run linux on gmail

Linux Code

yes you read right. it’s possible to install linux on gmail. richard jones wrote some python that allows you to mount linux within gmail. you can use all kinds of unix commands to communicate with gmail like ls, rm, grep, cp, etc. it’s an ongoing project in development but it’s very cool and allows you basically a 2gb virtual drive of sorts. you’ll need to have libgmail and FUSE at hand to make it work properly. libgmail communicates with gmail while FUSE provides the filesystem. Give it a shot, it looks like it’s progressing very nicely.

Comments

  1. the captain says:

    now thats just messed up…

    but its pretty cool nonetheless…

  2. Alex says:

    holy shit.

    some people are just plain sadistic.

  3. Alex says:

    just another thought…

    you could get a floppy bootdisk, and then chroot to /gmailfs with a base fs installed, and then it could get quite interesting.

    I wonder how google would feel about that.

  4. Just a thought after some of your comments:

    What about Darwin on Gmail? X11? What are the possibilities? Terminal? Telnet? Etc? Could it be possible to even run an FTP? Dig around and let’s find out. I mean we all have like 90 invites anyway.

    -Vince V.

  5. Matt says:

    I don’t really see the point… are you saying you could “boot” from Linux anywhere if you had those two programs? If that is what your saying, is that possible with windows?

  6. max says:

    I cant even begin to describe how much this confuses me.

  7. zach brock says:

    You can’t actually “mount linux on gmail”, but you can mount gmail accounts as drives in linux. Deceptive headline.

  8. Ben Bleything says:

    I think you mean the other way around. You can’t ‘run linux on gmail’, how would you boot it?

    What you can do is mount your gmail account under linux, like you mention. This has been possible for some time, under Windows. Good to see it’s working under Linux now.

  9. POLYMIRA says:

    I’m sorry, but the wording in this article just bothers me. You can’t actually run linux “on gmail”, but you can mount your gmail account as a filesystem under linux. YOU CAN DO THE SAME THING IN WINDOWS …. http://www.viksoe.dk/code/gmail.htm …. same basic idea, mount gmail as a virtual drive.

  10. k0an says:

    polymira is right, the article simple describes using your gmail account as a storage system. This entry is worded incorrectly.

  11. Yet another Matt says:

    yeah, isnt that run gmail on linux?
    You would never be able to boot from gmail without some sort of bizare hardware hack that made the pc think gmail was a drive. there would need to be an interpretation of the transfer protocols by the network card. Otherwise youll prolly be booting to linux to boot linux from the gmail

  12. David says:

    It’s not running linux off gmail! duh! It’s just mounting a mock filesystem via gmail.

    For example, if you were running linux, you could mount your gmail and store files there.

    again… IT IS NOT RUNNING LINUX ON GMAIL

  13. alex says:

    this hack lets you mount a filesystem stored remotely in your gmail account.

    Idea: take a small linux distro, floppy or cd or usb based. Now, include these gmailfs libs, mount the drive as /mnt/gmail, then run a ‘chroot /mnt/gmail’. Voila, your / is now running off gmail. Use the documentation from http://www.linuxfromscratch.org/ and you’ve got linux, running remotely stored information on gmail. Linux, on gmail.

  14. mollyhackit says:

    I think this would be useful for placing a WRT54g in the wild. Running openWRT you could plug the router in somewhere with an internet connection or even use it wirelessly and as long as you could reach gmail the router would have 2Gb of file space. This could also be used to remotely update the software.

  15. Bob Stansalot says:

    I don’t folks. I think you could run Linux off of Gmail. Ponder this.

    Run Qemu, with a virtual drive that is connected to gmail. Boot from that. The host pc could manage the connection, and it would be transparent to the Guest OS

    OMFG Windows XP on Qemu on Gmail!!!!!! AHAHAHAHAHAAHA

  16. bob smith says:

    I heard that gfs was SUPER slow, I talked to a guy who has a small partition on his linux box, he says when he runs ls, it takes about a minute.

  17. gsham says:

    yeah, this has been around on windows for a couple of months

  18. ryan says:

    even if it were worth it to mount linux on Gmail, i have a feeling Gmail would turn around and mount it back, just to show who’s boss

  19. thorak says:

    I would love for knoppix to mount my home directory on gmail….

  20. POLYMIRA says:

    I never had thought about that with the WRT54G… have 2 myself, running a 3rd party firmware… and i think that if gmailfs could be running on it, you could do something like run snort on it and have all the logs go to the gmail account…. could be fun.

