Cooliris Now Available for Linux

by Ostatic Staff - Apr. 14, 2009

Truth be told, I'm not sure I really get Cooliris, the browser plugin designed to enhance your photo and video browsing experience. Don't get me wrong, it's really cool, and fun, and now that it is officially available for Linux, I've spent way too much time fiddling around with it and getting seasick as I whoosh through photos online -- and on my desktop -- at high rates of speed. I don't get it, but sometimes "getting" a concept just interferes with enjoying it. I like Cooliris, but I love the way Cooliris works on Linux.

I was directed to the official Linux version through a CNet News piece that covered some of the new features in the 1.10 release. So sure, now there's Linux support, but the folks at Cooliris have added local file browsing functions to the plugin, they've improved how Cooliris works with your graphics hardware, and they've improved the array of displayed metadata from various sites (though Flickr metadata is notably lacking, the Cooliris team says it will be supported in an upcoming release).

Of course, the aforementioned features are brand new, and sometimes, unfortunately, brand new features for existing platforms don't make it into the first release for a new platform.

This is why I'm really impressed with Cooliris on Linux. It works smoothly (the developer warns that while it is able to run without graphical hardware acceleration, you'd really rather not do so), it installed easily, and it has the same (new!) features as the Mac and Windows releases.

The lead developer of Cooliris for Linux joined the project four months ago. The idea was to get Cooliris running on as many distributions as possible, as smoothly and consistently as possible (made trickier thanks to the nearly infinite combinations of hardware and software configurations that exist in the wild), and not feel as though this platform was lagging a release or so behind the others. While there are occasional sticky spots (Intel integrated graphics processors have issues), the Cooliris team has produced the first official Linux release that feels like -- well, like there have been Linux releases all along.