A look at Google’s internal desktop OS: Goobuntu

Posted 22 August 2014 15:55 CEST by Jan Willem Aldershoff

Although ChromeOS is Google’s desktop operating system for consumers, it’s estimated that 20,000 Google employees also use Google’s own desktop OS, Goobuntu. As the name reveals, this is a flavor of the Linux distribution Ubuntu developed by the company Canonical and one of the most used Linux distributions. Those who have tried or frequently use Ubuntu will see that Google hasn’t changed much on the OS on the outside.

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Goobuntu is based on Ubuntu’s Long Term Support (LTS) versions which means the Ubuntu developers continue to patch the OS for five years. Goobuntu is mainly Ubuntu with additional security features and internal google applications. Although Google hasn’t been secretive about Goobuntu perse, there is little information available about it, including not many screenshots.

goobuntu4

The first screenshots show something all screenshots feature, a G with either a green checkmark, orange exclamation mark or red cross. This is likely  an indicator whether the system is securely connected to Google. On the sidebar, part of Ubuntu’s Unity interface we can also clearly see Chrome installed and the initial Ubuntu branding is still the first icon.

 

Although Goobuntu is the OS of choice for Google employees, they are also allow to use Windows and Mac systems and obviously Google’s own Chrome OS. Besides using Ubuntu as the basis of Goobuntu, Google also contributes to Ubuntu with patches and the companies pays Ubuntu developer Canonical for technical services, as the company is listed as a paying customer.


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