Tuesday, May 17, 2011

jslinux - boot and run Linux inside your browser

By Vasudev Ram - www.dancingbison.com

jslinux by Fabrice Bellard - http://bellard.org/jslinux/ - lets you "run Linux in your browser". It requires a fairly recent browser. I used Google Chrome 11.0.x. Just saw this on Hacker News (HN) and tried it out. It does work some. Showed typical messages of a Linux OS booting up, in the browser window. Then came to the Linux prompt. I tried a few standard Linux commands:

uname -a # Worked.

ls -l #Worked, showed only one file, hello.c

cat hello.c # Worked, showed a hello world program that can be compiled with tcc.

tcc -o hello hello.c #Worked, created the hello binary

./hello # Worked, showed output "Hello World".

which cat # Worked, showed "/bin/cat".

The /bin directory has about 97 commands. Some of them are dummies, e.g., hostname outputs "null". The less command and the grep command worked. So did wc.

ls -l | wc -l

The HN comments say that Fabrice used JavaScript to create an x86 emulator in the browser.

Of course it can't be a complete Linux but still, amazing work.

Check out the HN thread here:


This is his web site: http://bellard.org/

About Fabrice Bellard: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fabrice_Bellard

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- Vasudev Ram

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