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By Ian Urie

Here's a name you might not be familiar with, I know I wasn't.
Legend has it as being Google OS, but it's not!
I was intrigued to read about it on the  DistroWatch site.
GOS actually stands for Good OS although you might be wondering when you see all the Google apps in the distro.
The part that grabbed me is that this distro is installed on a PC sold by WalMart (Asda) in the US for $200.
This works out, at current exchange rates, under 100 !!
I won't go into the specs of the computer, but the pricepoint certainly grabbed my attention.
If you'd like to know more, click on the grab below.

Instead I'll have a gander through GOS itself.
GOS can be downloaded (as I did) from the link on the article title.
Distrowatch went into more detail about the actual  OS.
The distro is based around Ubuntu  7.10 and instead of the usual gnome/ kde uses enlightenment as the  window manager.
The OS uses Google heavily for the applications and tells you, when you boot it, that GOS requires a  broadband connection to work properly.

Click on the image for a larger version

This is how GOS looks on first boot.
Don't know about any of you, but it looks ghastly to me.
Updates are performed using the Synaptic Manager.
Nice and easy! You can see I downloaded the Ksnapshot program below to take the grabs.
By the way, I wasn't saying that Enlightenment is ghastly, just the backdrop used.

Enlightenment should be easy enough for Windows users to figure out and takes significantly less resources than either Gnome or Kde.

The default browser on this distro is Firefox.
Again, an easily understood browser.


Clicking anywhere on the screen, right or left, will bring up the default applications menu.
As you see, all or most are Google apps, which helps explain why you need the broadband connection.
As explained above, anything else you want can be found using the Synaptic Manager.
GOS is pitched at folk that want an easy  interface that allows them to quickly  do all the simple stuff that people tend to use computers for.
Gmail is there for online use, as well as an office suite and youtube etc.
An awful lot of people using computers don't actually need much more.
One thing about the download version.
If you want to listen to music/ watch movies, you'll need to download the codecs first.
They aren't included in the distro, which is a bit of a mystery.
Why cripple it from the outset?
They're easily downloaded and installed and , I suppose, the majority will only use this distro if it came installed with the Walmart product, but it does seem strange.


Ok, I finally got sick of the theme and backdrop.
Here's how to change it. Let's try bling, it can't be as garish, surely?

Well, at least it isn't that sickly green colour.
If you do use this, I'd recommend some decent backdrops.
A nice touch is the bottom quick launch buttons.
These scroll as you hover the mouse over them allowing a larger selection than appears onscreen.
Clicking on the gold icon brings up the menu (surprisingly).

The menu is clean and nicely set out, with easily understood headings.
Although I don't particularly like Ubuntu, this distro is rock solid and fairly fast even though running from CD.

I've just thrown in this grab to show that the Google apps work.
As I said, I don't suppose anyone will particularly decide to download this distro and install it.
There are better.
For a low resource front end to Ubuntu with all the online Google apps you want already set up, though, it might be something someone would want.
It made a change from the usual distros, and I couldn't find all that much to criticize in it.
All the links required to access the download link are in the article as well as the link to Walmart.
Go forth and explore, isn't that what the Internet is all about?

RIYAN Productions

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