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I'm wondering if it's possible to make an operating system distro based on the same principle as Firefox OS or ChromeOS. One which is basically a Gnu/Linux kernel / core of tools combined with Mozilla's "Boot2Gecko" stack of Gonk / Gecko / Gaia (https://wiki.mozilla.org/B2G/Architecture) and which runs apps written in HTML5 / javascript.

I want this as something I can boot from a pendrive or install on an ordinary laptop (not for a mobile-phone).

Does anyone know if there's currently a project to make this? Or, if not, what would be involved in trying to put one together? (Using B2G + http://www.linuxfromscratch.org/ etc.)

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2 Answers 2

I'm really thinking about the same thing for a couple of weeks now. I love webkit more and love most google products. But the fact that my 100GB of drive space become paying after 2 years just doesn't make me happy.

I was first thinking about editing ChromiumOS to enable OwnCloud instead of Drive as the default file storage, but after some digging that seems extremely hard.

As far as my "research" got:

there are only 2 options if you don't want to reinvent the wheel: ChromiumOS based or FirefoxOS based. Both have their issues and perks.

ChromiumOS has a great desktop, but it's tangled on every level with build in google service support. Getting that out is a big task!

Firefox OS has the following structure: Machine > Gonk/Kernel > Gecko > Gaia. Gaia is the set of graphical webapps, including the desktop. So the desktop interface is also written in JS. This can make everything just a little slower. I'm not sure what to think off it. As for Gecko, it appears that compositing is not in their. There where efforts made in 2009, but I see no evidence that windowing and compositing works at this stage.

The main reason FirefoxOS and ChromeOS boot so fast, is because they apply patches to the kernel. ChromeOS doesn't even check for hardware during boot. When you want this thing to work on pendrives and all kind of machines that's something you are giving up. You must check for hardware. Nevertheless a sub 15 second boottime on devices with SSDs should be possible imho.

In a few weeks it's FOSDEM (Free and Open Source Developers European Meeting) in Brussels (Belgium). I'm planning to talk to the people of Mozilla about this, and I hope someone can give me some advice.

Hope this helps you (somewhat)

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While summarizing the results of your "research", you may as well consider to mention the resources that helped you to conclude so. –  Barun Jan 15 at 11:44
    
Thanks. Useful comments. Would be great to hear Mozilla's response. Cheers. –  interstar Jan 16 at 12:00
    
I got most of my info from the ChromiumOS pages: chromium.org/chromium-os And Mozilla's Developer Network: developer.mozilla.org/en-US/Firefox_OS/Platform/Architecture –  user56801 Jan 16 at 15:33

While not a complete OS distro that you are after, there are efforts on this front with a tracking bug for the initial work required for this in Bugzilla: https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=731498

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