But I will buy a pixelbook in an instant if I can get a fully functional, no bullshit with having to install custom kernels or new firmware or god only knows what and what will happen to the hardware and what just won't work despite The Internet insisting it does, insisting! Oh Lordy. A Linux environment available on decent hardware, without having to MacGyver it together with bubble gum and safety pins? Where things like power management actually work? What other options are there, really, for that? Purism? Dell XPS13! All of those are actually more expensive than the Pixelbook. (Though the Dell thing does look pretty sweet.) Hell, I may go order one now.
You have to be careful about which processor powers your Chromebook if you want to do non chrome os things. The processors from the mainstream core line (Haswell, Skylake) etc do pretty well, although they're usually fairly low clocked. The chromebooks with Atom or ARM processors usually have a harder time booting other things, and the ARM linux ecosystem is a lot trickier than the x86-64 ecosystem.
Avoiding Atom processors is harder than it looks, because Intel keeps changing the branding, probably to confuse users.
There's a good community of folks over at https://www.reddit.com/r/Crostini/ who have been tinkering with this for quite some time.
It's not better. It's usually just people projecting their personal preferences as though they should apply to everyone else.
Every one is different, so as long as the individual is content with what they've got, it doesn't really matter what aspect ratio they're using.
surface book appears to as well, but i don't have one of them to vouch for
3:2? No thanks I don't really want black bars when watching movies...
What I'd really really like is something with the build quality (especially the touchpad!) of a MacBook Pro, with decent and recent hardware, first class Linux support for all features, support for both USB-C and "old" USB and a decent keyboard with it. And that without paying more than for an technologically outdated yet still top-of-the-line MBP...
As for trackpads, Apple keep making them larger and larger, so a ThinkPad trackpad is no smaller than a MacBook from a few years ago. The keyboard is surely the primary concern.
My dream computer would be
- ThinkPad like casing. Light weight, yet durable. Not some cheap flimsy plastics.
- XPS like thin bezel display, with Apple like screen with colour calibration. While at it, please give me a 16:10 or some other tall displays where I can have more vertical space. 16:9 is only good for media and it is a secondary use-case on my laptop.
- Components with wider/open source drivers like intel wireless card instead of the Broadcom stuff. Some bluetooth module that has proper working Linux drivers.
- Trackpad - Mac like smooth trackpad. It's been decades and nothing comes even close to what Apple could do.
- Decent 12 hour real world battery life. I don't care if it makes the laptop slightly thicker or heavier - it is worth it.
- Keyboard with a good bit of travel - Like a ThinkPad.
- No Dongle life. Want USB-A, USB-C, HDMI, MiniDP, Full size SD card slot.
So far, only MacBook pro (with VMs running Linux) comes closest with several compromises.
Says the macOS user... did you even get a newer version of bash yet? I heard even Debian stable has a newer bash version than macOS.
Software is trivial to upgrade and that's a very silly comparison to make.
OS X and iOS developers are pretty fine with the OS tooling.
That's because they are "fine" with anything Apple does, I guess removing ports wasn't enough for them to see beyond their own stupidity.
OS X developers have to be the dumbest of them all, if Apple tells them to jump off a bridge they probably would too.
They are blind for a brand.
If you want UNIX development, without any regard for OS X and iOS, then go sponsor hardware vendors selling Linux and BSD based systems.
Yep. The Apple death count must be nearing that of WWII by now surely.
I suggest you educate yourself on the matter, because judging by your comment, I can clearly see you're ignorant about the subject.
There are no missing features that would prevent developing Swift and Objective-C applications.
This comment alone proves that Apple developers are a bunch of clueless idiots.
If you want to do that buy hardware from Linux vendors like Dell and System76.
Nowadays I use whatever makes business sense.
I like how it feels and looks. Is that so wrong?
I have used an X1 Carbon for the last year but when I can I will probably go back to the MBP for the trackpad. I guess different people just have different preferences?
Let's be happy there's enough choices to hopefully satisfy everyone.
Asus and Lenovo have great ultra books running Win10. Ultimate Office 365 support + good battery life. But it lacks a terminal + integrated UNIX utilities.
I prefer to use Linux on my laptop, but at the moment, it is lacking office 365 support. On some brands there is a serious battery issue.
Next option is macOS which has sane shell. But I don't understand, why is there such a huge race toward making thinner laptops? Previous generation MBP, was already thin enough. Consumers demanded thinner laptops. And now I have to bare with thinner MBP but less reliable battery power, fewer ports and a very noisy keyboard (which is disturbing everyone in library).
You are thinking of cast iron, probably.
