Tech, Gadgets, Photography, Social Media and Poor Spelling

4 Things Chrome OS can’t do, and isn’t supposed to..

chrome-logo-1 Before you start reading this post, i should make very clear what it is about, its not a FUD or Dig post at the ChromeOS completely the opposite you see the problem I get is when I like something I tend to promote it, XBMC, the iPad, Windows Phone 8, i’m an early adopter and i get excited over things and forget that while I am able to adapt to the tech and embrace it. Some people pick up the same tech and complain about what it doesn’t or can’t do. So here are a few things out of the box ChromeOS doesn’t do:

Remote Network Drives

The first thing i really noticed “missing” from ChromeOS was a remote file browser out of the box it doesn’t have one which is actually quite surprising seeing as it handles cloud storage quite well. I have a couple of NAS with several media files on them and a Mac Mini acting as a file server which ChromeOS can’t obviously get the files off.

There are however a couple of workarounds for getting files off remote networks

The first is Emit which can be accessed via and is covered by this tutorial 

The app works by running an application on a PC which has internet access and pointing the app to your various file locations, its not the only app to do this Boxee, AirVideo are two other examples Emit is the only one so far i’ve found with a fairly decent Google Chrome App.

The second is FTP, its an oldie but a goodie because chrome can access FTP sites natively or you could use to access files on your servers. FTP allows for both upload and download.

Command Prompt

ChromeOS is built on Linux foundations so you’d think as with most Linux Distros there would be a command prompt Icon sitting there in the dashboard. Turns out nope. ChromeOS isn’t about getting under the hood and I’d suggest for very good reason.


That doesn’t mean there isn’t a command prompt lurking there to take you to the Underbelly of this OS, just no icon for it

One way to get the login prompt is through something called VT-2, or “virtual terminal 2”.  This is probably familiar to the Linux hackers out there.  You can get to VT-2 by pressing:

[ Ctrl ] [ Alt ] [ => ]

…where the [ => ] key is the right-arrow key just above the number 3 on your keyboard.
Once you have the login prompt, you should see a set of instructions telling you about command-line access.  By default, you can login as the chronos user with no password.  This includes the ability to do password-less sudo.  The instructions on the screen will tell you how you can set a password.  They also tell you how to disable screen dimming.
The instructions do tell you how to get back to the browser, but because it’s so important, I’ll also put it here.  Just press:

[ Ctrl ] [ Alt ] [ <= ]

…where the [ <= ] key is the left-arrow key just above the number 1 on your keyboard.
You probably wont need to venture there however its good to know it exists.

Java Apps

But this isn’t such a bad thing you might say? With the bad press Oracle is getting right now especially from the US DoD its not the most popular app in the world even if there are million of apps built for it. The reason I bring this up is VPN’s and there are several which use Java for clients which won’t launch.

Android Apps

As well as Java ChromeOS doesn’t run Android Apps, this may come as a surprise seeing as both OS’s are supplied by the same company. Again, it’s not designed to be running Desktop Applications thats part of what keeps the OS so lightweight. ChromeOS runs Web Apps and Websites. I can understand the argument for “merging” Android and ChromeOS which on the face of it makes perfect sense because they are both Google Products. IOS Apps don’t run on MacOS and I don’t see the need for both these platforms to merge as they serve different markets.


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This entry was posted on January 31, 2013 by in comment, ilike and tagged , , , , , .
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