Linux finally has an impressive cloud-like operating system on Ubuntu Web


Jack Wallen discovered a Chrome OS-like Linux desktop distribution that allows users to disconnect from Google while enjoying a full-fledged operating system.

Image: Jack Wallen

Linux powers the cloud. But for a long time the operating system that enabled the cloud on its own didn’t really have a desktop distribution that offered a lot of applications that interacted well with the cloud. Yes, there is a Dropbox app and some third-party tools that can be installed to sync your desktop with cloud storage accounts … but not much else.

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Although GNOME allows you to connect your desktop to your Google Drive account, this solution is far from practical for most users. In fact, the Linux desktop and cloud have really been a hit or miss the longest.

And then comes Ubuntu Web. This new distro promises to be the Chrome OS for Linux and, wow, it does just that. To be honest, I was doubtful when I first heard about the remix. I had seen so many distros trying and mostly failing. So in fear I downloaded the latest version of Ubuntu Web, started a VM, and tested it.

After the installation was complete, I logged in and was greeted by a window I’d never seen before in a Linux distribution. I have to log in to this window. But to which account? It wasn’t long before I realized I wanted to log into a / e / Foundation account (which I already had). By logging into the / e / account, you can use a pretty nifty trick that Ubuntu Web has up its sleeve. That trick is WayDroid, a port of Anbox that allows users to install Android apps from the / e / store.

Then doubts began to seep away.

These Android apps work as if they were native to the operating system, and there are plenty of apps to choose from (Figure A.).

Figure A.


Install Android apps from the / e / App Store on Ubuntu Web.

One caveat to WayDroid is that it doesn’t work as expected when running Ubuntu Web as a virtual machine. You can use the app, but the installer will only download the .wapp file for the app (instead of installing it). According to the developer, the app works as expected with Ubuntu Web installed on bare metal.

The fun didn’t stop there with WayDroid. As soon as you have logged into your / e / account, you will find that a special file manager has some special functions ready. Open / e / files (from the application overview) and you will find tabs for files, email, contacts, calendar, notes, tasks and photos (Figure B.).

Figure B.


The / e / Files app with the addition / e /.

This is really something that no other Linux “cloudified” desktop has ever achieved, and it’s pretty amazing. Suddenly the file manager is installed like an alternative to Google Workspace, dispelling my doubts that Linux would never have a solid relationship with the cloud on the desktop. For example, click the Files section of the File Manager, click the New Document button, and ONLYOFFICE will open for you to create your new document. Save this file and then point your browser to your cloud account. Guess what? This file is available to you from anywhere.

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It should be noted that there are actually two file managers installed, namely / e / Files to work with your cloud account and GNOME Files to work with local files. You can also start / e / Apps, / e / Calendar, / e / Contacts, / e / Email, / e / Notes, / e / WayDroid, / e / Photoes and / e / Tasks in the application overview. Each of these launchers opens the associated / e / cloud application.

Who is Ubuntu Web for?

This is a tough question to answer. To simplify the answer, it goes something like this: If you’re looking for an operating system that works similarly to Chrome OS, but wants to disconnect from Google, Ubuntu Web might be the ideal platform. This Linux distribution is easy to use and works seamlessly with the / e / ecosystem. Meanwhile, Ubuntu Web can act as a full-fledged Linux operating system, so it’s like getting the best of both worlds.

Ubuntu Web broke that barrier and makes working with the cloud on Linux a pretty impressive experience. Check out this operating system and see if you don’t realize that the Linux love / hate relationship with the cloud can be mostly love.

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