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A Quick Look at gOS – But Don’t Call It Google

I thought I would take a break from Microsoft and cover the much talked about gOS. This is the Operating System included on Wal-Mart’s $199 PC’s. Although there are a lot of Google applications included, gOS is actually based on Ubuntu Linux and stands for GreenOS. This is a very light weight OS which can run on lower powered systems. To maximize all the features included you will need a High Speed Ethernet connection.

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I downloaded the ISO and burned it to disc. As with most versions of Ubuntu, gOS comes on a live CD where you can test out your computers hardware and run through the features. Because gOS is so lightweight in using system resources, the live CD runs much faster than any other live Linux disc I have used.

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Installation is extremely fast as well. For those of you familiar with Ubuntu you will have no problem installing gOS. The screens and set up options are basically identical to any Ubuntu installation. When installation is finished you are prompted to remove the live disc and reboot. Then you are presented with the familiar Username and Password log in screens.

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Here is a list of the pre-installed (links to) Web applications. Open Office is also installed, along with some cheesy games to pass the time.

6-Internet Applications

Also pre-installed is Xine media player. I thought this player was a great choice to include by default.

7-Xine

I just installed gOS on a spare machine I had laying around. A Dell Optiplex 280 with a P4 2.4GHZ CPU and 512 MB of RAM. So far gOS runs surprisingly smooth and quick. I have not had a whole lot of time to play with it, but you can use apt-get to install more software packages and also included is Synaptic Package Manager.

This is certainly not the OS for a power user, but it’s kind of neat to check out and throw on a spare machine. Download gOS.

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 03/14/08

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