Chrome OS VMware image pops up on BitTorrent

Eager to try Chrome OS, but don't feel like going through the trouble of building a usable version of the operating system from the publicly available source code? Well, good news: as TechCrunch reports, a kind soul has gone through the motions and uploaded a convenient VMware image of the OS on BitTorrent site The Pirate Bay.

You don't even need a copy of VMware to try it; TechCrunch's article provides instruction for using the image inside Sun's VirtualBox, which is free to use and available for Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux. Simply download the 280MB image, create a new VM, and instead of making a new virtual hard drive, simply load up the .vmdk image file.

Judging by TechCrunch's screenshots, the current Chrome OS build isn't quite as polished as that UI concept video we saw yesterday, but it looks and behaves largely the same way—as a giant browser window with some extra, OS-like functionality in the tab bar. Keep in mind the OS is a year away from release, though, so it's far from complete—TechCrunch says navigating between multiple windows is "difficult (if not impossible)," and you can't get out of the bookmarks manager unless you make a new bookmark.

Incidentally, since Chrome OS requires you to log in with your Google account, and this VMware image comes from who-knows-where, you might want to follow TechCrunch's advice and create a throwaway GMail account to use it.

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