Linux finally has an impressive cloud-like operating system in Ubuntu Web


Jack Wallen discovered a Chrome OS-style Linux desktop distro that allows users to cut ties with Google while still enjoying a full operating system.

Image: Jack Wallen

Linux powers the cloud. But for a very long time, the operating system that makes the cloud possible on its own didn’t really have a desktop distro that offered a lot of apps that interacted well with the cloud. Yes, there is a Dropbox app and a few third-party tools that can be installed to sync your desktop with cloud storage accounts … but not much more.

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Although GNOME allows you to connect your desktop to your Google Drive account, this solution is far from viable for most users. In fact, the Linux desktop and the cloud have been very hit and miss for a very long time.

And then comes Ubuntu Web. This new distro promises to be the Chrome operating system for Linux and, wow, it does. To be honest, when I first heard of the remix, I was skeptical. I had seen so many distros tempt them and, for the most part, fail. So with concern, I downloaded the latest version of Ubuntu Web, created a virtual machine, and tested it.

Once the installation was complete, I logged in and was greeted by a window that I had never seen before in a Linux distro. This window required me to log in. But on which account? It didn’t take long for me to realize that it was asking me to log into a / e / foundation account (which I already had). Logging into the / e / account allows you to take advantage of a rather nifty trick that Ubuntu Web has up its sleeve. That trick is WayDroid, a port of Anbox that allows users to install Android apps from the / e / store.

It was then that the doubt began to fly.

These Android apps work as if they were native to the operating system, and there are plenty of apps to choose from (Figure A).

Figure A


Installing Android apps from the / e / app store on Ubuntu Web.

One downside to WayDroid is that it doesn’t perform as expected when Ubuntu Web is running as a virtual machine. you can use the app, but the installer only downloads the .wapp file for the app (instead of installing it). According to the developer, when Ubuntu Web is installed on bare metal, the app works as expected.

The fun didn’t end there with WayDroid. Once you have logged into your / e / account, you will find a special file manager with special features in store. Open / e / Files (from the app overview) and you’ll find tabs for files, emails, contacts, calendar, notes, tasks, and photos (Number B).

Number B


The / e / Files application with the addition of / e / goodness.

This is really something that no other “cloudified” Linux desktop has ever achieved, and it’s pretty amazing. All of a sudden the file manager looks like an alternative to Google Workspace is installed, dispelling my doubts that Linux would never have a solid relationship with the cloud on the desktop. For example, click on the Files section of the file manager, click on the New document button and ONLYOFFICE will open for you to create your new document. Save this file, then point your browser to your / e / cloud account. Guess what? This file is available for you to use from anywhere.

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It should be noted that there are really two file managers installed, there is / e / Files, for working with your cloud account and GNOME Files, for working with local files. Additionally, from the app overview, you can launch / e / Apps, / e / Calendar, / e / Contacts, / e / Email, / e / Notes, / e / WayDroid, / e / Photoes and / e / Tasks. Each of these launchers will open the associated cloud / e / app.

Who is Ubuntu Web for?

It is a delicate question to answer. To try and simplify the answer looks like this: If you’re looking for an operating system that works similarly to Chrome OS but want to cut ties with Google, Ubuntu Web might just be the perfect platform. This Linux distro is easy to use and works seamlessly with the / e / ecosystem. All the while, Ubuntu Web can function as a full-fledged Linux operating system, so it’s like getting the best of both worlds.

Ubuntu Web has broken through that barrier and made working with the cloud on Linux quite an impressive experience. Try out this operating system and see if it doesn’t make you realize that Linux’s love / hate relationship with the cloud can be mostly love.

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