Chrome os 69 to include Linux support
six months on from the announcement of Project Crostini, Chrome os 69 is set to introduce the ‘Linux (beta) for Chromebooks’ feature in its 4 september release. employing virtual machines and sandboxed containers, the feature enables the installation of Linux apps, development environments and other utilities on Google’s Chrome OS.
As the release notes for Chrome OS 69 explain: “Linux (Beta) for Chromebooks allows developers to use editors and command-line tools by adding support for Linux on a Chrome device. After developers complete the set up, they’ll see a terminal in the Chrome launcher. Developers can use the terminal to install apps or packages, and the apps will be securely sandboxed inside a virtual machine.”
Once running, Chrome OS users will be able to install these apps from the launcher, just like any other. While basic apps should work without a problem, those requiring accelerated graphics and video decoding are unlikely to deliver at this stage.
HD video editing applications and graphics-intensive video games from Steam are thus unlikely to work at this stage, regardless of hardware. Older games and those without graphics acceleration should run, however.
Software that can be expected to run based on success under Crostini includes the image manipulation toolw GIMP and Inkscape, as well as the Kdenlive video editing suite. Meanwhile, LibreOffice should also run, providing a strong alternative to the limits of Google’s cloud-based office suite.
A list of supported devices – that is, those that run virtual machines – can be found at www.chromium.org, with Chromebooks from Acer, HP, and Lenovo among them.