gOS: The Little Desktop Linux that Came Out of the Blue

This Ubuntu-based distribution, which is used on the recently released Everex PC, has exploded into popularity.

When a desktop Linux distribution suddenly becomes popular before even DistroWatch starts tracking it, you know youve got something special. One new Ubuntu-based distribution, gOS, has managed to capture users attention purely by word of mouth over the Internet.

GOS was introduced by Everex, a midtier PC vendor, in its inexpensive Green gPC TC2502 computer in late October. This cheap computer is sold for $198 at Wal-Mart stores and online at walmart.com.

The operating system is based, like so many desktop Linuxes such as Mint, on Ubuntu. In gOS case, its built on top of the newly released Ubuntu 7.10 Linux. It includes the usual array of open-source software that users have learned to expect from a Linux desktop such as popular applications from Firefox, Skype and OpenOffice.org. The one difference that Linux users will notice immediately about it is that it uses the Enlightenment E17 desktop interface with a Google-centric theme instead of the far more KDE or GNOME desktops.

Google-centric? Yes, exactly so. According to the developers, "We recommend Google for just about everything ... Gmail, Gtalk, Calendar, Maps, Docs and Spreadsheets and more. Wed like to welcome you to the idea that Google already is your operating system." Paul Kim, Everexs director of marketing, went even further, "Our dream is to combine Linux with Google and put it into the mass market."

While Google does not have a formal partnership with either Everex or gOS, the search giant did see gOS before it was shipped. Google then approved Everex to bundle its Google toolbar with gOS browser.

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