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Linux

Chrome OS Could Be Getting Containers for Running Linux VMs (zdnet.com) 57

Chromebook users may soon have a simpler way to run their favorite Linux distribution and applications on Google's Chrome OS hardware. From a report: As spotted by Chrome Unboxed, there's a newly merged commit in Chromium Gerrit describing a "new device policy to allow Linux VMs on Chrome OS." A related entry suggests support could come with Chrome OS version 66, which is due out in stable release around April 24, meaning Google might announce it at its annual IO developer conference, which starts on May 8. Developers can already use a tool called Crouton to install and run Linux on Chrome OS, but there is a security trade-off because Chrome OS needs to be switched to developer mode to use it. There's also a Crouton extension called Xiwi to enable using an OS in a browser window on Chrome OS. However, it too requires developer mode to be enabled. A recent commit suggests Chrome developers are working on a project called Crostini that may solve the developer mode problem by allowing Linux VMs to run inside a container.
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Chrome OS Could Be Getting Containers for Running Linux VMs

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  • by Mal-2 ( 675116 ) on Tuesday February 27, 2018 @01:13AM (#56192431) Homepage Journal

    I'd rather flash the firmware [reddit.com] and then install Cloud Ready [neverware.com], Windows, and GalliumOS [galliumos.org]. Or at least I would if I cared that much about CrOS. My C720 practically always runs Windows 10, booting into GalliumOS only when I need to unfuck something Windows won't let me unfuck.

    • by wierd_w ( 1375923 ) on Tuesday February 27, 2018 @01:24AM (#56192473)

      Just link straight to MrChromebox.tech, since he has the needful to do the firmware portion in the bag right there for nearly all chromebooks in the wild.

      https://mrchromebox.tech/#devi... [mrchromebox.tech]
      https://mrchromebox.tech/#fwsc... [mrchromebox.tech]

      All you need to do is remove the write protect screw/jumper, turn on dev mode, then run his script. Booya, bob's your uncle. His firmware has added bonus features, in that it reprograms the chromebook's embedded microcontroller so that the keyboard emulates a PS2 interface, allowing more OSes to run without as much hassle, as well as poking the sound hardware to better approximate an HD Audio Bus device.

      Personally, I run GalliumOS as the primary on my Samsung chromebook 3 (celes). I have one of the older ones that only has 2gb of RAM, and I desperately need zram for it to be useful. With how weaksauce it is anyway, nearly any game that 'could' run on it, will also work in WINE, so I dont really need windows.

      • by Mal-2 ( 675116 )

        I ran GalliumOS + WINE when I had a GNAWTY. I was also the tester for the initial attempts to run Windows on Bay Trail. Actually, we succeeded, but performance was so incredibly horrible that it was unusable. I ended up selling that off, and buying the (4GB) C720 for only $21 more than I got for the CB3-111. Then I dropped another $80 for a fast 250GB M.2 SSD.

        Windows support for the Bay Trail Chromebooks has matured a great deal in the past year and a half, enough that it runs about as well as could be expe

  • by ooloorie ( 4394035 ) on Tuesday February 27, 2018 @05:54AM (#56192975)

    allowing Linux VMs to run inside a container

    You don't run "Linux VMs inside a container", you run processes or Linux distributions inside containers.

  • So, they're making Chrome OS move toward Android. Anyone surprised?
    • Touchscreen Chromebooks have been running android apps for about a year or so. ChromeOS has a full strength, desktop grade browser which is a much better experience than any mobile browser. Android apps are surprisingly good on ChromeOS now... Devices like Samsung's Chromebook Plus are basically what tablets want to be when they grow up. The bonus is being able to run Linux, and by adding container support, it would make that experience better and potentially much more secure than running crouton. One of th
      • by xvan ( 2935999 )

        Android apps are surprisingly good on ChromeOS now.

        Dude, do you own a Chromebook?
        I have a samsung chromebook 3 and IMHO APK's on chromebook suck, at least on the graphic support, and that's the only thing you'd care about running an android application. It feels like running an android VM.

        • by mark-t ( 151149 )
          He said "now"... that might suggest that the comment is only relevant to chromebooks that have come out more recently.
      • Touchscreen Chromebooks have been running android apps for about a year or so. ChromeOS has a full strength, desktop grade browser which is a much better experience than any mobile browser. Android apps are surprisingly good on ChromeOS now.

        You know else runs Android apps surprisingly good? ANDROID.

    • So, they're making Chrome OS move toward Android. Anyone surprised?

      I'm only surprised that Google can't make Chrome for Android worth half a shit, which is the only reason ChromeOS even exists. It remains grossly inferior to the real Chrome.

  • I know nothing about ChromeOS code. So clearly I shouldn't be surprised that I'm struggling to make since of this commit. But the size of this change seems small enough that I might expect to at least be able to make the two ends meet (the part storing and managing the new policy key and the part that reads that key and acts upon it).

    https://chromium-review.google... [googlesource.com]

    But I can't. All I see are things related to storing and managing the key. I don't understand how this newly created "thing" has any effect

    • I imagine that the ChromeOS (Linux) kernel is already built with KVM support, but the default security policy does not permit the user to create VMs. At first glance, it looks as if that commit is permitting the user to issue the KVM-related syscalls.
  • This is Awesome! Currently using crouton, and it works well, it's just a hack. It would be exceptionally nice for it to be an officially supported feature. What other company would do this for the niche geek market? I am often tempted to boycott google products because of their work place politics and scary knowledge they posess about what I am thinking based on what I have entered into a search box... but if they keep producing things that work and are open... maybe they can have my data. Just layoff

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