In its current state, the Crostini project that brought Linux containers to Chrome OS still feels a bit rough around the edges. It has come a long way and it is viable for a number of use-cases but it isn’t without its shortcomings. One such deficiency is the fact that Crostini when installed, predetermines the amount of disk space that is utilized without any user input or control. For tinkerers like me, the max allotted 90% of free space is more than enough but for serious developers, the ability to increase or shrink that space can be crucial.
Thankfully, the Chromium OS team has acknowledged this need and has been working, for some time, on a way to remedy the situation. As Kevin Tofel reported back in March of last year, the ability to resize the Linux drive space on Chrome OS was originally slated for release with Chrome OS 75. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen and there hasn’t been any sign of the project in any channel of Chrome OS since that time. Kevin later shared that the update had been pushed back to Chrome OS 78 that launched in November but again, there were no indicators that it had arrived.
Today, however, the latest update to the Canary channel of Chrome OS reveals that the resizing feature is, in fact, still moving forward. The addition of an experimental flag in Chrome OS 81 tells the tale.
Enabling the flag did nothing as far as I can tell but there could be some terminal commands that I am not familiar with that could trigger the resize prompt. I presume, when this reaches Stable, users will be prompted to select their disk space amount when Crostini is installed for the first time. If the target release sticks for this feature, it should arrive with the launch of Chrome OS 81 in mid-March. We’ll keep an eye on it as it makes its way up the ladder and hopefully we can bring you more details and some actual screenshots of this in action. You can follow along with the public feature request in the CR Bug Tracker.