Crostini supports running Linux apps on Chromebooks, should supplant Crouton

; Date: April 23, 2018

Tags: Chromebook

Chromebooks are built on Linux, but does not allow access to the command line -- for security reasons. Therefore it's attractive to access the command-line, and Crouton has existed for years allowing us to install a Linux version on a Chromebook. Crouton requires the Chromebook to be put into Developer mode. Crostini is different as it is leveraging virtual machine and/or container technology Google is building into ChromeOS.

As of this writing the features work only on Google Pixelbooks. It appears Google is preparing for an announcement of something at Google I/O 2018.

For example - a screenshot has emerged showing Google's Android developer app running on ChromeOS, making it possible for Google to position Chromebooks as a development environment for Android apps.

Here's some instructions on running Debian Stretch on a Pixel:

( lstoll cros-crostini blob master

crosvm - The Chrome OS Virtual Machine Monitor

This component, known as crosvm, runs untrusted operating systems along with virtualized devices. No actual hardware is emulated. This only runs VMs through the Linux's KVM interface. What makes crosvm unique is a focus on safety within the programming language and a sandbox around the virtual devices to protect the kernel from attack in case of an exploit in the devices.

See: ( chromiumos platform crosvm

About the Author(s)

David Herron : David Herron is a writer and software engineer focusing on the wise use of technology. He is especially interested in clean energy technologies like solar power, wind power, and electric cars. David worked for nearly 30 years in Silicon Valley on software ranging from electronic mail systems, to video streaming, to the Java programming language, and has published several books on Node.js programming and electric vehicles.