I thought that I’d have a quick look at Google Chromium OS. I’m not sure that it’s living up to the hype yet.
Where did I get it?
So far it’s only available as a VMware or Sun Virtual box download. I downloaded both the VMWare .vmdk file and the Sun Virtual box .vdi files from http://gdgt.com/. I had problems with my VMWare installation so I thought I’d try it in Sun Virtual Box. I’m running Sun Virtual Box on a Windows 7 64-bit host.
The Sun Virtual Box image doesn’t boot properly and only boots to a black screen. Because Sun Virtual Box can support VMWare images, I thought that I’d try the .vmdk file. I noticed other posts which recommend configuring the network in “bridged mode” and running Virtual Box with administrator credentials. I did both of these things and Chromium booted first time. I was presented with a simple login screen.
At this point I entered my gmail account details. The image uses a US keyboard so the @ symbol is “Shift-2”.
After login you see a very simple browser screen with your Google mail and Google calendar tabs. Other tabs can be opened and it can be used as s simple browser. At the moment, I can’t see much value in it, but couple it with some nicer fonts and the ability to save/sync your Google Docs to the local hard disk of a laptop/netbook or USB key and it could have potential.
What’s the point?
Perhaps one use could be for students to all be issued with their own OS and Docs on a USB key, all Docs are backed up centrally, but they could take their key to any machine and boot from it to get the same locked-down experience wherever they work.
Alternatively, banks could issue secure keys for online banking containing an OS that can only access the bank’s online banking site. This could greatly reduce online account fraud by only granting access to web based banking to people who have a physical device (encrypted USB key), know the password for the key as well as the online account password.
Google has launched a new initiative to encourage people to develop faster, more efficient web applications.
To do this, they have published tools for download (like Fiddler and HTTP Watch) on their website. They have also written articles which explain GZIP compression, prefetching, reducing HTML size and image sizes etc. These may all be of interest to performance testers as well as Google’s target audience (developers) so their site is well worth a read if you find yourself at a loose end.
http://code.google.com/speed – The main website
http://code.google.com/speed/articles/ – Articles describing different performance improving technologies / techniques
http://code.google.com/speed/downloads.html – Downloads of useful tools which can help developers to improve web performance.
cd d Change to directory d
mkdir d Create new directory d
rmdir d Remove directory d
mv f1 [f2...] d Move file f to directory d
mv d1 d2 Rename directory d1 as d2
passwd Change password
alias name1 name2 Create command alias (csh/tcsh)
alias name1="name2" Create command alias (ksh/bash)
unalias name1[na2...] Remove command alias na
ssh nd Login securely to remote node
exit End terminal session
setenv name v Set env var to value v (csh/tcsh)
export name="v" Set environment variable to value v (ksh/bash)
Output, Communication, & Help
lpr -P printer f Output file f to line printer
lp -d printer f Output file f to line printer
script [f] Save terminal session to f
exit Stop saving terminal session
mailx username Send mail to user
man name Unix manual entry for name
CTRL/c * Interrupt processes
CTRL/s * Stop screen scrolling
CTRL/q * Resume screen output
sleep n Sleep for n seconds
jobs Print list of jobs
kill % Kill job n
ps Print process status stats
kill -9 n Remove process n
CTRL/z * Suspend current process
stop %n Suspend background job n
cmmd& Run cmmd in background
bg [%n] Resume background job n
fg [%n] Resume foreground job n
exit Exit from shell
ls [d] [f...] List files in directory
ls -1 [f...] List files in detail
alias [name] Display command aliases
printenv [name] Print environment values
quota Display disk quota
date Print date & time
who List logged in users
whoami Display current user
finger [username] Output user information
chfn Change finger information
pwd Print working directory
history Display recent commands
! n Submit recent command n
vi [f] Vi fullscreen editor
emacs [f] Emacs fullscreen editor
ed [f] Text editor
wc f Line, word, & char count
cat f List contents of file
more f List file contents by screen
cat f1 f2 >f3 Concatenates f1 & f2 into f3
chmod mode f Change protection mode of f
cmp f1 f2 Compare two files
cp f1 f2 Copy file f1 into f2
sort f Alphabetically sort f
split [-n] f Split f into n-line pieces
mv f1 f2 Rename file f1 as f2
rm f Delete (remove) file f
grep 'ptn' f Outputs lines that match ptn
diff f1 f2 Lists file differences
head f Output beginning of f
tail f Output end of f
Abbreviations used in this document
CTRL/x hold down control key and press x
nd computer node
[y/n] yes or no
 optional arg