When Canonical launched an online demo version of Ubuntu, I liked the idea. It gives the look and feel of a real system. New users can try their hands on, without installing anything, right in their browser.
On a similar note, there is a new website called termbox that lets you try several Linux distributions in your web browser. The difference here is that it doesn’t provide GUI. You’ll have the command line version of some popular Linux distributions at your disposal.
termbox uses the tagline ‘Launch a Linux box with two clicks’ which is quite accurate. All you have to do is to click to select the Linux distribution and then click on launch (checking the captcha is a semi step as well).
You’ll see a screen with Linux terminal. You can use it as you want because you get to be the root here. You can also change the theme of the Linux terminal.
It is free to use and the session remains alive for 3 hours. It is deleted afterward.
As of now, you can use the following Linux distributions:
- Ubuntu 16.04
- Debian 8
- Fedora 25
- CentOS 7
- Arch Linux
- openSUSE Tumbleweed
You can visit termbox website and try your hands yourself:
The tool is using HyperContainer in the backend (basically a container and this is why it is so quick to install and use) while the front end is powered by hterm. The website is free to use because 2 hours of a 512MB Termbox instance currently cost only around $0.0001.
If you like, you can host the entire termbox on your own server for your specific usage. It is completely free and open source. You can find the source code on their GitHub repository:
To me it sounds a good idea, however, I am yet to figure out actual usage of such a tool. Running shell commands perhaps or getting the feel of a different Linux distribution?
What do you think of termbox? What could it be used for? Share your views in the message box below.