My MBP is going on 6 years old and I have not been gentle with it. In fact I have dropped it on concrete multiple times. It is dented and scraped, the hinge is crooked. It still works perfectly. My previous, plastic laptop (also a Mac) had to have its shell replaced twice (under warranty) in less time than that.
You may feel that aluminum is not worth the trade-offs or the cost, and that's fine, but I want to be clear, the MBP's build quality is not just a shiny facade.
Why would a comparison with products from years ago be valid here?
However, even though I use the keyboard more than the trackpad, I find that I still rather use a MBP because the difference between the trackpads is greater than the difference between the keyboards. Also I like the screen on the MBP better.
The touchpad is inferior to the trackpoint, so I'd much rather they get rid of it entirely instead.
I genuinely never understand people that watch movies on laptops. I find it a wholly unenjoyable experience.
Do you own a TV? You’re missing so much of the experience watching a movie on anything smaller than 45” and TVs are dirt cheap these days. I saw a 65” the other day for $250...
genuinely curious: given the same resolution, what's the difference between watching a e.g. a 45" from your couch and watching something like a 20" while getting closer to the screen until it covers the same angle of view? Just the fact that it's (probably) more relaxing for your eyes to focus on relatively distant objects?
Are go to for the kids are the Acer 14s. Just incredible machines for the money. All aluminum chassis, peppy performance, long battery life, etc. Get them Acer refurb for about $200. Best value you can get.
Wife uses a CB+ and me a PB.
Wife spends a ton of time on her CB+ and does often time watch movies on it. While I never do on my PB. Often times she will be watching a movie on hers laying in our bed while I am watching something on our TV in our bedroom.
I genuinely don't understand why people put huge TV screens in their small rooms given that a smaller screen at closer distance produces the same visual effect.
But there are many, many circumstances why you'd watch TV on a laptop. I don't believe airlines would look too fondly on someone dragging their 65" TV on board.
A couple weeks ago I did a fresh install with Manjaro. With this the installation process goes down to around 10 minutes and everything (bluetooth, touchpad, function keys, optirun etc.) works out of the box.
What sort of issues did you have?
Still holding out until Crostini is supported by more Chromebook manufacturers and can be used outside of developer mode before I get one.
> "Now, it’s probably only a matter of hours before somebody starts running Windows apps in Chrome OS with the help of the Wine emulator."
Someone should also tell them about running Crossover on Chrome OS via Android, which has already been possible for months!
However, emulating has also often been used to describe software that implements the opcodes of a foreign instruction set in software. For example, a program that implements 6502 opcodes and related modules that allows you to play NES games on a PC. Wine isn't an emulator of this type. Wine relies on the fact that x86 Windows programs can be made to run on x86 Linux by means of implementing everything I stated in the first paragraph. It does not allow for running x86 Windows programs on a SPARC machine (QEMU can assist in doing this, but that's a digression...). Wine is not an ISA emulation, but it is an ABI emulation.
On the other hand I have seen products being launched at Google I/O and being non existant for months. Tensorflow lite took months to come out. Why would you do this? Real artists ship and I don't get why you would announce something and have an indefinite launch date? By the time tensorflow lite came out Apple had coreml out for months and was somewhat usable.
And this whole set of applications belongs to which category?
Especially this one - Glibc.
I'm running Kubuntu on a 1 year old XPS 13 and most things work quite well. I do however miss a nice mail clients, reliable notifications about meetings, daily schedule, etc. I've tried almost everything available on Linux and while some things do work, they either are not reliable enough (with cloud APIs, etc) or are too ugly and clunky to use.
I'll wait for the next Pixelbook before jumping ship. Hopefully, Linux apps support would have matured enough by then.
It's quite a powerful and polished mail app. The disadvantage is that it breaks down on me sometimes and by default it adds tracking features to your email, so you'll have to turn that off.
>…meaning that even less powerful machines should be able to handle a code editor without issues.
Being able to run a code editor is a statement of a machine's power and system optimization?
Welcome to the wonderful world of Electron apps.
Wine is not an emulator, for crying out loud.
To those of us that used it back when Wine officially stood for Windows Emulator, people nowadays getting all upset on this point is an ever green source of amusement.
No, WINE is a third party implementation of Windows APIs, that doesn't make it an emulator. Otherwise, Oracle JDK would be an "OpenJDK emulator".
They hardly can keep up with Mac and Windows...
Adobe will do pretty fine with Windows and OS X customers.
Not in Europe they aren't, here even as "Deal of day" they hardly get a buyer on consumer shops, always stuck alone in a dark corner of the shop, if they are there at all.
I travel regularly around central and southern Europe.
