Console OS is an operating system based on Android that’s designed to run on x86 machines side-by-side with Windows and with desktop-friendly user interface. The project has been funded via a Kickstarter campaign, so backers get the updates earlier, but the developers have now publicly released Console OS DR1 (Developer Release 1) based on Android 4.4.2 so that more people can download it and try it for free after registration.
I wanted to try it on Mele PCG03, but it failed, even after copying bootia32.efi to /EFI/BOOT directory (I get stuck into Grub command line), and I found out that “Systems must have 64-bit UEFI firmware. Some systems have 32-bit UEFI firmware, and we are working on adding support for those provided you have one of the processors above”. So it won’t work on cheap Windows 8.1 dongles and mini PC like MeegoPad T01 or Pipo X7, but MINIX NEO Z64A may work thanks to its 64-bit UEFI firmware. If your PC has a 64-bit UEFI it should be able to run Console OS provided it comes with one of these Intel processor family:
- Fourth-generation Intel Core (formerly “Haswell”)
- Third-generation Intel Core (formerly “Ivy Bridge”)
- Second-generation Intel Core (formerly “Sandy Bridge”) – Note Second-gen Core / Sandy Bridge processor support is untested and not planned for future versions
- Intel Atom 64-bit processors (formerly “Bay Trail”)
AMD processors are not support, and Nvidia / AMD graphics card aren’t either, but these are planned for future releases. You may want to check if your device is officially supported on the Device section of Console OS website.
The image is an installer, and I understand you cannot run this as a live CD, so it has to be installed on your PC, preferably to a USB 3.0 hard drive for testing, after backing up your computer. But installation appears simple enough, as you just need to copy the binary (for Bay Trail or Haswell) to a flash drive with Win32DiskImager or dd, and boot the system for installation. If you run Windows, you’ll have an options for dual boot installation, whereas Linux OS would have to be wiped out on the destination drive. You can find out more in the Wiki.
Jean-Luc started CNX Software in 2010 as a part-time endeavor, before quitting his job as a software engineering manager, and starting to write daily news, and reviews full time later in 2011.