- Hassle free desktop experience on par with OSX
- Password managers, music apps, etc available via Android appstore
- Fast time to productivity because Crostini takes a few clicks, then apt-get everything
- Native "File Manager" integration makes it painless to move files to and from VM
- Desktop apps in the VM appear in ChromeOS apps menu without hassle of X11.app, SSH forwarding, etc
- Android integration to unlock the laptop, etc works great
- Hardware built-in FIDO U2F device
- ChromeOS 70 still crashes once and awhile inexplicably (weekly)
- Android apps can be janky to resize
- Multi-display with Android apps sometimes doesn't work
I just used a release binary and copied the .desktop file to /usr/share/whatever as described on the Mozilla wiki.
its like crostini but a little worse since it fills your screen with a graphical ubuntu 16.04 with latest chrome, VSCode and other toys to get you started. Really awesome they are doing this and I look forward to the future of linux on galaxy devices.
Because of this I had to switch to Chrome for my default dev browser purely to save time and catch bugs early. I hate it...
My solution to permissions hell is to create a separate "unsafe" launcher for a version of Chrome that uses a profile with some security features disabled.
1. Multi-monitor support can get a bit flaky when using more than one monitor.
2. While is is pretty speedy, you do run into performance limitations due to it only having a dual core processor.
3. Many Android apps are not as fully featured as their OS-X counterparts. Yes you could use them all in Crostini, but now your going through another virtualization layer, plus the integration is still not fully there.
All of that being said, I used to be a crouton user and it is stable enough that I am not longer doing that....though the lack of USB device support is a bummer (and was supported in crouton).
- sed / grep flags
- path issues compiling some C module or node module
- homebrew missing obscure package
I develop a range of stuff from the Kubernetes ecosystem, etcd, frontend software, and the occasional embedded side project.
Also, I rarely use any OSX native applications outside of a browser, password manager, and music app anymore. So, none of these workflows changed and some improved since now I have identical apps on my phone and laptop thanks to Android.
you're 100% correct that apple has crippled version of some tools but it's possible to replace them from brew but I think I know where you're heading - it's probably just easier to use linux when you're doing these things - just like I was switching to mac when I wanted to do node.
BTW: I was switching from windows, not from linux, I actually think linux is fine and I'm happily using it on other machines, just not on this one :-)
This sounds like a good solution, but I'd probably miss out on a good alternative to Sketch or Zeplin which is an important part of our development workflow.
From my experience Docker works fine. VS Code works well. You can install your own Terminal if you want.
Note for the demo in the video they ran Chromium inside the VM so localhost would work. Otherwise you need to use the penguin.linux.test domain which was pretty hard to find out about when they made that change. Another thing is you really should default to binding to 0.0.0.0:$PORT because that makes your life easier as well.
For those not enjoying MBPs and their keyboards the Pixelbook's keyboard is pretty good.
If I had to make a recommendation I'd say that getting a lower -end pixelbook would be a great buy. Not sure my i7 or extra SSD space has really been worth it.
I really enjoy the Pixelbook's keyboard. It's definitely better than the MBP's and is sometimes more pleasing to use than my mechanical keyboards (Cherry red/brown switches).
It's nice being able to kick off long-running tasks and still able to just shut the laptop and walk away.
it talks about how ChromeOS runs Android, Linux, and ChromeOS apps natively, in a performant and secure manner, without emulation using a combination of containers and hardware virtualization.
This strikes me as very similar to Qubes' security model. Very interesting to see this architecture developed by a company like Google.
“So, Android and Linux support don’t do any emulation. By using lightweight containers and hardware virtualization support, your code will run natively.”
I was really positive about ChromeOS, but this has soured me on it incredibly.
- Crostini is only for a limited set of Chromebooks. I have an Acer 15 with Intel Broadwell, which is extremely powerful and not that old, but Google won't support it for whatever insane reason they might have
- Chromebook keyboard is lacking. You cannot program without a del key
- They aren't cheap. Only the low end low powered 2GB models are and they are unusable, as well as not supported by Crostini. For this kind of money I can get a Windows laptop with almost equiv battery life
- or even better, a used Thinnkpad + Linux which would be better than almost anything for 1/2 the cost.
