I was pretty excited when I saw the VMWare image for ChromeOS up for download. I immediately downloaded it to try it out. The zip file I got from gdgt has a vmdk file but no vmx file. I created one from scratch to try ChromeOS out (I’ve made a new zip with the vmdk and the vmx. The link is at the end of this post.). It’s not too bad. The OS boots up really quick. The login screen is pretty spartan (look at the screenshots I have). You login with your Google/Gmail username and password. When you login, it opens up the Chrome browser. I wasn’t able to get anything else running other than the browser. Also, when I first logged in, Chrome complained that the security certificate for Gmail had been revoked. But I was able to login when I typed in the address for Gmail in again. The default tabs seem to be GMail and Google Calendar. I’m assuming that because it’s such an early build, you’re not able to try out the other stuff. Maybe there’s a way; I didn’t play around with it too much. There is a Date and Time settings menu that’s available from the browser, where you can set a few other options, like your proxy, SSL options, home page, and a few other advanced settings.
I was having a conversation with Sheehan over twitter and I made a comment that “Chrome OS is doing the kiosk thing all over again”. I guess that’s true to an extent. ChromeOS will be running on approved hardware with an SSD. You’re probably not going to be able to install anything on the machine and everything seems to be a webapp. What this means is that all your data is online. To be honest, I don’t find very much use for that, but then again, I’m not part of the target market. I think this might be useful for people who are on-the-go and who need access to their data from anywhere in the world (well, anywhere in the world with an internet connection). I use my machine for a variety of things; mainly development. Since I also like to tinker with it from time to time, I’m always installing stuff on it. Google will need a very strong marketing campaign so that consumers understand exactly what they’re getting. They won’t be able to install applications (maybe webapps?) and they won’t be able to save arbitrary files to the machine. I wonder what this means for the online experience. What if they’re trying to download some sort of file? Where would they save it? Would Google provide online storage for the users? It’s a major paradigm shift. Like I mentioned before, your machine turns into a kiosk or a thin-client. Maybe some people won’t mind using one, but I view my machine as something much more and so I don’t think I will be satisfied.
ChromeOS .vmx file for the .vmdk
.encoding = "UTF-8" displayName = "Chrome OS" guestOS = "other" memsize = "512" ethernet0.present= "true" ethernet0.startConnected = "true" ethernet0.virtualDev = "e1000" ethernet0.connectionType = "nat" ethernet0.addressType = "generated" ethernet0.generatedAddress = "00:0c:29:cd:8d:e6" ethernet0.generatedAddressOffset = "0" usb.present = "true" sound.present = "false" sound.autodetect = "true" sound.virtualDev = "es1371" sound.fileName = "-1" sound.startConnected = "true" ide0:0.present = "true" ide0:0.fileName="chrome-os-0.4.22.8-gdgt.vmdk" ide0:0.deviceType = "disk" ide0:0.mode = "persistent" ide0:0.redo = "" ide0:0.writeThrough = "false" ide0:0.startConnected = "false" virtualHW.version = "3" config.version = "8" floppy0.present = "false"