Linux is often considered as a geeky OS when compared to Windows and Mac OS X, however, over the past few years it has become much easier to use and almost emulates a desktop environment which is similar to Windows and Mac.
There are several popular Linux Distros like Ubuntu, Fedora, JoliCloud, Linux Mint and more which are now widely used by people. If you want to try out Linux you can also dual-boot on your Windows machine (see Install Ubuntu in Windows). However, if you are someone who is afraid of installing additional software on your computer, you can now test out Linux from your web browser, albeit only the command prompt.
QEMU is a generic and open source machine emulator and virtualizer.
When used as a machine emulator, QEMU can run OSes and programs made for one machine (e.g. an ARM board) on a different machine (e.g. your own PC). By using dynamic translation, it achieves very good performance.
When used as a virtualizer, QEMU achieves near native performances by executing the guest code directly on the host CPU. QEMU supports virtualization when executing under the Xen hypervisor or using the KVM kernel module in Linux. When using KVM, QEMU can virtualize x86, server and embedded PowerPC, and S390 guests.
- a 32 bit x86 compatible CPU
- a 8259 Programmble Interrupt Controller
- a 8254 Programmble Interrupt Timer
- a 16450 UART.
The developer has tested Linux in browser in Firefox 4 and Google Chrome 11. The beta version of Google Chrome is not yet supported. You can test out the Linux OS in the browser by visiting http://bellard.org/jslinux/. Also visit this technical notes page for more information on the Linux emulator for the browser.