Chrome os 69 to in­clude Linux sup­port

Linux User & Developer - - Open Source -

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.

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