I have been having a play about with Chromium OS today. Downloaded from Chromium OS builds by Hexxeh.
Booted it up off a memory stick and worked really well :) . Just wondered if anyone had come across a way of being able to lock the settings down etc, so that the students cant fiddle.
I know that at BETT Google were talking about the Chromebooks and being able to centrally manage them form a web interface ... but only if you buy a Chromebook with ChromeOS installed.
I was thinking about maybe configuring some memory sticks with Chromium OS, giving them to some of the students on a trial and setting up a room or a suite of our netbooks so that if the Memory Stick is inserted into machine before its switched on it would boot upto that memory stick, that way if its the students personal one it wouldn't matter what settings they enabled/disabled/changed etc. Only thing that I can see wrong is that when ive tried it on a few different machines I have had to put in the WiFi Password and Proxy settings each time. Maybe there is a way around this?
Any input would be gratefully received, might turn into an interesting thread ... ?!?
Been looking at chromebooks recently, perfect timing on your part as I had no idea bootable builds were available :D
The advantage of Chromebooks is that they are managed, updated, centrally authenticated, and they are self healing - ie. when you boot up, Chromebooks do a managed boot and a checksum check on the OS image, and if any corruption is detected, it automatically re-images the OS image on the Chromebook. It does all this automatically without user intervention. You lose all of this with the Chromium build, which is really for hobbyists.
Originally Posted by tomgrindle
Re: Chromium OS
That's fine for chromebooks but say someone wanted to test run it first on their own hardware....how well does it cope then?
You can't actually get the same ChromeOS that runs on Chromebooks (including drivers, hardware acceleration, etc) without buying a Chromebook or Chromebox. Chromium OS is a different OS compiled from code released as open source by Google by a third party open source project. Chromium is several steps behind the OS found on Chromebooks, and lacks a lot of the features, including the ones that are the most compelling - like the automatic update and self healing, web based remote management capabilities.
Originally Posted by nephilim
Also Chromium OS won't give you a good idea of how Chromebooks would perform even if you ran them on the same hardware, because Chromebooks rely heavily on hardware acceleration for performance - whereas other on OS like Windows, the applications often bypass GPU acceleration even if available, and use the much slower CPU multi-media extensions, because Windows has to run on lots of different hardware - some of which won't have the GPU hardware acceleration. Because Chromebooks run only one application - the Chrome browser - it is possible to hardware accelerate pretty well any application that runs on Chromebooks using dedicated hardware to a much greater extent than any other OS around. Add to that the fact that you won't get the necessary drivers for the hardware acceleration with Chromium, and it means Chromium OS will run a lot slower than Chromebooks, and you won't get an accurate idea of Chromebook performance or features by running Chromium OS.
If you want to get an idea about Chromebooks or Chromeboxes, you should try one out at one of the 50 PC World stores in UK with a Google Chromebook display first, and then buy or rent one/some to trial them.
If you want to try out Google Apps for Domains, you can do this from any Windows PC or Macbook by installing Google Chrome, registering a domain with uk2.net of similar domain hosting company which provides DNS management services for users, and register for this service. Then pay for a Google Apps for Domains accounts (free for education), and then you can try out pretty well everything. All this doesn't cost a lot.
If you are doing this for a school, you should buy Chromebooks directly from Google if possible so that they are set up for domain administration (otherwise you have to tweak something to do web based administration). You may also be able to get Chromebooks for a trial and some support for the trial without committing to anything.