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Google Chromebook vs. Gallium Chromebook

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GNU
Linux
Google
Hardware

Chromebooks have been improving a lot over the years. They’re not just web browsers with keyboards anymore. Many Chromebooks can now run Linux programs via an included Crostini virtual machine container, and many can also run Android apps. (As long as it’s not enrolled in enterprise management: Be careful about buying refurbished Chromebooks.) Those additions can greatly improve the usefulness of Chromebooks and greatly reduces their limitations.

A few months ago, I wrote that a $99 Chromebook with Gallium OS installed is so much better. That was just an editorial with a “how to” though and I didn’t provide any in-depth experimentation or proof, so that’s what we’re going to do in this article.

I bought two refurbished $60 Lenovo N22 Chromebooks and installed Gallium OS on one of them while letting the other one update itself to the latest version of Chrome OS 80. This is after I got them un-enrolled from Google’s Enterprise Management of course.

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Samsung Chromebook Pro prepares overdue support for Linux apps

  • Samsung Chromebook Pro prepares overdue support for Linux apps on Chrome OS

    Samsung’s Chromebook Pro helped usher in a new era of Chromebooks, but over time it’s missed out on some things. The biggest complaint of many has been the lack of Linux app support on the Samsung Chromebook Pro but, now, it looks like that’s finally arriving.

    First spotted by an eagle-eyed Reddit user and highlighted by Chrome Unboxed, it sure looks like Linux app support is imminent for the Samsung Chromebook Pro. This feature rolled out to many, many other Chromebooks over the past two years but for whatever reason, the Pro was never on that list.

    Whatever the case, it seems like times are changing. This Reddit user was able to update his Chromebook Pro to Chrome OS v82 via the dev channel — a version that is being skipped in other channels due to the COVID-19 impact. On both v81 and v83 of Chrome OS on the Pro, the needed #enable-experimental-kernel-vm-support flag doesn’t appear any longer. Luckily, screenshots of Linux running on the Samsung Chromebook Pro were captured.

    As you can see below, Linux is running via Crostini on the Chromebook Pro and, apparently, the device was able to use the updated 4.19 Linux kernel too.

Linux apps are finally coming to the Samsung Chromebook Pro

  • Linux apps are finally coming to the Samsung Chromebook Pro

    I have been waiting for more than a year and a half to write this article. It seems like a lifetime ago since I penned my theory about what Google was doing with containers and Chrome OS. Since then, the Crostini Project has brought Linux apps to millions of Chromebooks and in doing so, opened up a new world of opportunity for an operating system that was once considered little more than a browser. While most devices released in the past two years come out of the box with support for Linux apps, there is one platform that has suffered a great injustice at the hands of Crostini.

Chrome OS 81 gets tablet-friendly gestures

  • Chrome OS 81 gets tablet-friendly gestures

    Google's new Chrome OS 81 update for Chromebooks is set with new navigation gestures for easier use in tablet mode. With more Chromebooks featuring touchscreens and keyboardless options such as Lenovo's Chromebook Duet, the update introduces Android 10 and iPadOS-like gestures when they're used as tablets.

Linux app support coming to Chromebooks with Core M...

  • Linux app support coming to Chromebooks with Core M Skylake chips (Samsung Chromebook Pro, Asus Chromebook Flip C302)

    It’s been two years since Google started bringing support for Linux apps to Chromebooks, and these days dozens of Chrome OS laptops support support the feature (although it’s still a beta feature that you have to enable manually).

    One of the first Chromebooks to support Linux apps was the Samsung Chromebook Plus. But up until now that laptop’s close (and more powerful) cousin the Samsung Chromebook Pro has not supported the feature.

    It looks like that’s going to change soon though — because Google appears to be adding support for all Chromebooks featuring Intel Core m3-6Y30 processors and other 7th-gen Intel Core “Skylake” chips.

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Samsung Chromebook Pro to get Linux support after 3 years <ul>

  • Samsung Chromebook Pro to get Linux support after 3 years

    Cue this week’s surprise: the Kerneltext project is bearing fruit, as Project Crostini was found to be working on the Samsung Chromebook Pro running Chrome OS 82 with the experimental VM flag enabled. The only problem is, that version is Dev-Channel-only and has been abandoned due to the ongoing global pandemic. Google’s team ultimately skipped ahead to build number 83 after resuming development. The latter lacks the same feature, though the implication remains: Project Crostini appears to be on its way to the Samsung Chromebook Pro after all.

    The Samsung Chromebook Plus, released four months prior to the Chromebook Pro, already received Linux support two years ago, not long after Project Crostini itself launched. That’s courtesy of the fact it leveraged ARM’s Rockchip RK3399 which ended up enjoying much better support than Intel’s Core m3-6Y30 from the polarizing Skylake generation. While the better-late-than-never mantra still applies, the impending support for Linux apps will seemingly hit the Chromebook Pro just as the device has to make space the Galaxy Chromebook, the long-awaited sequel to Samsung’s original vision of an ultra-premium Chrome OS experience.

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