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General Chat Thread, Chrome OS in General; Hello All, I see that Chromebooks - notebook machines running Chrome OS - will be available to order in a ...
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    dhicks's Avatar
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    Chrome OS

    Hello All,

    I see that Chromebooks - notebook machines running Chrome OS - will be available to order in a month's time:

    Chromebook

    Is anyone planning to buy one? Or a classroom's worth for a school? It would seem that Chrome OS includes a Citrix client for remote application access, does anyone know if it will support plain RDP too?

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    Gatt's Avatar
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    Would be better if Google weren't restricting it to OEM's only...

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    mthomas08's Avatar
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    Seems a bit too limited really, 3 months down the line you will probably want to do more.

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    dhicks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gatt View Post
    Would be better if Google weren't restricting it to OEM's only...
    I can understand why, though - OEMs take care of all the bits that need extra licensing (video codecs, etc), and provide a clearly defined hardware platform. There's no messing around installing the OS, you just buy a device that works. Saying that, has anyone installed Chromium on a netbook recently? We have some Eee PCs that struggle to run Windows XP, would Chromium be likly to work better?

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    Quote Originally Posted by mthomas08 View Post
    Seems a bit too limited really, 3 months down the line you will probably want to do more.
    Limited in what way, and do more of what? I've been saying for years that all we really need for a school laptop is something that can browse the web and connect to remote servers via RDP / VNC / Citrix / etc, and this OS would seem to be it.

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    mthomas08's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dhicks View Post
    Limited in what way, and do more of what? I've been saying for years that all we really need for a school laptop is something that can browse the web and connect to remote servers via RDP / VNC / Citrix / etc, and this OS would seem to be it.
    You answered your own question

    We dont have the back bone for allowing that many users to access software server side (has been some thing I want to do), we have been cheating and brought a load of netops in the last 12 months. I think we brought about 350 of those in total in that time, allows them to run IE easy but also allows them to access a range of software that isnt too powerful. Netops only cost us about 200 a piece maybe less then that with us buying in bulk. They wouldnt of run Vista at all but have managed windows 7/XP so far (Office 2003-2010) macromedia software and a few others.

    If its just for the internet, is there a way of locking them down? I am thinking of a student point of view of limitations.

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    JJonas's Avatar
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    Will there be OS download links or will it be Chromebooks only?

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dhicks View Post
    Limited in what way, and do more of what? I've been saying for years that all we really need for a school laptop is something that can browse the web and connect to remote servers via RDP / VNC / Citrix / etc, and this OS would seem to be it.
    You bring this concept up repeatedly on here, and you repeatedly get given the same answers - schools have massive amounts of software in use that aren't web based. Or if they are, were written at a time when 'Requires Internet Explorer' was acceptable. About 1/3rd of our software doesn't work on a terminal server as well. So, what you're suggesting simply isn't workable for many schools. If I were to look at all our different software and then look at moving to a web based system, we'd be looking at at least 30 pieces of software that would need replacing.

    Also, for smaller schools (we're not huge, 600 kids, 250 computers), we wouldn't be able to afford to do it. Art and DT both require access to things like the Adobe suite and CAD software, IT and music both require access to things like audio editing software, and composition software, Maths and English both have software that relies on 3D hardware acceleration (which kills terminal servers). This means that we need full machines. By the time we have enough of these in place, there'd be no need for web based machines.

    Chrome OS looks like a brilliant concept, but it will take a good while for many schools to be able to move to a web based OS.

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    dhicks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mthomas08 View Post
    We dont have the back bone for allowing that many users to access software server side (has been some thing I want to do)
    True - I don't think Chromebooks are going to be practical in a school without decent managed wireless. I can't figure out if this first set of machines have wired ethernet ports, either - I'm guessing they're designed to rely entirely on wireless.

    If its just for the internet, is there a way of locking them down?
    Locking what down, the OS itself or the Internet connection? Your Internet connection will have to be filtered via a filtering gateway solution of some kind (I'm guessing most schools already do that, but I guess some might rely on client-side systems), and I understand the entire point of the OS is that there's pretty much nothing to worry about "locking down" - it's a web browser, that's it. Admitedly I'd need to actually use a Chromebook to see how true that was - I bet there'll still be some way to tinker with some settings that pupils can mess up.

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    dhicks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JJonas View Post
    Will there be OS download links or will it be Chromebooks only?
    I understand the idea is that the Chromium project is the open source version of Chrome OS - the two projects will follow each other closely, but aren't exactly the same. I'm guessing that this basically means that Chromium will work on more varied hardware but Chrome OS will come ready with OEM-licensed video codecs and similar.

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    JJonas's Avatar
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    Found some download links for Chromium (nightly builds so very recent) so going to take a look.

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    danbuntu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JJonas View Post
    Will there be OS download links or will it be Chromebooks only?
    Chrome OS is already downloadable - it's sister project chromium os is open source. See here for one possible one Chromium OS builds by Hexxeh. the built in drivers limit things a bit though.

    Quote Originally Posted by dhicks View Post
    I can understand why, though - OEMs take care of all the bits that need extra licensing (video codecs, etc), and provide a clearly defined hardware platform.
    What codecs? chrome os is essentially a full screen web browser with a underlying slimed down linux os to allow access to the hardware. Flash and Webfm are already baked in.
    OEM support is important because these things need to be able to work out the box.

    There was also some talk a few month ago of google having some kind of way of accessing programs on other machines. I'm guessing this will be some kind of app-v or X11 single windows streaming.

    probably the biggest issue around chrome os is if android honeycomb has already rendered it obsolete.

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    Hexxeh was the site I was looking at.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gatt View Post
    Would be better if Google weren't restricting it to OEM's only...
    Another reason it's limited to OEMs is that hardware support in ChromiumOS is limited. For example, Broadcom WiFi cards do not work...

    http://www.chromium.org/chromium-os/...-hardware-list

    Google's Cr-48 notebooks also have firmware restrictions that prevent you from installing Windows (and other OSs) on them. I assume ChromeBooks (and ChromeBoxes) will be the same.

    Quote Originally Posted by dhicks View Post
    Saying that, has anyone installed Chromium on a netbook recently? We have some Eee PCs that struggle to run Windows XP, would Chromium be likly to work better?
    You could try Hexxeh's ChromiumOS Flow and let us know.

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    dhicks (13th May 2011)

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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    Chrome OS looks like a brilliant concept, but it will take a good while for many schools to be able to move to a web based OS.
    Oh sure, I'd hardly expect to be able to switch to straight to a web-based OS accross the school overnight, it'll take a while to transition. Google seem to recognise this, though, as they seem to be including a Citrix client in the OS for connection to remote desktops. I just hope they also provide standard RDP / VNC / SSH clients. Running most things as a remote desktop might be viable more quickly than you think - the new server-side graphics cards for remote desktop application graphics acceleration are rather expensive at the moment but should drop to realistic prices soonish. That plus VDI should give us the ability to run most 3D-requiring, not-written-to-run-on-TS applications - I'm guessing that in 3 years time or so, as people do hardware refreshes and look at the available options, running a bunch of web-based laptops is going to be the cheaper solution.

  17. Thanks to dhicks from:

    bodminman (15th May 2011)

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