If you’re new to Chrome OS or perhaps just learning your way around the recently added Linux terminal, you may be unaware that Google transitioned the Linux container from Debian 9 to Debian 10 (Buster) with the release of Chrome OS 80 back in March. If you have been tinkering with Linux on Chrome OS for some time, you’ve likely already forced the updated to Debian 10 by removing the Linux container and reinstalling it.
Devices that haven’t received the update due to the fact that they have been sitting on a shelf or whatever other reason you can think of, can now upgrade to the newer Debian 10 container with the simple push of a button. This feature will only show up if you are on Chrome OS 86 and your device is still using Debian 9 (Stretch). You will find the “upgrade” button by heading to the Linux (Beta) tab of your Chrome OS settings menu. If you have an upgrade available, you will see the message at the top of the settings.
There is a possibility that this upgrade will not work. We have seen users reporting a key fetch error similar to the one I reported on back in January. Unfortunately, the fix for that error doesn’t appear to alleviate the issue in Chrome OS 86. If you aren’t married to the data and packages in your Linux container, I would recommend completely removing Linux and reinstalling. This may update the container to Debian 10 but that should be a last-ditch solution. Stay tuned for more updates from Chrome OS 86 as we tear down all the new and updated features.