The Google Chrome operating system is a key part of Google’s strategy with regard to their Chromebooks. The actual history of the Google Chrome operating system is not that clear. We do know that it was first introduced to the public in 2009, and we know that it is based on the Gentoo Linux operating system. Beyond that, there is a great deal of history that is somewhat vague.
According to Stephen J. Vaughan-Nichols, who works for ZDNet, a former Google engineer named Jeff Nelson claimed that he had created a new operating system that was originally named Google OS, and it was released to the public under different product names: Google Chrome OS, the Chromebook, and Chromebox. Nelson points to his patent, which was granted later, for a network-based operating system used across devices.
“Nelson went on to say that his bare-bones Linux distribution which was created in 2006 was initially rejected by Google management,” he said, “because you couldn’t use it on an airplane.” “At the time, its interface was the Firefox web browser rather than the yet to be invented Chrome web browser.”
Obviously, much has changed since this assessment. You can now connect on an airplane using provided Wi-Fi, and in fact, Wi-Fi is becoming ubiquitous in many areas throughout the country, and around the world.
In fact, with a cell phone carrier based connection, whether in the Chromebook itself, or a connection provided by connecting to your smartphone, connecting to Wi-Fi is not as limiting as it used to be.
Stephen J. Vaughan-Nichols says, “That’s not the end of the story though. While Gentoo’s Portage is still used for package management in Chrome OS, sources say that today’s Chrome OS ‘kernel is a regular upstream kernel plus our own changes. We don’t pick up anything from Gentoo in that area.’ So, today’s Chrome OS is based on Google’s own take on the vanilla Linux kernel while Gentoo’s Portage is still used for software package management.”
Stephen J. Vaughn-Nichols goes on to say, “No matter how exactly Chrome OS got its start, today it’s becoming a popular Linux distribution. While it’s most often found pre-installed on Chromebooks, Chrome OS can also be installed on PCs.”
He goes on to say that you should try Chrome OS, installed experimentally at home on a spare PC to see if it would be a useful operating system for you. Or, I might add, on a Chromebook of your own!