eyeOS Review

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It has been a long time since I published my last review of eyeOS, the open source web operating system. Today, I have decided to take a look at some new features which make eyeOS unique. First, I should remind everyone what eyeOS is. It is a web-based open source platform designed to hold a wide variety of web applications over it. It looks like a regular PC operating system, but the "trick" is that it can be accessed from anywhere. If you travel all the time, or you don't own a PC or laptop or move often, then you can access eyeOS from an Internet Cafe. All you need is a web browser, Internet access and eyeOS is there for you, always, all the time, the same way you left it!

Dahlia is the new eyeOS with a revolutionary redesign. Now it has a beautiful taskbar, desktop, its own filesystem and pretty effects. Let's have a look at the applications pre-installed on eyeOS Dahlia!

eyeFiles is a simple and intuitive file manager you can use to transfer, copy, rename, delete and paste files but also to create folders, download or upload files and explore the eyeOS virtual filesystem.

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eyeDocs is a word processor that offers you a quick and efficient way to write and edit text, HTML and Microsoft Word documents. Not only is eyeDocs a pretty good HTML editor, but it can also be used to paste text from other applications installed on your real operating system.

eyeCalendar is a calendar application that allows the association of a block of text with a certain day of a given month. It can be useful for things such as meetings, tasks organizer or even for remembering birthdays.

eyeContacs is a address book application that allows you to store your contacts and even import vCards.

eyeBoard is, like the name says, a message board which can be used to post messages. Each user can post messages and others may view them.

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eyeFTP is a FTP client to connect to servers through eyeOS. With eyeFTP you can browse directories, download and upload files, create folders, rename, move and delete files.

eyeMail is, as the name suggests, an e-mail client that permits multiple accounts and allows you to send and receive e-mails. At the moment, it is very simple and does not offer any other features.

eyeNav is, basically, a browser within a browser. You can use it for browsing the Internet. Note that eyeNav uses the bandwidth of the server that hosts eyeOS for you. However, note that some web hosting services might not allow such behavior of the applications that you host on their web servers. You might want to double check before allowing eyeNav to run on a server that is hosted by a third party. eyeNav can be useful if it runs on a server with a different ISP. In case you cannot reach a page from your ISP, you might reach it by using eyeNav on a different hosting server. You can even watch YouTube videos on it!

eyeRSS is a RSS/Atom feed reader that allows you to read the latest news on your favorite websites.

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eyeCalc is, obviously, a calculator, that you can use the same way you are using any other calculator. Some important functions, such as %, are missing, but it's quite useful when you really need to do some quick and basic calculations.

eyeNotes, which is basically a text editor, can be used to write text documents.

eyeChess is a very nice chess game, which you can play if you're bored or just to ...exercise your brain!

eyeProcess is a basic task manager application used to kill running eyeOS processes and applications.

eyeTrash is a trash application that stores deleted files. At the moment only the empty, restore and file properties functions are implemented, but for a trash app that's more than enough.

eyeGroups functions as a workplace for group works. From here, you can create new groups and restrict the access of some users to different files.

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eyeApps is an eyeOS app that can be used to delete and install other eyeOS applications.

eyeOptions, a.k.a. System Preferences, can be used to change the eyeOS theme, upload and set a new wallpaper and to change your password.

eyeInfo provides information about eyeOS, like version number and all the developers, collaborators etc.

More applications (files with the .eyepackage extension) can be downloaded from the eyeOS-apps website and uploaded to eyeOS. However, if someone else gave you access to a server that runs eyeOS, you might not be able to upload and run your own applications.

How do I install it? And what do I need to install it?

Now that you've learned what eyeOS is and what it can really do, you probably want to install it too. Well, eyeOS is very easy to install, as it contains only 7 files that you can upload in a few seconds on the web server where you want to install it. The main requirements for the eyeOS installation is a web server with Apache and PHP 5.x installed and working. Don't even bother to install the new version of eyeOS (Dahlia) on a web server with PHP 4.x as it will not work. The best part of the eyeOS installation is that it does not require a MySQL database, because it has its own virtual file system.

All I needed to do in order to install eyeOS was to:

1. Download the latest installer from here

2. Extract the files from the archive I have just downloaded.

3. Connect to my web server through a FTP client.

4. Upload the files I have just extracted into a previously created "eyeOS" folder (on my web server).

5. I have opened up Firefox and typed in the eyeOS installation path (e.g. http://www.softpedia.com/eyeOS/install.php) and followed the instructions to end the installation.

6. That's it, now I can access eyeOS (from http://www.softpedia.com/eyeOS/) with my favorite web browser.

The Good

eyeOS can be used to share information, store various data as text, upload photos, save links and more. eyeOS is pretty easy to install and it has its own virtual filesystem. You can customize it anyway you like and the best part is that you can install more application for it, if the pre-installed ones do not satisfy your needs. I love the new effects implemented in Dahlia, especially the log-in effect which appears when you've entered the wrong password/username.

The Bad

I can't really say that I have found something bad while testing eyeOS, the main inconvenience it may be the fact that it doesn't quite act like a real operating system, which means you can't right click on files and folders to access different functions. The desktop is a new feature in eyeOS but as I said, you can't right click on it to refresh it or create a new folder. Another inconvenience is the fact that you can't drag and drop files from the real operating system into eyeOS, or at least access them, via eyeDocs (the eyeOS file manager). And sometimes (depending on your Internet speed) it may be lagging.

The Truth

eyeOS is simply beautiful, inside-out. It can be used from everywhere as long as you have access to a computer with a web browser and Internet connection. No matter if you use it to share photos with relatives living in a different country, store contacts, organize your tasks, do some quick word processing, read/send e-mails, play simple board games - eyeOS will always be there for you.

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user interface 5
features 5
ease of use 5
pricing / value 5

final rating 5
Editor's review

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