An alternative to Chrome OS that respects your privacy


Ubuntu Web is a free, privacy-focused alternative to Chrome OS. You can use this community-developed Ubuntu remix to create a Chrome OS-like web experience on any computer.

While still young and under development, Ubuntu Web offers users a choice with a comprehensive suite of open source, privacy-friendly alternatives that hold up well against Google’s notoriously hungry operating systems and web applications. ‘information.

If you want a web-based operating system that doesn’t feed on your personal information, Ubuntu Web is what you need. In this article, we’ll show you where to get it, how to install it, and what you can do with it.

How to download Ubuntu Web

It is important to note that Ubuntu Web is a community developed Ubuntu Remix. This is not an official version or release of Ubuntu. You can find the most recent information about this special release of Ubuntu and where to get it on the official Ubuntu Community Discourse site.

At the time of writing, you can download the most recent version of Ubuntu Web from Dark Penguin. However, we strongly recommend that you review the latest information available on the Discourse site above before deciding which version to download.

Whichever version you download, be sure to download an ISO image that includes Live CD in the title. Versions without this nickname may not start correctly. For example: ubuntu-web-20.04.1-livecd.iso.


How to install Ubuntu Web

As you might expect, Ubuntu Web installs in almost exactly the same way as Ubuntu. If you’ve already installed Ubuntu, you’ll be extremely familiar with the process.

To get started, you will either need to burn the image you downloaded to DVD or use it to create a bootable USB drive. With that done, use your new installation media to boot the computer you want to install (or preview) Ubuntu Web on.

When the live image starts up, you will have the choice of either experiencing the live system as it is or installing it on your computer’s hard drive. The live system will give you a pretty good idea of ​​how Ubuntu Web looks and behaves, but some features will not work properly unless the system is fully installed.

Ubuntu Web Install Screen

You will find that everything works in a very similar way to Chrome OS, except that the browser experience is based on Firefox and none of your information is sent or stored on Google’s servers.

To select Install Ubuntu to begin the installation process. The installer will ask you a few questions before the process begins. In most cases, selecting the default options will work fine.

Ubuntu Web installation splash screen

Be aware, however, that the installation process will erase the hard drive. Make absolutely sure that you don’t need any of the drive information before starting the Ubuntu web install process.

Connect to the Cloud on Ubuntu Web

After installation, restarting, and logging into your new Ubuntu web system, you will be taken to the desktop and greeted with a second login screen separate from the login you created during installation. This connection is for the / e / Foundation (often called / e /).

Welcome to the Ubuntu web

The foundation maintains a suite of free, open, and privacy-friendly products designed to more or less replace popular Google web applications, among others. Ubuntu Web uses / e / services as the central cloud storage system for the operating system. If you already have an / e / account, you can use it. Otherwise, you can create a free account in about 60 seconds.

Related: Reasons to Replace Android with / e / OS on Your Smartphone

What can you do with Ubuntu Web?

Ubuntu Web has a lot to offer. There is a full app menu that includes great local apps like Anbox which lets you run Android apps, local file browser, and terminal. While this operating system is web-based, it also gives more experienced users the tools to tinker with and tweak the system.

Ubuntu web applications menu

The most commonly used web apps are pinned along the bottom taskbar. The / e / Email client looks and behaves a lot like Outlook webmail. It’s somewhat customizable, so you can change things like layout and colors to suit your taste. You will automatically get yours address when you create an account.

Ubuntu Web ecloud email

The / e / Files web application is / e / Foundation’s response to Drive. You can store anything you want here with a default limit of one gigabyte. Paid storage plans are available up to two terabytes.

Ubuntu web ecloud files

You will also get your own personal Calendar. Keep track of important dates, meetings, and other time-based activity with all the features you would expect from a modern calendar app.

Ubuntu Web ecloud calendar

In addition to what we’ve already mentioned, you’ll also get a web-based contact manager, notes, a to-do list, and even photo management and sharing. If you really want to start separating your online life from Google, Ubuntu Web offers a comparable alternative that only gets better as development continues.

A word of warning about bugs

As we mentioned above, Ubuntu Web is still under development. This means that while it works quite well in its current state, you have to come to terms with the fact that you are going to come across some bugs and unintentional behavior from time to time.

Do not force manual system updates

One of those bugs we noticed during testing was that running a manual update using Ubuntu’s software updater can damage the system.

Ubuntu Web is intended to download and update automatically in the same way as Chrome OS. Every now and then it downloads new software in the background and then applies the update when you restart the system.

We strongly recommend that you let this happen on its own and don’t try to update things manually through the software update app. After performing a manual update through the software updater, our test system became impossible to start without any other solution than reinstalling the operating system.

Is Ubuntu Web Right For You?

Whether or not Ubuntu Web works for you as your primary operating system will depend on exactly what you want to do with it.

If you plan to put it on a computer where you will only be browsing the web, it should work just fine. In fact, it’s particularly well suited for reviving older material that you might have sitting around doing nothing.

If you want to use it to do real work, it might not be quite ready yet. A student using it to find things on the web and store documents in the cloud could probably get away with it. A professional who relies on it for critical functionality may not be such a good idea (yet).

Either way, whether it’s for a daily driver or just occasional use, Ubuntu Web is worth checking out. Casual users will find the experience quick, convenient, and comprehensive. Like many other Ubuntu derivatives, this new web-based operating system has the potential to become something special.

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