So far the only consumer shops I ever saw them on sale were the Media Markt, Saturn, FNAC chains.
Usually they have like one or two devices on show, and quite often with some kind of discount deal.
It reminds me of the Netbook Linux days, when such deals would be going for weeks until finally someone bought them.
My prediction: VS Code / Pixelbook becomes a formidable devenv for many in the coming months ;)
You can always try Neverware on a live usb to get a taste
| Linux kernel + Android kernel bits |
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| Wayland browser windows Wayland surfaces proxied from Qemu-KVM |
I think it's better than the VM solution that's mentioned in the article because GalliumOS gets installed natively, so there's no VM. You can choose to dual boot it with ChromeOS.
It runs really well, and it's hyper optimized for Chromebooks. It's just a fork of xubuntu.
I've been running it on my Chromebook for 2 years and I use it as a portable development machine. It's nice having a $350 laptop with a 1080p IPS screen, SD ports, enough computing power to run Dockerized web apps and weighs under 3 pounds.
Details on how I set it all up can be found at https://nickjanetakis.com/blog/transform-a-toshiba-chromeboo....
The battery lasts a long time, the screen is very nice, and it is quite lightweight.
For general programming, web browsing, word processing, etc it does everything I need it to. I don't feel the need to "upgrade" to a real laptop, except for the hardware concerns and that I can't dual boot into Windows or MacOS to run non-Linux apps.
I can highly recommend GalliumOS.
In the US so our school uses Chromebooks which replaced all the Macs. Had to hack together a way to use the CBs for AP CS 1 and 2. But now it will have support built in.
By far the best approach is what Google is doing here. Keep all the security and no need to dual boot or put in developer mode.
Plus this makes GNU/Linux far more approachable. Will also be able to walk into a BestBuy and chose between a bunch of different machines depending on your requirements.
We also have five new higher end CBs in development and would guess partially because of this new functionality.
This is ideal as you can use the hook if a power user to basically do anything you want. Run Wine or Steam or Docker or pretty much anything as you have the vector you needed. But then also can be used by a new user as the approach is basically just a click. Also we should get instant GNU/Linux applications. Container comes down, spins up, do what you need, goes away.
"Here are five high-end Chromebooks in development to challenge the Pixelbook"
Depends on who is using it. For me (and I imagine most developers), it's not losing security. It's allowing us to set up a proper Linux development environment with no wasted resources or hacks.
It's no less secure than installing xubuntu or Ubuntu on a different device.
But then also to get to do whatever I want on a machine AND have the security to me is ideal.
I have used Crouton for years and this will be far better.
Love the approach Google has taken and keeping security first and center.
BTW, what I like about this approach is the hacks are no longer necessary. No need to use Termux or GNURoot with a fake chroot. No need to put in developer mode any longer to use Crouton.
This is ideal for our High school for teaching AP CS 1 and 2.
Incentivizing people to use crappy passwords for their email and making it harder to use password managers sucks. Saying that it doesn’t matter because Google thinks it is pretty good at protecting my account(because they constantly monitor me) also sucks.
I would much rather run gallium OS on my chromebook.
Gallium is going to be far less secure. Better to use Crouton.
But this new functionality is ideal. Just love it. Get the most secure GNU/Linux solution you can get.
But what was inaccurate with my post? Or is this attack the poster?
Opinion? What is opinion?
"so they can't be factually inaccurate. "
What is factually inaccurate specifically?
Do you not understand why what Google has done is more secure than Gallium? That one is easy.
Inaccurate you can now walk into a Best Buy and buy a machine that supports GNU/Linux out of the box? Also an easy one. I purchased my PB from Bestbuy.
basically have three environments on it:
1 chrome with chromebrew shell and android apps
2 crouton for most linux needs
3 gallium for when i need VMs and other more finicky os interactions
if i could get some wifi drivers working under crouton and also sync with appropriate os header files each google sw update in order to install virtualbox i could forego galliumos.
under crouton was able to do a lot:
1 natively compile with gcc
2 cross compile for kindle paperwhite
3 cross compile for windows ce
4 cross compile for esp8266
5 cross compile for garmin connectiq
the author of the original article is funny about using a linux vm to compile apps for android and run in chromeos. because today i can use the android app named aide to build an android app on my chromebook and immediately execute it. no need for linux, vm, or crouton.
Chrome OS is, as the name suggests, an OS.
It's a stupid idea from start to finish. You shouldn't try to make sense of it.
And it depresses me. Its success demonstrates that Linux desktops could catch on in the mainstream market just fine if they had the marketing budget, brand recognition, and vendor support of Google. This team of idiots could have ended the hegemony of Microsoft and Apple for good.
