Google ChromeOS at the MUCL
The MUCL offers computing resources and Internet access to the public while in the Library. Joining the Linux-based systems that have been at the library for some time are workstations based on Google's ChromeOS, which you may have see in the form of ChromeBook or similar devices.
The MUCL has begun to install ChromeBit devices, which are very small, diskless computers that run a version of Linux and delivers a variety of Google Chrome browser-based applications. You can browse the Internet, watch YouTube videos and consume all types of Internet content in a browser.
Why use ChromeBook, ChromeBox or ChromeBit based devices, rather than more Linux systems (or even Windows!) computers? For many good reasons:
- Lower cost of these devices means that more Internet workstations can be made available for use.
- More reliable since there are no moving parts. ChromeOS devices are typically very low power and don't required fans. These devices operate from built-in solid-state Flash storage, much like a table computer does. No moving parts means less to break.
- "Clean" patron login sessions for each new user, without inheriting cookies or other cached information from previous users.
- Bring your own environment! If you have a gmail.com email address, you can log in using that and have your Google Drive files and Google Apps documents available for editing, on any ChromeOS device that you log into.
Now! The first ChromeBit devices are starting to be installed, and eventually the remaining, older Linux systems will be replaced over time.