Google's Chrome OS is about to be unveiled to the public, and the source code for the operating system has already made it out into the wilds of the Web.

At the moment, there's very little to show for it - just a login screen and one of the included wallpapers (hit the images tab along the top of the story to see it). Expect more to appear in the coming days, however, as coders compile the operating system and explore deeper into what Google has built.

We know so far that it's a lightweight Linux-based platform, built around Debian, which has a tonne of open-source software that powers it. It's built around the browser, positing that you don't need much else to have a useful operating system.

It'll be free to device manufacturers, but how well it takes off will depend on both the quality of the experience from Google, and whether the company manages to rope in any retail partners to pre-load the OS onto machines. We'll bring you more as we hear it.