It’s been a bit since we’ve talked about Linux apps on Chromebooks, but that doesn’t mean development has stopped. Actually, progress has been constantly moving forward with small tweaks and changes happening almost daily. The big changes, however, haven’t been as rapid-fire since I/O back in May, so news surrounding the Crostini project has been a bit quieter overall.
Today’s news has us sitting up and paying attention once again, however.
Over at the /r/Crostini subreddit, every little detail of the entire project is constantly being reviewed, shared, and scrutinized. A lot of what goes on there is over the general users’ head, but one of the more recent posts unveiled some fantastic info that we had to share.
Up to this point, Linux apps have been relegated to devices in the Dev Channel, and for many, it is simply not worth all the bugs and headaches to mess around with as a daily driver. This is especially true for me. I have a full-time job during the day that I need my Pixelbook to work well for and I just can’t stay in the Dev Channel very often due to the bugs and inconsistencies inherent there.
I’ve been patiently waiting for Project Crostini to leave it’s current Dev Channel shackles before I really begin digging in and using it more extensively. There are likely a few apps I’ll begin using on a regular basis, but I don’t want to introduce them into my workflow until they are stable, reliable, and available on the Stable Channel where I feel I need to stay put.
Looks Like My Time Is Coming Soon
According to this post over at the aforementioned /r/Crostini subreddit, there is hard evidence that suggests we’ll see Linux apps hit the Stable Channel as early as Chrome 69. Though it seems the target was originally R68, it looks as if the full release has been pushed back a bit.
Take a look at the post in the Chrome OS Bug Tracker and look at Comment 27:
This bug requires manual review: There is .grd file changes and we are only 40 days from stable.
That comment was left just 2 days ago.
If you look over at the Chromium Developer calendar, you can see that Chrome OS 69 is slated for release around September 11th, so the timeline lines up pretty closely, here. 40 days out from July 25th is September 3rd and that is just one day shy of the release of R69 on desktop (September 4th) with Chrome OS 69 coming in a week later.
Though this isn’t concrete and things can still change, it seems we’ll be seeing the official arrival of Linux apps on the Stable Channel by September, and that is great news! My guess would be we’ll see the Pixelbook get this first, but you never know. Hopefully by the holiday season, Linux on Chromebooks will be out there for most users. Exciting times, indeed!