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Every Chromebook launched in 2019 will run Linux 'right out of the box'

By Polycount ยท 23 replies
May 10, 2019
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  1. Linux is a fantastic operating system, and as a result, it's the go-to choice for many power users or those who simply don't care for Windows 10. Given some of the major issues Microsoft's latest OS has -- such as the infamous file-deletion bug of 2018 -- that's perhaps an understandable viewpoint.

    Google is clearly a big fan of Linux, too. Throughout 2018, the search giant harnessed the power of virtual machines to enable Linux app support on select Chromebook devices, such as Samsung's Chromebook Plus. Chromebooks, for the unaware, are stripped-down notebooks that exclusively run apps downloaded from the Chrome Web Store (with a few exceptions).

    At any rate, opening up the experience with Linux app compatibility was a pretty major boon for anyone who happened to own a compatible device. For those individuals, what were once niche school or web browsing devices turned into much more practical laptops; albeit with weaker hardware.

    There's more good news now, too. Google announced at its annual I/O developer conference that "all [Chromebook] devices launched this year will be Linux-ready right out of the box." That means that the laptops will be able to run full distributions of Linux with no (or minimal) hardware or software hacking necessary.

    In the case of Debian Linux, as ZDNet points out, running it is as simple as typing "Terminal" into Chrome OS' Search tool. Running other distributions of the open-source OS is a bit more complicated, but the process is still easier and more secure than it's ever been.

    We'll keep you updated when the first Linux-ready Chromebooks hit the market this year. Until then, feel free to check out our guide dedicated to running Linux in the background on Chromebooks - the process is much smoother and faster than you might think.

    Permalink to story.

  2. penn919

    penn919 TS Maniac Posts: 267   +151

    With android and Linux interoperability, Chrome OS is seeming to stack awfully more competitively against Windows. I'm just sayin'...
  3. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 12,874   +1,526

  4. yRaz

    yRaz Nigerian Prince Posts: 2,881   +2,201

    Made the switch to Linux 2 years ago, couldn't be happier. I've been using linix mint but I think I'm going to try pop os here soon
  5. enemys

    enemys TS Maniac Posts: 180   +175

    Yeah, it's a good sign, too bad hardly any Android app is optimized for anything other than a smartphone screen, though. And as for Linux, it's just great, if it works out-of-the-box and supports GUI.

    But then Windows already has WSL and its Linux support is only going to improve, so it's not a huge advantage over MS. Of course only command line is officially supported, but quite a few apps run in GUI mode after installing an X-Window server, and it's not exactly hard to find GUI-based software of any kind on Windows anyway.
    Digitalzone likes this.
  6. penn919

    penn919 TS Maniac Posts: 267   +151

    I hear they're working on better Android app scaling via their developer tools. At least conceivably, the UI within apps could scale up/down depending on the device used. If they can get the major developers on-board they could inflict some serious damage on Microsoft's market share. It wouldn't take long at all for the general public to question the need for windows.
  7. Hardware Geek

    Hardware Geek TS Booster Posts: 79   +66

    This is great! I've been wanting to get Chromebooks for the kids, and this might finally get me to pull the trigger.
  8. texasrattler

    texasrattler TS Evangelist Posts: 708   +284

    There will always be a need for MS. Google doing this or that wont be changing anything.
    When will people realize the world is founded on MS, it's that simple. Linux, Apple nor Google will ever be changing that. They will provide alternatives for daily tasks but that's all they can ever do. We will all still need a MS pc for various other tasks. More so for business and government where MS is strong and have major deals.
    Digitalzone likes this.
  9. texasrattler

    texasrattler TS Evangelist Posts: 708   +284

    There was no reason not to get them before for kids. That was just a you decision nothing to do with anything else.
  10. Danny101

    Danny101 TS Guru Posts: 758   +287

    I would just assume remove the Chrome OS and keep Linux. The problem I have with C. OS is the online dependency it has. My niece wanted me to set hers up to print on a local printer. I couldn't print to it directly. I had to route it through Google's online service. Google's C. OS is spyware. Windows 10, for all it's frustrations, and Linux can both be operated offline. Shoot, I ran computers for years before I went online. Except for Steam,, multiplayer games, and needed updates, there's no real need to run a gaming machine.online. All it's power is configured for gaming. I would keep one online with all the security enhancements in ordered to download needed software, and then transfer that software to the target offline computer. That would utilize the power of each computer for specific purposes. While computers can multitask, it's usually best to configure them for a specific purpose at any given point of time. The lifecycle of a computer can run for 10-20 years through this method.
    Digitalzone likes this.
  11. Theinsanegamer

    Theinsanegamer TS Evangelist Posts: 1,547   +1,767

    I ended up buying a chromebook because the machine I wanted; a portable 11" machine that didnt sacrifice ports and battery life to the gods of paper thinness, simply doesnt exist in the windows world, or if it does it costs at least $1000, and uses the same iGPU that my $500 i5 chromebook does.

