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Re: Another Milestone Achieved: Run Linux Apps on a Chromebook
Posted by: Jack M. Germain 2018-10-26 07:52:48
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Linux apps now can run in a Chromebook's Chrome OS environment. However, the process can be tricky, and it depends on your hardware's design and Google's whims. It is somewhat similar to running Android apps on your Chromebook, but the Linux connection is far less forgiving. If it works in your Chromebook's flavor, though, the computer becomes much more useful with more flexible options. Still, running Linux apps on a Chromebook will not replace the Chrome OS. The apps run in an isolated virtual machine without a Linux desktop.

Re: Another Milestone Achieved: Run Linux Apps on a Chromebook
Posted by: braymundo 2018-11-15 10:07:46 In reply to: Jack M. Germain
Are you sure the C302CA will not run Linux apps? According to the linked resource below, its processor is based on the Skylake architecture, not BayTrail:


Re: Another Milestone Achieved: Run Linux Apps on a Chromebook
Posted by: jackmgerm 2018-11-15 17:23:37 In reply to: braymundo
Sadly, I am sure that my Asus C302CA does not run Linux Apps. The "Linux Beta" entry does NOT appear in the files window. I have done this process several times hoping that whatever didn't work would mysteriously just disappear so I could use Linux apps on the Asus C303CA. But it does not work.

Apparently, Google has not flipped the secret switch that enables Linux Beta to be compatible with this make and model.

I have read reports on numerous technical support forums that the C302CA, the C302C, and the C302 are not all the same machines. Each seems to have different processor compatibility issues. I have also been told that sometimes the same model numbers have different processors depending on their build dates.

Give it a try on your particular machine. You won't break it if it is not compatible. It just won't work if it is the same as my unit. Good luck.

Re: Another Milestone Achieved: Run Linux Apps on a Chromebook
Posted by: braymundo 2018-11-16 07:56:17 In reply to: jackmgerm
Interesting. Thank you for the additional details! I'll give it a try and report back!

Re: Another Milestone Achieved: Run Linux Apps on a Chromebook
Posted by: DennyL 2018-10-27 15:58:10 In reply to: Jack M. Germain
Very nice write-up Jack, good info. and explanations.

I did notice a couple of nits though and just wanted to make you aware, it's not easy to proofread your own stuff, I know.

> Some older Chromebooks running Linux 4.14 will be retrofitted with Crostini support.

I think that should read '3.14' not '4.14' according to Google's documentation notes.

> If your Chromebook is not already set with Linux enabled, first, switch it to developer mode and then enable the Crostini flag.

I think that should read 'developer channel' not 'developer mode', that's a whole other thing that's no longer required for Crostini.

> sudo APT update and sudo APT upgrade

Since Linux is case sensitive I believe APT should be lowercase and read: sudo apt update and sudo apt upgrade

Thanx again for a great article.


Re: Another Milestone Achieved: Run Linux Apps on a Chromebook
Posted by: THX-1138 2018-10-27 14:26:28 In reply to: Jack M. Germain
I think some things need clarification in this article.

I think it needs to be clear that Chrome OS is Linux. It runs a Linux kernel, so running Linux software has been possible for a long time for competent users. Chrome OS has a shell called 'crosh' with a few Linux tools, to get the most from it, the computer needs to be put into 'developer mode'. But that does compromise the security model that the creators of the platform would like to keep users in. From 'crosh' in developer mode a full Linux 'shell' can be launched, using Chromebrew, extra Linux packages can be installed.

Crouton also runs in 'developer mode', but it is NOT an OS! Crouton is a 'chroot' environment which allows a Debian (or Ubuntu etc) filesystem to work with the existing Chrome OS Linux kernel.

But when Google released Android support it was via a sandboxed container rather than the older method described. It made sense to allow Linux to also run in a similar way, it would give advanced users the Linux apps they wanted and not have to use Crouton and compromise the security model. It's also a bit ironic that Google wasn't able to eat it's own dog food, relying on 3rd party distros for in-house development.

I'd also note to anyone wanting to get the most from a Chromebook in terms of Linux and Android apps, to get one with 64GB storage, a MicroSD slot and a touchscreen, preferably with the flip or hybrid tablet form factor. I did that and I've got everything I'd run on Linux and more, plus big 1GB Android games etc and I still have almost 40GB free, everything else is on a 128GB MicroSD or my Pi server.
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