Google Still Making Chrome OS Linux Container, New App Suggests

Google is still working on a Linux container for Chrome OS, as suggested by a new Terminal app that started appearing to users running the latest Developer Channel build of the operating system. The app itself presently doesn't work on either ARM or Intel Chromebooks, according to initial user reports, with any attempt to launch it returning a wide variety of error messages suggesting the backend part of the equation still hasn't been finalized by the Alphabet-owned company. The first piece of evidence pointing to Linux container support for Chrome OS was discovered in late February, having been sighted as part of a commit mentioning Linux virtual machines being enabled on Chromebooks by default.

Chrome OS users were already able to run Linux software using non-official means, though Google's own implementation may allow for such a functionality outside of the scope of the Developer Mode. System administrators will also be able to decide whether any particular client is allowed to leverage Linux containers from the day the feature is officially introduced, according to the previously discovered commit. The technology itself is believed to be enabled by the Crostini Project, a solution for running non-Chrome OS apps within software containers on compatible Chromebooks.

Google is still committing significant resources to the Chrome OS ecosystem that's presently in the middle of a major education push, having recently expanded to the tablet form factor as part of an effort to take on Apple's iPads in the classroom. Besides its general affordability, Chromebooks are also seeking to appeal to a wide variety of users with their versatility as they're already able to run both Chrome OS and Android apps, with the Crostini Project resolving to expand that support to even more platforms. The Mountain View-based tech giant is likely to share more details about its Chromebook plans at the next iteration of its annual Google I/O developer conference set to take place next month.

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Dominik Bosnjak

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Dominik started at AndroidHeadlines in 2016 and is the Head Editor of the site today. He’s approaching his first full decade in the media industry, with his background being primarily in technology, gaming, and entertainment. These days, his focus is more on the political side of the tech game, as well as data privacy issues, with him looking at both of those through the prism of Android. Contact him at [email protected]