After being spotted in beta last week, Google has now made Linux apps arrival in Chrome OS official. At the ongoing Google I/O 2018 conference, the tech giant announced that native Linux support is coming to Chromebooks, and the first to get a preview of the new tool will be the Pixelbook.
This move by Google is quite clever, as it will now lure even developers to buy the Pixelbook and Chromebooks for their code play. Earlier developers had to constantly switch between virtual terminals to run Linux distributions on their Chromebooks, Pixelbooks, and Chrome OS desktops.
Google claims that with Linux support, developers will seamlessly be able to create, test, and run Android and web products for tablets, smartphones, and laptops on just one device. "Run popular editors, code in your favourite language and launch projects to Google Cloud with the command-line. Everything works directly on a Chromebook. Linux runs inside a virtual machine that was designed from scratch for Chromebooks. That means it starts in seconds and integrates completely with Chromebook features. Linux apps can start with a click of an icon, windows can be moved around, and files can be opened directly from apps," the company explains on its blog.
There's no clarity on when this support arrives in the stable version of Chrome OS, and the list of devices that will get Linux support is yet to be released. If you want to use this feature right away, switch to the Dev Channel on your Chrome OS device. Linux app support is apparently working on Pixelbook devices, but Chromebooks like the Samsung Chromebook Pro throw error messages. Therefore, the support is not yet enabled for all devices in the Chrome OS dev channel as well, but things should get more streamlined with time. Dev channel users claim that apps and games run very slow, so think twice before switching to the dev channel. Here's how you can switch from stable to beta and developers channel for Chrome OS.
We discussed Android P, Google Assistant, Google Photos, and also the most important things that Google did not mention during its I/O 2018 keynote, on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.