Frankly, the more I use a ChromeBook myself, the less I want to use another mainstream OS for day-to-day computing. I don't game or do much photo / video editing so I go weeks at the time on the ChromeBook without reaching for something else. It's nice having a computer that I genuinely don't need to think about.
Next step is ditching my work-provided Windows laptop for a ChromeBook...
Local storage is available on later instances of ChromeOS I gather.
Secondly, I never claimed Chromebooks don't work offline. I claimed they are nearly useless offline, which they are. They default to storing things in the cloud and using web apps. Getting them to be useful offline requires effort from the user and special effort from the developers of any offline web apps. The fact that users have to keep track of where all their data and programs live is needless complexity which is quite opposed to Chrome OS's supposed focus on ease of use.
Anyway, short answer: because they heavily customized and changed a lot of things. They could not have done this with an existing Distro so easy. And sad as it is -> their goal is and was not to help the linux desktop - it is to help the google Eco system. Cloud-Service. Webapp. Makes perfect sense.
No matter how much you want them to support the things you (or me) want.
We linux users are not the target group, target group are ordinary newbs who like that everything just runs and don't like that their exe files somehow don't run anymore. But the ones who handle exe files per hand are rapidly declining I guess.
Had Linux not appeared on the scene, BSD kept busy with their ongoing trial and UNIX like OSes would be surely much less relevant today.
Maybe so. And as I said, that makes me sad. People who work hard to develop full-featured and high-quality software fail to make headway, but people who cynically manipulate others to lock them in to one company while providing nothing of value make millions. It's perfectly rational and perfectly disgusting.
Chrome OS is worthless for its users. I don't much care how good it is for Google.
The problem with Linux on the mainstream is Linux, it has nothing to do with not having a huge brand like Google's nor with marketing, just ask Dell. Linux offers exactly what the enterprise market needs and it is a huge success, far bigger than anyone in the 90s ever imagined. Linux does not offer what the mainstream market demands and no amount of marketing or brand recognition can change that.
The problems with the Linux desktop that I can see are poor driver support and a limited software selection. OEM support solves the driver support problem and Chrome OS demonstrates that people are willing to use a system with no software at all. What else makes it unsuitable for most users?
AFAIK Portage, Gentoo's package manage, is used only to build the rootfs image. Because Gentoo is really a meta distribution. This distinction is not an empty slogan. You can use Gentoo as a build system to create separate operating system, just like ChromeOS does.
You can use of course use Gentoo directly and prepare tailor built binary packages to distribute them to users. Then it would be a bit more similar to other distributions. But ChromeOS is not an ordinary distribution. It's update model is not really compatible with typical distribution model. It's one of the greatest strengths of the system. You could shoehorn packages meta data, but it would be pointless, because whole image is updated at once.
"That’s because Google is going to start shipping Chrome OS with a custom virtual machine that runs Debian Stretch, the current stable version of the operating system."
The container itself is running Debian Stretch. However, for someone not using this it can be easily misinterpreted to mean a VM. Functionally it's not much different.
Disclaimer: I work at Google, but not on Chrome OS.
Windows has a lot of users just because they're familiar with it.
The same goes for Debian derivatives. A lot of people's first Linux distro is Ubuntu, so they get familiar with apt and don't have a compelling reason to use anything else.
I'm a perfect example. The second package-manager I really interacted with was Alpine's "apk", and that's only because I've been working with Docker pretty extensively over the last year.
A lot of work is done to ensure smooth upgrades, or prevent packages from breaking each other by overwriting files, breaking configurations, changing ownership of some files or directories and so on.
It's been a while, but my understanding is redhat figured out dependency resolution too, though.
Even on the slowest systems I still have access to (64MB VPS, RasPi 1), apt-get is reasonably quick and responsive.
About 20 years ago, give or take.
Nothing these days. I guess more desktop users are familiar with it because ubuntu + mint make up a lot of the Desktop market share.
These days it's all pacman for me though.
sudo pkcon install <package>
ChromeOS/ChromiumOS uses portage for its build system, to produce a signed, read-only image that the OS can boot from. CoreOS uses the same tooling FWIW:
This is why you can’t just install random packages onto the parent OS. Any additional software needs to run in some overlay filesystem or sandbox.
Package managers which are build for source packages (e.g. ebuilds/exheres) have a much more complicated logic running in the background, come up with much harder to solve problems and are a lot slower (orders of magnitude).
The only aspect where this setup is superior than e.g. arch + pacman is when it comes to using source packages on the same system. So I guess that is nothing you would like to use on a Chromebook anyway. Therefore, using a Debian container is a reasonable choice, in my opinion.
