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Is ChromeOS the way to go?

July 20, 2021 — BarryK

I have been wondering about this for some time. My understanding is that ChromeOS was originally designed for a permanently online computer, not really for running off-line. I haven't closely followed development, but apparently that changed, allowing off-line use.

Then in 2016 Google announced that ChromeOS would be supporting Android apps:

They haven't stopped there. In 2018, Google announced that ChromeOS would be supporting Linux apps, a project named "Crostini", via a Debian-based virtual machine:

That was when I started to pay attention to ChromeOS development. It seems that Linux is a terminal interface, however, GUI apps can, apparently, be installed. Here is one guide, that explains how "Gnome" apps can be added to the ChromeOS package manager:

But how much of this is hype? What is the reality? This article, published Jan. 11, 2021, has some revealing statements:


And in the last two years, Linux has improved by leaps and bounds and it’s almost stable to use.


Also, keep in mind currently, Linux on Chrome OS does not support hardware acceleration so the performance is slightly choppy.

...I would have thought that depends on the GPU. Perhaps computers with Intel GPUs would have hardware acceleration? A bit of online reading, it seems GPU acceleration, using openGL, is available, at least for recent Intel GPUs, but a couple of reports it is troublesome. Obviously a work-in-progress, that hopefully will improve.

Gimp, LibreOffice, Inkscape, apparently run OK, and particularly interesting, so do Windows apps, via Wine. I see can even run Windows 10 in a virtual machine.

This certainly is interesting!      

Tags: linux