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Linux OS in a browser – Javascript PC Emulator

May 18th, 2011 by Tanbir

Linux in browser

The genius person behind this project is Fabrice Bellard,  who emulated linux operating system into web browser via javascript. Fabrice Bellard has demonstrated a Linux OS 2.6.20 kernel emulated in a browser. The emulator is written purely in Javascript using Typed Arrays which are available in recent browser. It was tested in Firefox 4 and Chrome 11 on Windows, Mac and Linux. It may run in any recent browsers as long as it supports a fast Javascript engine.

The emulated hardware consists in:

  • a 32 bit x86 compatible CPU
  • a 8259 Programmble Interrupt Controller
  • a 8254 Programmble Interrupt Timer
  • a 16450 UART.

It was tested with Firefox 4 and Google Chrome 11 on Linux, Window and Mac (it does not work with Chrome 12 beta. As far as I know, it is a bug in the browser). In any case, a fast Javascript engine is needed to have good performance.

You can try yourself to run the Linux OS in a browser via this emulator

So what do you think about it? will it help you to understand/practice linux? write in the comment section below.