Adventures in the land of building Google Chrome OS

Okay I have now been working through the process of building Google Chrome OS for a little more than 12 hours. My main desktop computer has been on all night trying to sort out the development build environment so the code can be compiled. It does not help that we went over our data cap a few weeks back and are stuck on 64k internet until mid next week this makes downloading the required files ultra slow.

The build instructions provided by Google so far are quite clear and straightforward to follow. However, they are not very detailed. There are no timings for each step of the process or information about what each step does. So far I have downloaded the full source code (270mb) at uni so I would not have the dial up speed internet problem. However in order to compile the code it is required a strict development be provided. As such the compiling script creates a debootstrap environment virtualizing a minimal Debian OS. While this is a cool feature designed to ensure every build remains consistent it is a pain that this is not explained before the start of the process because the amount of data required to set this up is a lot more than the entire source code for the operating system.

Because the process of building from scratch is so long there has been a build snapshot uploaded onto The Pirate Bay. This is a good idea and I have seen on a few blogs comments that Google should be releasing a nightly build snapshot of the compiled OS. While this takes away the fun of building from scratch it does make testing the OS a lot more accessible. It is something I hope Google implement soon.

Hopefully my next blog on the OS will be a little more positive and lot more further down the building track.