Chrome OS Linux is a completely separate project from the original Google Chrome OS. Although they both “revolve” around the Chrome web browser, yet the Chrome OS Linux is an independent GNU/Linux distribution build on the OpenSuse distribution.
According to her developers, the aim is to develop a lightweight operating system (with an emphasis on giving a quality web browsing experience) that should run quite fast even on the older hardware where recent desktop “shift” is focused on “fancy” graphics and all that and they’re struggling to run properly even on never hardware (especially GPU) due to some driver incompatibilities.
In their own words…
“The aim of this project is to provide a lightweight Linux distribution for the best web browsing experience on any x86 PC, notebook or Chromebook…”
The Chrome OS Linux developers yesterday announced the availability of the 1.7.932 RC (release candidate) live CDs, if you’re interested.
Here are some of the new changes…
*. Comes with the GNU/Linux kernel 2.6.7.
*. Both Gnome 2.3 classic desktop and Gnome Shell (first timer).
*. Latest Google Chrome web browser 17.0.932.
*. Google music manager support (another first timer for the OS).
*. LibreOffice 3.3 as the office productivity suite.
*. GIMP as the image editor.
*. Wine emulator (so you could attempt to run Windows software on GNU/Linux).
*. Pidgin and Cheese web cam software… are just a few to mention.
As said, the purpose here is to build an OS with minimal hardware requirements (not entirely sure how Gnome-Shell would fit in though, ahh perhaps the “fall-back-mode”) thus to run Chrome OS Linux you’d have to have a PC with …
*. Processor: Intel Pentium, Atom, Xeon or newer; AMD Duron, Athlon, Sempron, Opteron or newer.
*. RAM: min. 256 MB .
*. Hard disk: min. 1 GB
*. They won’t say much about the GPU power, but unless you’re planing to use Gnome Shell that requires some OpenGL 3D graphics rendering, an older one might do quite fine.
And also, this is a GNU/Linux distribution that based on the actual Kernel never GPU and other hardware are also supported (unlike with Google Chrome which is somewhat different and requires some specific hardware).
If interested, you can go to this Chrome OS download page and get it! :). Good luck.