In December of last year, we told you about BrowserLinux, a very small operating system that has one basic purpose, providing a web browser. The older versions contained only Firefox, but now you can get versions which use Firefox or Google Chrome. That’s good news for those of us who prefer Google’s web browser. At this point you might be wondering why you’d want to use BrowserLinux. Below are a few details that might convince you to give it a try.
How would you like to run an entire operating system from a 128mb flash card or USB thumb drive? With BrowserLinux, it’s quite easy to do. It’s offered as a Live CD (ISO file) download and is less that 80mb in size. You could burn the ISO file to a CD, but SD cards and USB sticks are so easy to carry around. Here’s an easy way to create a bootable flash or USB drive.
Your PC is unchanged
Since BrowserLinux was designed to run only as a Live CD (or bootable flash/USB), you don’t have to worry that your PC will get messed up. No matter what OS is already installed, BrowserLinux won’t make any changes to it.
The bad guys don’t seem to care about Linux. While Windows operating systems get infected by the thousands every day, it’s very unlikely you’ll find a website or email attachment that can infect your BrowserLinux system. If something weird happens, you can simply shut down without saving by killing the power. Any problems you had during your surfing won’t be there the next time you reboot. That makes it almost bullet-proof and an ideal system to take with you on the road.
Public Library or Internet Cafe
This might also be a good OS for Public Libraries or Internet Cafes to use. All they’d have to do it take out the hard drive, slip in a Live CD and set the BIOS to boot from CD. No changes could ever be made to the PCs that are set up that way. With so many cool web applications and online office suites available, who needs the hassle of installing, constantly updating, and paying for buggy software like MS Office. Finally, BrowserLinux will run fine on older PCs. That makes a computer running from this Live CD, the ultimate low cost, maintenance free system.
The developer of BrowserLinux says:
If you want an operating system for editing movies, writing letters or printing spreadsheets: don’t use Browserlinux. Browserlinux is for browsing the web.
The most difficult task to getting this OS on the web is connecting to a Wifi network. However, even that’s no big deal. All you have to do is hit the Menu button, choose Network, then choose Wireless. It will scan the area for Wifi hotspots you can connect to.