other than the fact that it has basically nothing other than the browser)) is that browsing is slow. As "resolving host" takes way too long, I believe this is a DNS problem. However, I cannot edit /etc/resolv.conf. Although I can open a terminal (ctrl-alt-T) and invoke vi to edit this file, I cannot save changes as the file is read-only. Also, even as root, I cannot chmod to make the file writable. I don't understand this and have posted to the ChromeOS forums about it. As yet, I've received no reply.
Another problem is that while I can get into a terminal, I cannot get back to the GUI. Ctrl-alt-F7 just turns the screen black and running ./ as root in /etc/init.d just gives an error telling me that x is already started.
Really, no reason to suffer with this until some further development takes place.

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