Like Android, Chrome OS too is based on the Open-Source OS Linux. To be exact, this “bare-bones Linux-based operating system” is based on Gentoo Linux. However, you can’t run Linux applications on it, which makes it a no-go for many developers.
And that form comes in Chrome OS’ nifty trick of being able to run almost any kind of software from any OS. A recently spotted change to the Chromium source seems to indicate that in just a few months, Chromebooks might officially support running Linux software. This would considerably expand the number of uses Google’s OS can have.
Android and Chrome: Sons of Linux
While both Android and Chrome OS are based on Linux, neither of them can run typical Linux programs. There are definitely methods to make it possible, but its usually a pain to implement.
As per a new commit on Chromium Gerrit, Chrome OS will get a “New device policy to allow Linux VMs on Chrome OS,” according to a report from Android Police. The commit hints at a “Better Together” menu in the Chrome OS settings.
If you really want to run Linux apps on Chrome OS, you can do so using Crouton. The catch is that you need to turn off most of the security features by enabling Developer Mode. Google seems to be working on an upcoming feature to bring a similar mode to Chrome OS.
Chrome OS, Meet Crostini
The folks at Chrome Unboxed have some good news. Chrome developers introduced what is nicknamed “Crostini” (a play on “crouton”) which technically is a Linux virtual machine running on a Chrome OS. Apparently Crostini will make it possible to without developer mode and can simply be enabled by an administrator.
Using Crostini, you will be able to install Ubuntu or Arch Linux and their applications. Gamers will also be able to run Steam on their Chromebooks. However, virtual machines don’t perform at par with their native systems, so only time will tell how capable Crostini will be.
It’s rumored that Linux containers for Chrome OS could be announced at Google I/O 2018 developer conference. The code further hints that the new feature should arrive by April 24 with Chrome OS 66.
Do you own a Chromebook? Are you excited to hear that it might be able to emulate your Windows PC as well as Linux?
Let us know in the comments.