As a programmer who switched to a mac (without a delete key), I also used to think the delete was crucial. I'm curious, what are you using the delete key for? I've only ever used it as a backspace-but-reverse when typing, and to delete things like files in GUIs. The workarounds for these issues are trivial (change your cursor's position for the typing issue, and GUIs respond to backspace with a modifier key), so I'm wondering what other (not-as-easily-emulatable) functionality the delete key gives
I do have a Thinkpad (running NixOS), however the battery life sucks. 2 hours for P71 (or 4 hours for X1C6). And hardware support is not perfect (I simply cannot figure out yet how to connect my Bose QC headphones via bluetooth).
So I have high hopes for chromebooks (like Pixel Slate) because then you can have best of the both worlds.
The year of Linux desktop is arriving, but not as directly as we have all thought it would.
Do you have tlp set up?
It's one-line config in NixOS (`services.tlp.enable = true;`).
I agree with you on the pricing and Crostini support though.
Any advantage of using Chrome OS for Web development compared to just any plain Linux distro (e.g. Ubuntu)? Or, even more interesting, compared to MacOS? Because from the video, it feels as if Crostini is a second-class citizen on Chrome OS (all that talk about Linux in a container). Why choose Chrome OS at all?
* I didn't have to set it up, install an OS, or anything. It was trivial to get Linux working (one click - hard to beat that) and I can use intellij and all the other stuff I'm used to.
* I get Android Apps, which is actually pretty neat - some good video players with touch screen support, for example. A fair number of games work, which is cool.
* Touch screen in general is actually awesome, maybe less for development but I find myself touching my screens when I walk away from my Chromebook and go to another computer. I never thought I'd enjoy a touch screen at all and now I want every future device I buy to have one.
* Safer than most systems. My dev environment is sequestered to a container, everything else stays in a sandboxed browser - my workflow on my Ubuntu system (main computer) is virtually identical to this already, but ChromeOS is designed for it.
Biggest problem is I compile my Rust programs in a docker container in the Linux environment and it brings my computer to a crawl. I can't develop or watch TV while compiling Rust.
My Ubuntu instillation is also always updated and secure. Device drivers also just work. The android support sounds great for android development, not web development.
You shouldn't. It's in Google's best interest to get people to use their products. It's in your best interest to avoid Google whenever you can.
Hm, I've got an ASUS C201 where I use crouton to run Debian Stretch.
* audio craps out after three or four switches between Stretch and ChromeOS. It craps out in ChromeOS such that it locks up videos and they won't play. I have to restart to get it to work again.
* the animated spinning wheel cursor in XFCE4 somehow locks down the entire input. Luckily it usually displays only in a file dialog so I can just mash <ESC> for awhile and break out of the loop.
* I can't use the hotkey to switch between ChromeOS and Debian because it locks down on a blank screen and I have to hard reboot.
* I can't leave XFCE4 on the screen because when it tries to wake back up from the blank screen it locks down and I have to hard reboot.
* hot keys for audiolevel up/down sometimes don't work. Usually it makes me anxious that audio is about to crap out on ChromeOS. Then in the next few minutes... audio craps out in ChromeOS.
Now, with crostini can you get GPU-acceleration with the Linux distro inside the container? Because with crouton it doesn't seem possible. (Rankly speculating that the XFCE4 spinning wheel cursor lock-up has something to do with lack of GPU-acceleration, but could be wrong.)
Disclaimer: Views expressed are my own and do not represent my employer.
Also... you've got to treat a laptop pretty gingerly to have one last more than 5 years. Mine are in pretty rough shape by then.
Well it's 5 years from launch which is a big problem in my opinion. For example, they didn't replace the Pixelbook so if you are, like me, considering buying one for Black Friday, you only get 4 years of (guaranteed) support. It also probably harms resale value.
5 years of support from the last day of sale would be much more acceptable to me.
I work for Google but opinions are my own.
I use laptops as main computers since 1999.
Maybe I try to take good care of them?
On the durability front - I guess you dont use thinkpads :)
Nice little machine, but the 32GB drive is not enough for Windows - Windows update failed within 6 months because of disk full - even with no user data. Way too much hassle
I ended up putting Linux on it - faster and could keep it updated. But still quite a bit of hassle.
It's sitting in a drawer now. But my old Samsung arm Chromebook XE303C12 still gets used. I do miss the more complete keyboard on the Inspiron, though.
At any rate I hope you agree that 5 years (from launch) is not a long time to support a device. This policy is wasteful to the environment and not empathetic towards a large section of users who would find it challenging to divert a few hundred dollars every 3-5 years.
My own personal reason is that I have never had an ideal experience running Linux on laptops.