    Being able to run full blown linux (as well as my linux games like xcom and civ v) would be amazing.
    Danny101 likes this.
  12. Danny101

    Danny101 TS Guru Posts: 758   +287

    I concede that Chrome OS is a good complement to your smartphone. Google's Fuchsia OS will probably end up combining the smartphones and Chrombooks into one ecosystem, similar to Apple's Macs and iPhones. Microsoft failed miserably in their attempt.
    Last edited: May 13, 2019
  13. quadibloc

    quadibloc TS Booster Posts: 83   +53

    Unlike the Chrome OS, Linux is a "real operating system". I thought they were going to provide this capability by letting the Chrome OS run Android apps and otherwise give it more of the capabilities of Linux - on which both it and Android are based in any case. But this works too.
  14. Hardware Geek

    Hardware Geek TS Booster Posts: 79   +66

    I beg to differ. I was working and buying my own devices at their age. Unfortunately kids these days expect everyone to hand them everything. I'd prefer to simply kick them out and let them take care of themselves, but the wife won't let me. The school thinks they need access to a computer. I certainly won't let them touch my computers. If I am forced to buy them computers, they aren't keeping them when I kick them out the day they turn 18, assuming the computers survive that long. Preferably I'll get lucky and the kids win Darwin awards before they turn 18, but no such luck thus far. Either way, I want something with more flexibility and the ability to install the OS of my choice when I get the computers back.
  15. drjekelmrhyde

    drjekelmrhyde TS Evangelist Posts: 324   +113

    You think your kids will run Linux?
  16. penn919

    penn919 TS Maniac Posts: 267   +151

    Am I missing something? Did you just admit to wanting to kick out your kids and wish death upon them before turning 18?
  17. Hardware Geek

    Hardware Geek TS Booster Posts: 79   +66

    I certainly expect them to learn how to use as many operating systems as possible. Linux has a very diverse set of distros and I want them to learn as much as possible about using Linux systems. My son is a wiz with computers and I want him to learn as much as possible about a variety of operating systems. I'd be surprised if he doesn't go into programming.
  18. Hardware Geek

    Hardware Geek TS Booster Posts: 79   +66

    It was meant toungue in cheek. I should have used the /s. I assumed people would realize the Darwin awards comment was sarcasm. I'm not going to actually kick them out, but I do expect them to be able to be independent by the time they finish high school so they don't expect to be handed everything. Working hard and being able to support oneself is something that will give them a better appreciation of what they have. It seems all their classmates are coddled to the point they won't be able to live independently once they are adults and will end up living in their parents basement in their their 30s. I won't tolerate that from my kids. Once they graduate, they will be expected to contribute to the household until they live on their own. I had my own house and rental properties by 20 because I worked hard from the time I was a small kid and the best lesson I learned as a kid was not to be dependent on other people to take care of me.
  19. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 12,874   +1,526

    ROF; LOL. Just like "Al Gore claimed he 'invented' the Internet."

    My guess is you're too wet behind the ears to have experience with anything else.

    Microsoft didn't even create, aka invent the GUI windows -- Xerox Parc did. When Steve Jobs and Bill Gates were both given a demo, Jobs knew how to respond and build the Lisa system. Only then did Billy see what a GUI could do.
    Charles Olson and Hardware Geek like this.
  20. Hardware Geek

    Hardware Geek TS Booster Posts: 79   +66

    "My guess is you're too wet behind the ears to have experience with anything else."

  21. Bullwinkle M

    Bullwinkle M TS Booster Posts: 131   +69

    I still don't see any reason to buy a chromebook

    Replacing one locked down hardware system with another doesn't make any sense

    If it were truly unlocked, it would boot directly to Windows as well as Linux

    If they really want to impress me, they can build a laptop that will boot directly to DOS, Win 3.1, Win95/98, XP, Windows 7 / 8.1 and 10, Chrome, Linux and Mac O.S.

    A laptop limited to Chrome and Linux does not impress me in the least, and running Windows in a VM would simply be another limitation (not an actual choice)

    ALL my computer boot directly to "Legit" copies of every O.S. listed except chrome and Mac O.S.
    But that is not a hardware limitation
    That is an artificially imposed software limitation because non-Legit copies would run fine on every PC I own
  22. hyperspaced

    hyperspaced TS Enthusiast Posts: 30   +9

    " Linux is a fantastic operating system, and as a result, it's the go-to choice for many power users or those who simply don't care for Windows 10. "

    No! Linux is a fantastic OS because it runs well for the server/embedded devices.
    For the desktop, Windows 10 is *light years* ahead.
  23. lazer

    lazer TS Addict Posts: 235   +56

    While win10 stinks; Linux ain't great either. win7 still has my respect.

    problem I have with win10 and Linux is my old paid for programs that won't work with them.....
    (not to mention the multiple problems with win10 updates.....)
  24. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 12,874   +1,526

    Yes! EVERY systems has it's niche and field of expertise -- there's no single sliver bullet anywhere.

    A good craftsman has many tools in his toolbox, not just a single hammer.

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