Chrome OS 72 is officially available for the majority of Chrome devices but despite a lot of coverage stating it, Android 9 (Pie) appears to only be available on three Chromebooks that we know of at the moment.
That may come as a disappointment to most of you who have been looking forward to features Android Pie can offer but for now you can count your blessings because the update brought a very nasty bug along with it and developers have yet to solve the mystery.
In an email from Kent D., I was alerted to an issue with Google’s Pixelbook that was causing the system_server process to chew up as much as 100% of the CPU assets even when the device was in an idle state.
The problem was first posted on two Reddit threads and subsequently found itself in the Chromium Bug Tracker system as more and more users were experiencing the issue.
As users began to submit feedback and narrow down the common denominators, it appears that the bug is only affecting Chromebook on Chrome OS 72, with the Play Store enabled and running Android 9. As I mentioned above, that is a very limited list of devices but it does include all Pixelbooks as well as the Samsung Chromebook Plus V2.
The resulting effects of the bug, due to the high CPU usage, presents itself in the form of serious lag and even the appearance of hardware issues. I had noticed something very similar on my Acer Spin 13 in the Canary channel when the trackpad seemed to be experiencing serious drag and delayed response. Once I disabled the Play Store, it was fine.
The official bug report is still listed as “unconfirmed” but it has been elevated to a priority level of “1” which is the second highest available in the bug tracker. Additionally, one Chromium developer specifically has asked users to submit feedback and tag his email in the reports so he can give the bug better attention.
What does this mean for you as a user?
For starters, if you aren’t experiencing any of the ill effects spelled out in the bug report, you likely aren’t affected. If you have noticed issues since the update, you can open your task manager by hitting “Search+Esc” and looking for the process labeled “system
As you can see in the image above, the “system:system” process is eating 85% of the CPU despite the fact that no Android apps are actually running. You can click the CPU tab to bring the process with the highest usage to the top.
If you find your CPU is being taxed without due cause, you can submit feedback by clicking “Alt+Shift+i” and including screenshots, system information and logs and providing as much information about your specific device as possible.
Including model, Chrome OS version and channel, network type, managed or not and anything else you may find pertinent could be helpful to developers in squashing this bug. The developer on top of this effort is Elijah Taylor and he has requested the following when submitting feedback:
To folks who are reproducing this bug: please file feedback (alt+shift+i) when you have this high cpu usage happening and reference this bug “crbug.com/929359” and my username “elijahtaylor@” in the feedback description so it will route to me and we’ll take a look.
What you shouldn’t do is comment on the bug report with snide remarks, useless jabs at the Chromium team or rants about “how they could let this bug make it to Stable.” It isn’t helpful. Believe me, the Chromium team wants to fix this ASAP and they welcome any assistance but there is no need to gum up the works with senseless comments. Thanks.
Read more about the bug at the Chromium Bug Tracker and star the issue to receive updates as they happen. With any luck, devs will have this bug terminated post haste.
Update: It appears that developers have pinpointed the issue and it looks as though the actual Task Manager is the culprit of
I suspect this has to do with the recent integration of memory information for ARC processes into the task manager, which I believe was added in M72Elijah T. Chromium dev
So, it looks like keeping your task manager closed will prevent this issue from affecting your device. Elijah is asking that users cease submitting feedback as the bug has been identified. If you find yourself with unusually high CPU usage and you don’t have the task manager open, submit feedback and be sure to point out that fact.Shop Chromebooks On Amazon