For example if chromeos users wanted to install steam on their system having a Debian base would help.
Aside from this I'm really surprised that they are using Wayland instead of X11, this decision ought to bring some stability issues until Wayland gets widely adopted.
If I were to guess this feature has been added as a freetime project amongst Google employees. As such, I don't think we can expect continuity. If those developers go away/get reassigned or lose enthusiasm, I don't think Google would allocate resources to maintain a linux VM inside their OS. IMHO if it were important to Google that users could be able to use Linux apps, they would've strived for binary compatibility with Linux from the beginning.
I believe the impetus was enabling Android app development on Chrome OS. Google first said they were working on that a long time ago. I guess in the process of doing so they figured they might as well expand the functionality to cover all Linux apps, not just Android Studio.
As such, I expect support will be stable. Chrome OS in general has had very solid support, too.
That said, parent comments seem to be talking about two different topics. Later comment about Google switching the underlying foundation of Chrome OS from Linux to Fuchsia sounds plausible, while earlier comment complaining about Fuchsia being proprietary is nonsense.
I'm def considering getting a pixelbook for my main machine this year now.
Source: I've been testing Crostini for a while now, and Docker works great!
I was toying with the idea of setting up my docker cli in crouton to connect to a docker daemon I host via a VPS (cheap Lightsail box maybe). I think this will work fine.. it's just the docker daemon that won't run because the ChromeOS kernel locks it out of features it needs. Then I could do local dev but any docker calls would run remotely.
But I'm sure that will have its quirks.. if I could run lightweight containers (node, redis, etc) directly on my Chromebook then I'd prefer that.
Yes docker is working with this new funtionality. You use on a machine container. Which runs on a VM.
I just installed GalliumOS on it (a native Linux OS tuned for Chromebooks).
It works really well.
Curious if the next version of Pixelbook will contain a 3G/LTE interface with support for Project Fi.
Looking at https://galliumos.org/download
> GalliumOS 2.1 was released on 2017-02-28
Is there another resource I should be looking at?
I think a ChromeBook with really first class support for Linux apps is very compelling. I run Linux in a VM on Windows 10 on my ThinkPad and it's a great setup. A ChromeBook would be a very similar setup but probably with better native OS integration (for example they are exposing the Linux filesystem in ChromeOS's file browser) and this would all be a first class use case supported by Google.
Macbooks continue to look less and less appealing to me, if Chromebooks somehow got Adobe CC, I'd switch immediately.
Most of the time, I'm either at home or at work, so I just remote log into my development systems. I, personally, don't really need to lug around my entire development environment, though I used to be in that school of thought.
So, given that I really just need SSH, a decent Chromebook is cheap (as others mentioned), and can have a decent keyboard with long battery life. The one I have is around 1kg, so it is very "handy", and I carry it everywhere, as I would have a notepad in earlier days.
It can also make sense if you like physical function keys and/or a touch screen larger than a function key row. :)
I used a Chromebook Pixel with Crouton very happily for a year. Granted I spend 95% of my time in Emacs and a web browser.
1. The security model is fantastic compared to the alternatives. DIY security is an endless distraction these days unless it's your full-time job. I am concerned that the team may not be able to keep things so secure as the complexity of Chrome OS increases, but as a starting point it's still the most secure commercial OS out there.
2. Little to no setup. Boot it up, log in, and you're ready. (And now, I guess, install whatever Linux apps you want.) This makes it easy to recover from hardware failure, even if you're on the road. Just go take one off the shelf, no worries about installation, configuration, etc.
3. Disposability. Most Chromebooks are incredibly cheap. If it breaks or if you lose it, it's not the end of the world.
4. Easy, safe sharing. If someone needs to borrow a computer to check their email, you can log out and hand it to them. Your stuff is securely encrypted, and the system is hardened against compromise. This may not be a big deal for everyone, but it brings me great peace of mind!
The promise of Ubuntu Convergence and Windows Continuum on a single piece of hardware, solving the "app gap" with Android support - the best of the web, Android and one's choice of Linux desktop.
An ultrabook/iPad substitute - "power users" requiring a 32GB Core i7 desktop replacement might look elsewhere, naturally.
The hardware support has been really nice, as a lot of the usual linux fiddling required to support monitors, etcetera has been much easier with the intermediate chromeOS layer.
This is not my primary machine however. I only use it at home to ssh into my desktop once in a while.
They seem to be going for the same price range.
Besides this was an impulse purchase. I was tired of my home laptop and wanted something so I went to best buy and purchased it within half an hour. I can't say the same for x230.