Old Netbooks Won’t Be Able to Run Chrome OS

By now you’ve probably heard about the biggest buzz made by Google today. Their much anticipated Google Chrome OS was officially announced. But no, the Chrome OS itself is not yet available. In fact, it won’t be available for consumers, at least for a year starting today. What was announced is the Google Chrome Open Source Project geared for developers so that they can start making cool applications or even their own OS based on the Chrome OS.

Amidst the announcements and interviews, Google’s VP for product management Sundar Pichai made some points that relates to netbooks and the implementation of the Chrome OS once it is available to consumers.

One main point made by Pichai was something about current netbook users will not be able to download Chrome OS on their existing netboks. Google will specify the requirements of the netbook that will run Chrome OS and users will need to buy it.

Pichai also said that Chrome OS netbooks will run on both X86 and ARM chips. And these netbooks will be most likely available same time as today next year.  Google will require netbook makers to deliver slightly larger netbooks than what are currently available.  Perhaps even with full-sized keyboards and bigger touch pads.

What Pichai didn’t mention or  even hinted is whether there will be a Google co-branded netbooks like what they did we the Android phone.

So, there you go. It’s still a long time to go before we see the first netbook running on the Chrome OS.

via CNET News

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Written by: Björn A.

  • crwbot

    This seems entirely wrong. The demo today was made on an off-the-shelf Eee PC. The only requirement we know for sure at the moment (unless someone has dug deeper into the design docs) is that a SSD is necessary. Those of us with SSD Eee 1000′s already running Ubuntu variants should in theory be able to run Chrome OS.

    I’m building the kernel on mine right now and will see how it goes once it’s complete.

  • crwbot

    The version open sourced today does boot on my SSD Eee 1000.

  • jisakujien

    Did you run into any problems getting it to build? Does the wireless (WEP, WPA, WPA2?) or wired network work? I’m still building chromium for it, much less the OS. It would be nice to know if I’m spending my time on making it completely unusable instead of just crippling it! Oh well, if it doesn’t work it gives me an excuse to ditch xandros.

  • crwbot

    I wrote a response but it didn’t show up on the site. In short, it works. Wifi on the 1000 doesn’t work with a clean install – gotta figure out why. Everything else does though, and it’s fast.

  • http://bradkellett.com Brad Kellett

    I’ve built Chrome OS from source and got it to run on my ancient original eeePC, WiFi and all. Made a video of it here – http://bradkellett.com/p/chrome-os-booting-on-my-original-eeepc/

    Sure, Google won’t officially make it available to just download and install, but there will be a strong community around getting it on non-supported hardware I think

  • jisakujien

    I also got it to work, except for wifi. It is pretty easy to tell why though, as the rt2860 driver is not loaded and isnt even on the system. I’m pretty sure it is in 2.6.30 mainline, so I just need to include it in the list of drivers built and copy it over the network since I crosscompiled in the first place.

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  • jisakujien

    This is being typed on my eee 1000 right now, using my wireless network. If you download the rt2860sta driver from ralink’s site ( http://www.ralinktech.tw/support.php?s=2 ), extract it, change the Makefile so it points to the correct places for LINUX_SRC and LINUX_SRC_MODULE (~chromiumos/src/bulid/kernels/kernel-i386-intel-menlow/linux-2.6.30 and that + /drivers/net/wireless, change os/linux/config.mk to use WPA supplicant (i also changed HAS_NATIVE.. but that is probably wrong), make, copy the .ko and RT2860STA.dat (after configuring it) to the eee somehow, put the .ko in /lib/modules/2.6.30/kernel/drivers/net/wireless and the .dat in /etc/Wireless/RT28606STA/, sudo insmod the .ko, sudo /sbin/ifconfig ra0 up, sudo dhclient ra0 and it got an IP.

    All in all it wasn’t that much of a hassle, in the scheme of all things i’ve ever had to do to get stuff working in linux.

    However, even after I got it working it certainly still has rough edges. In Chrome ^, is supposed to bring up battery and network settings (or localhost:8080) but it is just browser settings and a few random things. http://localhost:8080 isn’t anything either. It still things wireless is disable and trying to enable it just freezes that chrome window for 30 seconds. The Chromium icon on the left is supposed(?) to be an applications menu, but asked for a google.com account and when I clicked on a link on it it led me to a page I cannot get back from (no browser hotkeys work on that page, all new windows inherit the same page…). On a plus side the Fn keys seem to work mostly (volume up/down/mute/brightness up/down, pg up/down, home end).

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  • kaye

    Typing this comment on an eee 900 running chrome from a USB stick…


  • joe

    jisakujien I would love to understand your instructions but they are too complicated. Could you please state them a little more clearly?

    Also what is the root password? root doesn’t work for me.