  21. Nyuk says:

    It’s been around for Linux for months, too. From the GmailFS site linked to by the article:

    “Saturday August 28th 2004
    Released version 0.1.”

  22. mike m. says:

    ——-
    “even if it were worth it to mount linux on Gmail, i have a feeling Gmail would turn around and mount it back, just to show who’s boss”
    ——-

    Well duh…
    Gmail’s storage keeps increasing doesn’t it?
    Where do you think it’s all coming from? ;)

  23. Miniman says:

    I would love for someone to make a gmail FTP system

  24. anonymous says:

    #19, that’s a fabulously good idea. Somebody call the “Knoppix Hacks” people!

  25. silershovler says:

    newbie here just wondering if you like several accounts could you boost the amount of this virutal drive?

  26. Yet another Matt says:

    #25 – sorta creating a stiped raid system, effectivly allowing 20mb files to be stored, and 4gb of space!

    i love the idea of using it for wild routers too

  27. Jonty says:

    Guys who have been saying “Windows has had this for aaages”.

    Linux had this way WAY before the windows apps were being circulated. As is nearly always the way with cool hacks.

  28. Kevin says:

    has anyone here actually gotten this to work? i keep getting errors relating to the parsing of the inode number out of the subjects, which seems to be caused by libgmail no longer parsing correctly, therefore breaking gmailfs. apparently libgmail is putting the date in the subject variable

  29. Kevin says:

    never mind my last message. it took a bit of hacking in gmailfs.py and the cvs version of libgmail to make it work but i got there. still a bit buggy. perhaps there are problems with the version included in the debian package

  30. martin bishop says:

    for those talking about gmailfs working under linux, it worked there long ago, then made it to windows, not the other way around. But I don’t think that’s what this article is even talking about

  31. POLYMIRA says:

    No one said it came to windows first, i just said that (because this is old news… not breaking news) that as of right now, the windows solutiom has been around for a long time … within a 3 month time span of gmailfs .. which has been around for what … 10 months?

  32. suntiger says:

    Won’t Gmail start blocking this like they do RoamDrive, Gmail Drive, and Peer2Mail?

  33. Ravi says:

    A really cool trick of combining the space on gmail account and linux to get a mobile operating system which travels with you.

    http://linuxhelp.blogspot.com

  34. DmitryK says:

    Axly, the GmailFS for *first* on linux, then on Windows. I heard folks playing with it in august and it was working nicely. The title confused me because a) it was worded wrong b)the fact that you can use mount Gmail as a drive in linux or in Windows is so well known that I wouldnt expect THIS website to only discover it for the 1st time.

  35. randomtaper says:

    what about clustering you 50 google accounts?

  36. DmitryK says:

    Do you really think u’ll be able to have those 50 accounts open for a long time without Google closing at least a few of them?

  37. Rahul says:

    its just as adding another drive to ur machine, but is remotly located and could be accessed thru gmail. Is it anything else ?

  38. Rahul says:

    its just as adding another drive to ur machine, but is remotly located and could be accessed thru gmail. Is it anything else ?

  39. viksit says:

    Interesting. But not totally fixed yet.

    As Kevin mentioned, its going to take some hacking on the latest libgmail cvs. and its not just the debian package..

  40. Anyeos says:

    I want to use the gmail account as an FTP server.
    What do you think about that?

  41. ultramancool says:

    This is old news

  42. Raven Morris says:

    Ha ha ha. What we need down is a LUFS module for mounting GMail accounts, along with support for combining multiple accounts with RAID ! Then you can take your 50 invites and have a spare 100GB remote filesystem, w00t.

    But in reality I hate GMail and their evil privacy policy, and I wouldn’t touch it with a 10TB pole.

  43. Tom says:

    Sounds pretty neat, but I wish Google (the company) would actually condone this. However, I guess the whole issue with using g-mail as a filesystem of any sort is that it circumvents all of the advertising. Then again, so does using gmail with pop3 and thunderbird, so maybe that’s not why they don’t like it.

    Does anyone know the official reason why Google doesn’t like this kind of use?

  44. Michael says:

    #43 I’m pretty sure they don’t like it because to them it would just be a big waste of space, bandwith, and account names. It would also probably crash the servers if all the linux users just started making raid arrays of all their accounts, and puting alot of files on them.

  45. xmen says:

    hola como estamos

  46. fer says:

    esta super la pagina

  47. db says:

    More than a year later and I still don’t understand what 45 & 46 said. :(

  48. altino says:

    45 & 46 means:
    hi… how are you/we all (45)
    great page (46)

    :) Vou ter k testar isto :) (48)
    i’ve to try this (48) :)

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