Brussels / 31 January & 1 February 2015


Desktop Software on the Web

Bringing FOSS Desktop Software to the Browser

Until recently, Free and Open Source Software designed for the Desktop, particularly development tools, has been unavailable on the Web. Now, using a technology called Native Client, some 240+ packages including editors, compilers, interpreters, and utilities can be made available in the Chrome web browser, online or offline, without sacrificing portability or security. Come learn how the the Desktop of the future will meld the security and flexibility of the Web with the performance and rich application set of today’s Desktop.

Native Client (NaCl), is an open-source technology that allows native machine code to run securely sandboxed in the browser, with privileges mirroring Javascript. Two layers of sandboxing, a static verification inner sandbox combined with Chrome’s outer process sandbox, ensure users can safely run applications they may not trust. Modified GCC and LLVM based toolchains allow applications to target NaCl using the PPAPI I/O interface.

This talk will explore key challenges including: packaging, testing, emulating process management using a JavaScript “microkernel”, and building POSIX support—pthreads, files, processes, sockets, terminal I/O—on top of Web-centric APIs.

See a full-featured development environment comprised of FOSS applications including editors (Vim, Emacs, Nano), scripting languages (Python, Lua, Ruby, Tcl/Tk, Bash), utilities (tar, zip, curl, grep), version control (git, svn), compilers (GCC, Clang/LLVM), GDB, GNUMake, window managers, and an X11 server, all running in concert, sandboxed in the browser. Discover how the Desktop can now become one with the Web and help put Free and Open Source Software in the hands of developers and users everywhere.


Photo of Brad Nelson Brad Nelson
Photo of Ben Smith Ben Smith