Jan-Lukas Else

Thoughts of an IT expert

“WebVM: Linux Virtualization in WebAssembly with Full Networking via Tailscale”

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Short link: https://b.jlel.se/s/616

When I tell people about programming or my work, they often say software development is too abstract for them. But there are moments when I think that about some software as well.

Leaning Technologies extended their WebVM (a Linux virtual machine that completely runs in the browser) with networking using Tailscale. It’s really crazy what is possible with WebAssembly in the browser, it seems like there are no limits.

I quickly tried running it on my Microsoft Surface Go 1. Gen. It’s not fast, but it works. It even works on my phone, although the keyboard sometimes goes crazy there.

What is the use case for something like this? I think it can allow more freedom on locked down and pretty limited devices like Chromebooks. It can allow access to remote machines without the need to setup any additional local tools. And when they add something like X11, it might even allow running graphical Linux apps in a Windows 10 browser.

But the main purpose is probably just to show what is possible using WebAssembly.


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Jan-Lukas Else
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