Chrome OS is the Gentoo Linux-based operating system developed by Google. Google made it for people who need a break from the conventional, Windows 10 like computers that we’re accustomed to. It doesn’t have a search bar and it boots up relatively quickly and has excellent performance. Linux is not an operating system and does not use an ‘OS’, and it comes with a full desktop environment, but it doesn’t require a traditional Operating system like Windows or Mac OS to run. It was released in 2009 for multiple platforms such as Chrome OS, Android, and Chromebook. However, it excludes the desktop (which is the main focus).
Features about Chrome OS?
Chrome OS supports Google Play apps and extensions and can be booted to a virtual desktop with software called Crouton, which allows the user to run both Chrome OS and another OS simultaneously. The first commercial version of the product was released on May 28, 2011, on Google’s Chrome Web Store. After the success of its alpha versions, it is now available for multiple platforms, including Chromebooks. It doesn’t support the installation of or running Windows programs or any other OS or OS-like operating system, but there are apps for this.
Adobe Flash Support
The operating system is built on Linux kernel with software added on top by Google including Adobe Flash support for websites for Adobe Flash Player, Google Talk integration for Google’s instant messaging service, Google Apps support, additional drivers for various hardware devices, and runtimes to allow Android apps to be run through the Chrome browser. The operating system is designed to be easy to learn because it runs entirely within a web browser using Adobe Flash.
The physical keyboard is used by navigation keys instead of all the function keys on a Windows keyboard. All tasks can be done from the keyboard too.
Chrome OS is based on the Linux kernel, but it doesn’t use an ‘OS’ but uses the Linux kernel directly. This makes it lightweight and fast. It comes with a full desktop environment based on Chromium which includes compatible web browsers like Chrome, Opera, Chromium, etc, to run applications like Google Documents (Google Docs), Google Hangouts (a communication platform by Google), Google Drive (cloud storage service by Google), Picasa (image organizer and video/photo editor by google).
It doesn’t have any login screen and boots directly into the Chrome browser. It also doesn’t have a Start/search bar by default, but these can be added if one wants to. Moreover, It has a task manager to kill running applications along with the option of using the Ctrl+Alt+Del key combination to reboot or shut down your PC.
Boot Speed of Chrome OS
The Chrome OS’s boot speed is faster than Windows XP. A self-built Chrome OS installation booting up in 18 seconds (the boot process usually takes about 45 seconds). Also, when you turn on your computer, there is no initial splash screen with the Pentium logo and instead, it shows up on Chromium’s launcher page. Another advantage of using it in comparison to Windows is that in case you accidentally delete something on Windows, it remains intact in the Linux-based operating system.
Task View App
It has a special app called TaskView which can be used to control various aspects of Chrome OS including switching between different Chrome apps, managing documents, and web pages opened in Chrome, etc.
Development Process of Chrome OS
The development process for the operating system is open and allows anyone with an Internet connection to make changes and provide feedback. On November 12, 2010, Google opened a virtual design studio on the Google Web Fonts website that allows people to give input on Google’s browser user interface. The studio displays different mock-ups of the browser’s user interface with different revisions and asks visitors to select their favourite. After users have selected their preferred designs, they can leave comments and suggestions for Google designers. The source code for Chrome OS is an open-source project, meaning it allows users to look under the hood and see how it works. The code is hosted in the Chromium OS project on GitHub since April 2015. Before that, it was hosted in the Chromium repository.
A very commonly used command in Google Chrome is “Linux” which can be used to run an executable file under the Linux operating system or start a shell terminal emulator which will slice the slice Linux Kernel of browser Chromium OS for running various commands. Google Chrome OS supports both x86 and ARM processors. The first Chromebook was a prototype device that used a Marvell processor, but it was never sold commercially. Currently, all Chromebooks use a variety of Intel processors.
Chrome Books with Chrome OS
The physical keyboard is used by navigation keys instead of all the function keys on a Windows keyboard. All tasks can be done from the keyboard too. It has a trackpad, which users would find frustrating at the start because it doesn’t have the conventional tap to click functionality present in almost all Windows laptops. Instead, it uses a two-finger press for right-clicking, and scrolling is done by dragging two fingers across the trackpad in the direction you wish the page to scroll.
Google has stated that Chrome OS will be heavily dependent on web applications, with the Chrome OS platform providing only a minimal Linux system to run web applications. Google intends to bring together everything it considers best about the Internet, including Google Search, Gmail, Google Docs, YouTube, and Google Calendar. Google initially expected that third-party developers would provide most of the applications used on Chromebooks. However, after releasing the operating system in June 2011, no new apps or major updates for existing ones had been announced by Google by December 2011. As Chromebooks running on ARM were released in 2012 with time more apps are coming out for Chrome OS on ARM devices.