At Google I/O in Mountain View, Google quietly let slip that "all devices [Chromebook] launched this year will be Linux-ready right out of the box." Wait. What?
In case you've missed it, last year, Google started making it possible to run desktop Linux on Chrome OS. Since then, the best Chromebook devices are able to run Linux. Going forward, all of them will be able to do so, too. Yes. All of them. ARM and Intel-based.
Earlier, you could run Debian, Ubuntu and Kali Linux on Chrome OS using the open-source Crouton program in a chroot container. Or, you could run Gallium OS, a third-party, Xubuntu Chromebook-specific Linux variant. But it wasn't easy.
Now? It's as simple as simple can be. Just open the Chrome OS app switcher by pressing the Search/Launcher key and then type "Terminal". This launches the Termina VM, which will start running a Debian 9.0 Stretch Linux container.
Congratulations! You're now running Debian Linux on your Chromebook.
Linux on Chromebook laptops is not a dual-boot operation. You're running both operating systems simultaneously. That means, for example, you can do things like clicking on a document file via the Chrome OS file manager and open it with LibreOffice -- without even starting a Linux session.
You can also now use port forwarding to connect networking services between Linux and Chrome OS. This means, you could, for example, run a web server within the Linux container while debugging it on the same machine.
So, why would you want to do this? If you're a developer, the answer's easy: You can develop for all three operating systems off one platform. For example, it's now much easier to install Android Studio on Chrome OS.
With Chrome OS 77, you also now have secure USB support for Android phones. With this, you can develop, debug, and push your Android Application Package (APK) to Android phones on any of the Android developer-recommended Chromebook laptops.
A Chromebook with all three operating systems running at once is also darn useful for an ordinary Jane or Joe. For example, I can edit images using Linux GIMP and write with LibreOffice Writer while looking at pictures using Android Pinterest and simultaneously check my Gmail in Chrome OS. It's all good.
Chromebook laptops are more useful than ever with Android and Linux. Heck, with that many Chromebook devices out there with Linux built-in, maybe 2019 will be -- yes, I'm going to say it -- the year of the Linux desktop.
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