Less than a week ago, the first hacked Chrome OS developer build, courtesy of Hexxeh did the rounds on Engadget. The first build required 4GB, but a new and vastly improved ‘diet build’ is now available as a 300 MB direct download, it extracts to a 950MB image that can run off a USB stick. That’s a 75% reduction in filesize, and what’s more, the wireless support is vastly improved in this new build. Hexxeh is a geek hero!
We haven’t gotten around to installing it Chromium yet, (will update this story later) but from the gushing review, it apparently cuts all the flab, and offers blindingly fast browsing speeds on a netbook. If you’re the type that relies and trusts the Google cloud to take care of all your computing needs, by all means, have a go at this and inform the hivemind with your bugs and complaints!
Wi-Fi support is iffy at this point, there’s a growing compatibility list out here that lists out problems or incompatibility issues, mostly related to wireless support. From the list, we can recommend the Chromium OS build to users of the Lenovo ThinkPad T400, Toshiba mini NB200/5 series, ASUS Eee PC 1008HA Seashell, Toshiba Satellite A205-S5000 and the ASUS Eee PC 700. With new builds, we will see the compatibility list grow larger.
Hexxex also says that “In theory, we have even better compatibility that that chart suggests, that chart refers to compatibility on a fresh unaltered build. I’ve added the WiFi drivers from Ubuntu 9.10 to this to try and fix the WiFi for people having issues.”
You can also run this build off your HDD/SSD as well, but that will require you to wipe your hard drive clean. The OS is also available as a torrent on PirateBay, and a host of other trackers.
This OS should work out exceedingly well on an aging PC, after all, this is a linux build that does nothing but look at webpages! It’s also great for your grandma or technically challenged siblings, there will be little scope of it being infected with viruses or spyware.