ChromeOS in VirtualBox – second look

As I blogged yesterday, I attempted today to get wide screen support to work with ChromeOS as a VirtualBox Guest OS.

When you try to configure the display properties from the Gnome desktop, you may receive the error “Failed to execute child process “gnome-display-properties”. The first fix for this is do go into the Software Manager and find the gnome-control-center package and install this. At this point you can see the properties, but cannot change them.

Next I did a little research and found virtualbox guest extension kernel packages, again in the Software Manager, but for the VirtualBox OSE which is not what I use. So a little RTFM on the VirtualBox Users Manual revealed that the VBoxGuestAdditions.iso did contain the proper kernel drivers, up to OpenSuse 11.2 anyway.

Out of the box with the RC, ChromeOS is lacking support for mounting a CD drive, and further, you cannot explore your “Computer”. So using sudo to run the Guest Additions from the virtual CD in the VM is a non-starter, at least while ChromeOS is in a use it “as-is” state. Once ChromeOS goes RTW, I’ll try this again and see if the CD problem is resolved.

However, all of this raises the simple question of what would be the real downside of simply installing a small footprint Linux distro along with a performant desktop choice, and installing the Chrome browser on it? In other words, if you take the approach that Roku did, but target a browser instead of a custom UI, have you not met your goal of essentially building the 2010 equivalent of a WebTV box?

Further, is ChromeOS really about building a better PC OS, or more about the Chrome Web Store? I wonder.

I’ll update on this topic as things sort out a bit more.


About generation12

I am a SharePoint/.NET consultant in the twin cities.
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