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Chrome OS now with full Linux, Android apps, Android Studio


Perhaps lost in the news of Microsoft shipping a Linux kernel with Windows 10 later this year, is the news from the Chrome OS world that all 2019 Chromebooks (and about half of those sold before 2019) integrate and support running a full Linux OS within Chrome OS (see, e.g. Arch). In addition, Android apps are supported, as is a 1-click install of the Android Studio IDE (with underlying OS support for secure USB for Android phones coming in Chrome OS 77).

On the Linux side, it’s possible to run Linux GUI applications from the Chrome OS shelf, and even to open files from the Chrome OS Files app using a Linux application. Docker containers work but it remains to be seen what developers can do in the way of virtualizing other environments using the new underlying virtualization in Chrome OS (its Crostini Linux environment runs in a VM and a container inside that).

OpenGL support is on the horizon, and to date no Chromebooks sell with discrete GPUs (although that could change, and Ryzen APUs are available in some new 2019 models), but if and when that happens the prospect for gaming in a VM could be quite interesting.

Chrome OS now holds a growing 20% of the market in laptop sales (it’s not counted by all market surveys), and I’m left to wonder if part of Microsoft’s rationale for WSL2 was to prevent developers from jumping ship…



Naaah mate. MS making their own OS to compete with Chrome OS is to prevent peeps from jumping ship.

EDIT: Ohh. You said devs. I miss read and thought you meant regular customers/education markets and stuff.



Windows 10 S is to prevent average consumers from switching, but they’re already switching in droves (what’s the market share of Windows 10 S compared to Chrome OS?).

Microsoft also has a huge interest in preventing developers from switching, e.g. to Mac OS where plenty of devs run Linux VMs, or to Linux outright. The Chromebook is now the most economic way to develop on-the-go for Linux devs, which includes most web/cloud devs these days too.

EDIT: you edited while I was replying LOL

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