I’m running Google Chrome OS

I installed Google’s Chrome operating system on my laptop (Dell Latitude D420).  In fact, I am writing this blog post from Chrome OS.  Pretty cool, huh?

To install, I downloaded the source code and followed the build instructions on the Chromium website.

Here are a few problems I hit, and the resolution:

  • I couldn’t login at first because it wants to validate my Google account credentials against the Google server, however my wireless wasn’t working initially.  So to fix I followed the optional steps listed in the build instructions to “Enable a local user account” and “Set the shared user password”.  Now I can login with the local user account I created, and I can run sudo commands.
  • Wireless wasn’t running.  In a terminal (ctrl-alt-t) I saw this error in the dmesg output:
    iwl3945: iwlwifi-3945-1.ucode firmware file req failed: Reason -2
    iwl3945: Could not read microcode: -2So I copied these driver files from my laptop’s Ubuntu (Karmic) install:
    /lib/firmware/iwlwifi-3945-1.ucode
    /lib/firmware/iwlwifi-3945-2.ucode

Unresolved Problems:

  • Mouse is annoyingly slow by default and changing it didn’t work until I closed the laptop lid and it went to sleep and came back.  But it loses it when I restart.
  • Closing lid makes the laptop hibernate correctly; and it comes back super fast, but then it errors and hibernates again.  Then if I hit the power button it returns and starts working normally (not a reboot).
  • Can download file attachments, but can’t directly open.  Need to manually upload to google docs
  • Have to boot from a USB drive since my laptop doesn’t have a solid state had drive 🙁
  • Booting isn’t that much faster than Ubuntu yet
  • Periodic “A server error occurred. Please contact the administrator” errors with the start menu (its a web page)

In general, this OS is very simple (just a browser) but exactly what most people need… they just don’t know it yet.  Its not reliable enough for normal use yet, but this will become my primary OS sooner than my “Desktop 2015” prediction 4 years ago.

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