Don't get me wrong, I enjoy tinkering and it was fun when I was in school, but nowadays I don't have much time so if I want to develop something I don't want my time to be spent fixing technical difficulties.
With Chrome OS the main benefit to me is the same as running OS X or Windows: you don't have to worry about your stuff working.
I also personally really like Chrome OS for it's simplicity and speed but of course you could say I'm biased. Indeed I like it so much I transferred to work on Chrome OS a couple months ago.
Compared with OS X.. that really just depends on your preference. I have nothing bad to say about it and enjoyed using my MBP when I had one. I just like having a really lightweight OS but again that's really subjective and for many people the right answer is OS X! I'm just happy we have the choices now.
Has not been my experience with either of these three. There are plenty of Linux distros that are miles more stable.
I've only really used a Thinkpad and MBP for the laptops so of course your experience may differ depending on your hardware.
Also when I said things work I didn't mean stability/crashes which I admit do happen. I was referring to hardware (wifi) not working which in my opinion is much more annoying.
It's been mostly a smooth ride on MacOS for me, but there were some minor quirks that I encountered on MacOS that were not even an issue on my Linux machine (an example most vivid in my mind is how the default ssh client broke on High Sierra: https://superuser.com/questions/1279450/ssh-could-not-resolv... or how Docker on MacOS could not resolve ipv6 addresses).
Compared to MacOS, I'd say probably just cost.
I don't envision they will keep three development teams doing OSes for the same hardware form factors.
Now regarding ChromeOS vs plain GNU/Linux, macOS or Windows, I don't see a value, specifically given the prices of Chromebooks able to have Crostini enabled.
Also, in a way, running Linux as a "second class citizen" seems like an interesting way to do it since you could experiment more while knowing you'll always have a browser available.
Maybe ask the opposite question: what's the advantage of running Linux outside a container, versus inside?
Crostini, the linux VM layer, is very much still a work in progress. If you are doing your development in hosted VMs, then this isn't so much an issue. There are some minor nits around key mapping issues, but I'm looking to evaluate Android-based terminal apps to get around those (since they are mostly related to Chrome taking priority for certain key combinations when using an embedded shell).
I love certain things about the keyboard, but absolutely miss little things from MacOS, like their support for easily entering accented characters by holding down a letter for a moment and then selecting the desired accent.
Being able to powerwash your laptop, and then login to see everything basically the way you left it, is pretty powerful. As someone who has to also support the IT needs of a small team, the potential peace of mind this offers is huge.
But it's not 100% just yet, so I haven't rolled it out to the rest of the team.
Do you know what those reasons in fact are? Or is it just a gut feel?
Things in my situation that I think make this work well are:
I have a "real" machine in a desktop (or a work laptop, if that's what an employer gives me), I don't consider any laptop my primary personal machine in any case. I'm happy running what I want in a linux CLI-only environment. (You _can_ do gui, but you start pushing the hardware limits of the lower end machines pretty hard.) I want a light, cheap, reasonably secure, and ultimately disposable machine that I'm not concerned about tossing around, throwing in my backpack, leaving out on a coffee shop table while i use the restroom, etc...
Issues I've hit:
Poor/no docker support. I've just remoted back to home for things that need it and that works, but isn't ideal if you want to work disconnected. Occasional linux apps that require an X server -- either don't offer a CLI or do something stupid where even the CLI tries to connect to X. Internal storage tends to be limited and non-upgradable, SD cards are the portable option, but slow, and lugging around an external HD is a pain.
(Also, I haven't actually played with the new crostini stuff at all yet. I'm still on an older machine with crouton.)
Docker now working
My stable channel just got Crostini support, but I found that it takes up 25% of my storage space and it's been flaky to install. Instead, I use Termux.
I still have to visit my Mac/Linux boxen often for graphics editing, a proper editor/IDE like Atom, and certain other apps like pandoc. But as a daily browser and command-line runner, it's great. (Okay, some web sites are still really slow due to the underpowered CPU on this cheap model.)
MS Security have the right to dip into you machine anytime they fancy it too.
Those are the developers creating macOS, iOS and watchOS applications in Objective-C and Swift, not the ones using macOS as pretty UNIX.
Once they add this and fix the lack of GPU support, I'll finally be down to one travel laptop.
