We were particularly happy about out work on EveryDesk – a portable, fully working live Linux installation on a USB disk. But we found out that more and more people were looking for more space, a more modern environment, and in general to refresh things. We have been busy with out other pet project – CloudWeavers, a private cloud toolkit, and we redesigned EveryDesk to be the ideal client environment for companies and administrations that are moving totally or partially to a private or public cloud. We took several ideas from ChromeOS, but frankly speaking the hardware support was extremely limited, and even with exceptional ports like Hexxeh’s “Lime” the user experience is still less than optimal. We have basically redesigned everything – the base operating system is now derived from OpenSuse (mainly thanks to the excellent package management tool, that drastically increases the probability that the system would continue to work after an update – a welcome change from Ubuntu), we integrate Gnome 3, the latest Firefox and Chromium on a BTRFS install that supports compression and error concealment, so it works properly even on low-cost USB devices. On an 8Gb USB key, you get 4Gb free, and all the apps at your disposal, ready to go.
The only major change in hardware support is the fact that EveryDesk is now a 64-bit only operating system, but we believe that despite the limitation it can still be useful at large. It integrates some components that are maybe less interesting for individual use – for example the XtreemFS file system, that can be used to turn individual PCs into scale-out storage servers in a totally transparent way, and with great performance, or many virtualization enhancements. On the user side, we already installed some of our favorite additions among fonts, software, and tools; Firefox uses by default the exceptional Pdf.js embedded viewer, that uses no separate plugins and is faster than Adobe Acrobat, and there is the usual assortment of media codecs and ancillary little things.
We love every moment that we work on this project, and I would like to thank the many people that helped us, sent criticisms and praises. One wrote “I can’t believe how well it works, without time lags I normally associate with running on a CD or a thumb” and I can’t thank our users enough – they are our real value. As usual, you can download EveryDesk from Sourceforge.