Web Operating System: eyeOS

I believe the future is the web, even to the extent that we’ll be putting all of our data, including the OS, up in the cloud and compute from there. eyeOS is one example of a possible implementation of this concept. As much as I’m behind cloud computing, I and many others agree we’re still far off and might never reach this utopia to the full.

‘Eye’ at the clipping from the official website:

clipped from www.eyeos.org

eyeOS was thought as a new definition of Operating System, where everything inside it can be accessed from everywhere in a Network. All you need to do is to login into your eyeOS server with a normal Internet Browser, and access your personal desktop, with your applications, documents, music, movies… just like you left it last time.

Currently, with the base system you can find a full suite of applications bundled, some for private use, like the file manager, a word processor, a music player, calendar, notepad or contacts manager. There are also some groupware applications, such as a group manager, a file sharing application, a group board and many more.

eyeOS is Open Source

If you want to start using eyeOS, you can join the International eyeOS free server, or create your own eyeOS server easily and be able to decide who can join it and customize it to your needs.

Creating your own eyeOS server is actually very easy. All you need is a web server with PHP support

  blog it

First off, I haven’t yet taken the time to elaborate on the full technicalities of the actual server installation of eyeOS, so I can’t pitch in on how that works out. I’ve only chiefly played with the free server, which allows you to initiate your own eyeOS account. The idea of running a OS within and OS, more concretely in your browser could be chilling for some, so you’ve been warned.

Account creation

When using the pre-configured free server over at eyeos.net getting started is a 2-step process. The only thing it requires is the desired username and password and you’re up and running. The simplicity is soothing to this point.

eyeOS logon screen

The UI

Design and user interface have been done in a simple but pleasing fashion and looks a lot like the Mac’s, which is generally a Nice Thing, yet rarely original. The sparing use of ‘eye’ candy makes the system snappy enough for real-time interaction. Windows move around swiftly, yet the system shows some inconsistencies when dealing with multiple instances.

Swift as it may be, whether this system would be eligible for use with low-speed connections is questionable.

(Any more Apple-esque design features, and I’d start to question the creativity of this project…)

eyeOS Desktop

Your basic toolkit

Booting to the ‘desktop’ (dare I say ‘webtop’?) takes less than a your average Joe can say “Holy baloney”. The blank workspace contains a shortcut to your home folder and the trashcan. Atop the screen sits a tiny launcher-like menu and contains a few commonly used applications. An enumeration of the
most noteworthy ones (the synchronous naming scheme is similar to Apple’s I-syndrome — really cracks me up):

  • eyeFiles (X-files, anyone?): your basic file manager
  • eyeDocs: a primitive word processor, contradictorily, it only manages to process ONE type of document
  • eyeCalendar
  • eyeNav: a browser that browses, in your browser, go figure.

This brief list can be augmented with additional applications contributed by the community. Although many needs are met even with this small allotment of apps, functionality feels crippled somehow and road bumps make the trip a bit uneasy.


The file manager has adopted the XP-styled task-based sidebar to provide you with the common file operations, since the right-click thing hasn’t made it debut yet (version 1.1 ‘Dahlia’ — hmz, flowers).

eyeOS Filemanager

All the usual suspects are present, like creating directories, deleting, renaming and copy-paste operations. I guess you could compare this thing to an online storage solution where you provide the disk space yourself. Services like Strongspace (paid) and Windows Live SkyDrive (free but limited) provide this functionality too, save the bells and whistles of an OS.

Drag-n-drop is lacking in the iteration, though, unless dragging an icon behind another one counts for deleting.


6 thoughts on “Web Operating System: eyeOS

  1. i really like the concept of eyeos being open source, even though i think that other systems such as the online operating system at http://www.oos.cc are already more mature: they clone the usual desktop in an even more attractive way 🙂

  2. i really like the concept of eyeos being open source, even though i think that other systems such as the online operating system at http://www.oos.cc are already more mature: they clone the usual desktop in an even more attractive way 🙂

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