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Virtualization Open Source Operating Systems The Internet Linux BSD

Boot Linux (or OpenBSD Or Oberon Or FreeDOS) In Your Browser ( 92

Long-time Slashdot reader DeQueue writes: Back in 2011 Fabrice Bellard, the initiator of the QEMU emulator, wrote a PC emulator in JavaScript that let you boot Linux in your browser. But he didn't stop there.

On his website he now has images that let you boot Oberon, Arch Linux, FreeDOS, OpenBSD, Solar OS and more recent versions of Linux such as 2.6 or 3.18 (the 3.18 image includes internet access). You can also boot to a CD image, or a floppy image, or a hard drive disk image on your local machine. And, if you don't need yet another operating system on your computer, you can even boot to Bootchess and play chess

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Boot Linux (or OpenBSD Or Oberon Or FreeDOS) In Your Browser

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 26, 2016 @07:48AM (#52961495)

    Everybody is busy playing with it...

  • Worthless (Score:5, Funny)

    by cerberusss ( 660701 ) on Monday September 26, 2016 @07:49AM (#52961501) Homepage Journal

    The first thing I tried to do, is launch Win98. That worked. Then with Internet Explorer, go to Fabrice Bellard's site again and launch Windows 98 inside the VM. But now IE wants to install a modem first :(

  • by queazocotal ( 915608 ) on Monday September 26, 2016 @07:50AM (#52961505)

    Lzexe - exe file compression on the PC to fit more on your floppy.
    Qemu - emulate random processors on your PC.
    tccboot - boot linux using a live C compiler.
    Live broadcast of digital video using a VGA card. ...

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I can't imagine working without QEMU.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Plus he founded ffmpeg, which has become the standard tool in the industry since.

    • LZ compression was invented by Abraham Lempel and Jacob Ziv in 1977, not Fabrice Bellard. Just saying ... That's why it's called LZ compression.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Cajun Hell ( 725246 )
        He is talking about a computer program called lzexe, not the compression algorithm that it used.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        >> Lzexe - exe file compression on the PC to fit more on your floppy.

        > LZ compression was invented by Abraham Lempel and Jacob Ziv in 1977

        LZ compression mechanism was invented by Abraham Lempel and Jacob Ziv but lzexe, a dos utility using that algorithm to compress EXE files was created by Fabrice Bellard.

    • by marcansoft ( 727665 ) <{moc.tfosnacram} {ta} {rotceh}> on Monday September 26, 2016 @11:33AM (#52962813) Homepage

      Too bad this isn't his.

      Fabian Hemmer (,

      I have no idea where the submitter got Fabrice Bellard from. This is hosted on a completely different site and authored by a completely different person. Yes, more than one person is capable of implementing an x86 emulator in Javascript. Bellard wrote his and never released the (editable) source; this guy, OTOH, wrote a more compatible emulator of his own (runs more than Linux) and open sourced it.

      This is also old news, I remember seeing it quite some time ago. The site has been up since 2014 []. Slow news day much?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Where does it state that it's from Fabrice Bellard?
    The page says it's by Fabian Hemmer

  • Yes! (Score:4, Funny)

    by ledow ( 319597 ) on Monday September 26, 2016 @07:55AM (#52961533) Homepage

    I beat my record!

    Run the Win98 one.

    Shut it down.

    It BSOD's with 0E exception in VXD VDD.

    That's got to be a world-record in terms of "number of instructions executed before a fatal error".

  • by Anonymous Coward must be ecstatic!

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I wish that his improved picture format, BPG, would get more attention and adoption. It truly is a better replacement for both JPG and PNG.

  • by Viol8 ( 599362 ) on Monday September 26, 2016 @08:18AM (#52961605) Homepage

    ... to run an OS image 50% of the speed it would run on a 386.

    Also how exactly does the internet access bit work when browsers deliberately limit the net access they allow javascript?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Also how exactly does the internet access bit work when browsers deliberately limit the net access they allow javascript?

      Without reading the article (who does?), I'd say it requires a proxy service in the same origin as the Javascript. Alternatively, it could require turning browser security off (e.g. --disable-web-security in Chrome).

    • the 3.18 console version runs decent. booted in about 40 seconds, including the download.

  • I think the developer is on the right track. I'd LOVE to have a workable emulator in the browser that is good. It's not there yet but keep working on it! Good job!
  • by Anonymous Coward

    I can't run TempleOS on it.

    • I would love TempleOS if it had a network stack and was programmed with something like Pascal, Modula or Lisp instead of some C-ish language. But I guess that's a matter of taste. It's insanely cool anyway.
  • Why ever would someone think that it is interesting to find a way to break this. This is obviously a fantastic effort, he needs friends to help.
  • You don't need a browser.

    Oh ... wait [].

  • by hey! ( 33014 ) on Monday September 26, 2016 @11:08AM (#52962673) Homepage Journal

    The developer of this thing has thoughtfully provided a "hello.c" file and cc. Oh, yes, and emacs. So go ahead and type:

    cc -o hello hello.c

    and marvel at the speed.

    This environment is just like my first full-time, non-student programming job. There was no IDE, so we pretty much lived in emacs. I haven't used emacs in decades, but my fingers still remember the key bindings for the commands -- as long as I'm not trying to consciously remember them.

    It was on a 68020 running at 16 MHz which delivered a grand total of 2 MIPS at 16 MHz. We shared all that computing power among four programmers, which was luxury because the system was supposed to support 16 users (32 max).

    It seems almost inconceivable, but the funny thing is it was really just as fun programming back then as it is now with a supercomputer all to myself. Our office was next to a reservoir, and used to start a compile, wait five minutes for the parsing to catch any syntax error (about 75% of the time), then go for a walk on the 1.5 mile trail around the pond. Then I'd stop in at the convenience store to buy a cup of coffee, and head back to the office, and make would just be finishing up the linking. God forbid you got a link error though. That's why we had time to read the entire Unix manual (all eight sections) cover to cover. Many times.

    This has fed my conviction that user perceptions of system speed are as strongly affected by consistency as it is by absolute speed. If you're used to a build taking fifteen seconds,a sudden change to 30 seconds seems unbearable.

  • Maybe you thought waiting for 10 frameworks to load was bad. In a few years, it will be standard practice for websites to load a full operating system to run themselves.

  • You must have a Microsoft-signed UEFI tab running at boot time.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    When will Linux become a real user OS say like OSX? Really simple so that any of us idiots can use it without it going kablooey. I've tried loading Ubuntu and Linuxmint, I was able to get Ubuntu to work, however; I couldn't get used to the side bar icons and such. With Linuxmint, I wasn't able to get it to load my Nvidia drivers and upon loading it on my hard drive was only able to achieve a black screen with no interaction.

    I'm really ready to make the switch, but I haven't been able to find something that

  • Wow ... this is amazing! I had no idea this was even possible with JavaScript. All I can do with JavaScript is manipulate the DOM and other standard browser functions. This guy is the boss.

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from a rigged demo.