So, earlier today Robby was showing me a Chromium commit that referenced enabling the Crostini UI by default on the Pixelbook. No surprise there as Google’s flagship has been the default testing ground for the Crostini Project and the implementation of Linux app containers for quite some time now.
Since the “Crostini” flag turned up on Chrome OS we have found multiple references to an actual menu item for the feature in the Chrome OS settings but until recently accessing the terminal app has only been possible through some hacking. Just last week, we saw the addition of the terminal app to the Chrome OS launcher but had yet to see Crostini’s front-facing UI in action.
Today, Crostini moved one step closer to being an integrated part of the Chrome OS ecosystem.
Kevin Tofel of About Chromebooks noticed the new Crostini UI on his Pixelbook after the latest update to the Developer channel of Chrome OS.
You can click on the image above for a closer look. What you’ll find right above the Play Store is a new feature simply labeled “Linux” and in parentheses the oh so familiar “Beta” label we all secretly loathed during the almost two-year rollout of Android Apps for Chrome OS.
On my Acer C771, I had to move to Canary to find the feature as it looks to be tied to Chrome OS 68 for the time being and as usual, my devices are almost always a version behind current.
Kevin also reports that enabling Linux(Beta) promplty installed and launched the terminal app seen in Robby’s video. For me, the install process started but after connecting with the “concierge,” the container failed to launch. I tried again on the Samsung Chromebook Pro with the same result. Clearly, this is likely a Pixelbook only feature at the moment.
Google I/O is less than a week away and developers look to be pretty busy getting Crostini functional to a point that I very much suspect we’ll get a sneak-peek at the annual developer conference. We’ll be live on social covering the event and will have the live stream available here on Chrome Unboxed for your viewing pleasure.
In the meantime, we’ll be testing out the new Linux setting on the Pixelbook and getting some more hands-on time with Crostini.
Source: About Chromebooks