Chrome* OS & Chromium* OS - Why 2?

I'm new to Chrome* OS and I learn best through touch when possible. Often this becomes an "error then success" approach to learning. I'm confident I will need a computer to touch Chrome OS so I started my education on Chrome* OS by browsing over to my favorite search engine and typed:

"chrome os hardware requirements"

After skipping the Chromebook* ad at the top I am struck with the phrase, "Chromium* OS"? As I often do, I followed Google's* response in a very different direction then the one I had expected.

According to Wikipedia*, "Chromium OS is a Linux-based operating system designed by Google to work exclusively with web applications. It (Chromium OS) is the open source development version of Chrome OS." Great, looks like they are different. Lesson one learned.

Wiki then states, "Chrome OS is built upon the open source project called Chromium OS which, unlike Chrome OS, can be compiled from the downloaded source code. Chrome OS is the commercial version installed on specific hardware from Google's manufacturing partners. The user interface takes a minimalist approach and consists almost entirely of just the Google Chrome web browser."

Therefore, like Android* being one term for both OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) specific and open source versions of the same base operating system Chromium OS (Open Source Project) and Chome OS (Specific, often proprietary, builds from a Chromium OS foundation) help us know the difference. I wonder if they use yummy food codenames for the builds like Android does?

As for the answer to my Hardware Requirements question, the answer turns out to be - depends.

The nature of Chrome OS being OEM specific tells me those builds will definitely have, or at least should have, hardware specific special functionality. I'll start looking at the different OEM offerings to see if I can glean a pattern.

The Chromium branch looks like that too is build dependent but at least it is discussed on the wiki under Getting Developer Hardware - in no way a requirements list, but at least a start on what you might need to get started creating your own. As for me, I'll stick with the version that's on the box my boss pays for. Wish me luck, maybe he'll spring for a Chromebook Pixel? What do you say boss?

Chrome OS Vol.14 Issue 1 TCD


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