I purchased my Chromebook Pixel (2015, codename Samus) with the same idea, and it was great for the first few months: I slowly started using Google products for everything, so my development work usually meant using the SSH extension and connecting to a Google Cloud machine I rented. It appealed to my "digital nomad" tendencies, and really made me feel like I could work from anywhere.
Unfortunately, the "digital nomad" tendency is often expensive and unsustainable, and I found myself spending $50/mo for a VPS with sufficient resources and storage that I didn't even own. I was excited that Chrome OS and Android are open source, but when I looked into making changes I quickly realized that the core was open source while most of the actual applications were proprietary (from the clock to the calculator to the SMS app, everything).
I started down the road to Chrome OS because I thought it would be a liberating exercise in minimalism, but it turns out that I was overpaying to rent a server so that I could use an often-proprietary OS from a gigantic corporation funded by adtech. Bad.
It took some time, but I eventually figured out how to install another OS on my machine (Arch Linux) and I've seen a boost to both my productivity and my computer knowledge. A VPS is a great place to learn the basics of Linux, but I've learned a ton just managing my own device and understanding how all of the various pieces work together.
Plus, now I can run applications on my computer (!) without the requirement that they're Android apps (!!) or Chrome extensions (!!!). Sure, the UX isn't quite as polished as Chrome OS, but who cares?
Chrome OS aside, the Chromebook is fine. Sure, it was a massive pain in the ass to realize that Google doesn't run mainline Linux, so it took about a year or two to get Google's patches merged into mainline so I didn't have to use a fork, but for the most part the device itself is fine. I've had some weird impossible-to-debug issues (e.g. half of the screen going dim) and a handful of annoyances (e.g. you can never remove Google's "WARNING: THIS IS NOT CHROME OS" warning on boot), but I can live with them.
In the future I'll never buy another Chromebook, and I'll likely never buy another Google product, but at the time it was what I wanted and I learned a lot from my experience.
But yes, as the other commenter said, your experience might be different if you tried Crostini. I use a Pixelbook at work (I'm one of the speakers) daily and have abandoned the MBP.
ThinkPad quality isn't what it used to be, but if you just want a solid, no-frills, easily upgraded Linux laptop, the thinkpad t-series and x-series laptops are still the best option out there, in my opinion.
Crostini made it all click for the mobile development environment. VS Code was the last piece of the workflow that I was missing.
Now, I've got a rugged laptop with rubberized edges and some water resistance. I take this thing into environments I would never have taken any other laptop. I don't worry about this laptop and I love that.
Currently, I have a semi-old chromebook with crouton, which means I have to be in developer mode, which means I risk deleting my entire disk at every boot. Someone else erased it some years ago, thinking that hitting space at boot was the right choice when prompted with "This system is unsafe, press space to erase entire disk"...
It has taken away all pains of macOS, the screen estate and keyboard (2015 model) are great. What's not to like?
But what I like most is the ability to re-create my working environment on any hardware from USB key in 15 minutes.
Could you elaborate on this?
If I do not have my laptop with me I can install ChromeOS on any machine which takes maximum 15 minutes [depending on flash drive and USB speed]. Log in and entire ChromeOS graphical environment (bookmarks, Chrome extensions, ChromeOS apps, Web apps) is re-created automatically by ChromeOS from my Google account.
Then re-creating crouton partition with Debian takes another 5 minutes. And I am good to go, because this is exact 1:1 copy of my Debian terminal environment with Vim, mutt, Mail folder, all project folders, npm packages, pip packages, git and everything.
On new machine the screen could have different resolution, perhaps I have to login into few webpages in Chrome but it is generally my full environment.
I did so in summer when I have not taken my Mac to vacation and also I often move to spare Lenovo laptop if I need to.
Schools and school systems don't buy software directly from app stores, like consumers do. Generally, they decide to use a particular piece of software based on public standards, best practices within the educational community, or academic research on efficacy. Then they will usually buy a site license or subscription that provides access for all their students.
If you are trying to get schools to use your software, it probably makes sense to explain its value via the channels that schools are paying attention to.
Students who have a cheap Chromebook and couldn't write / test code due to OS restrictions?
Developers who have a Chromebook (and love it) and wanted to use it for everything?
I've been extremely impressed - I can use Android apps, and they work well, due to tablet mode support. Being able to have a Linux laptop that just works is really awesome.
I think you could make the argument that ChromeBook is just as versatile as Windows now - huge app store (Play), great browser, and a Linux terminal. So I guess its for everyone that Windows is for.
That's a laptop, right? Were you in search of a form factor other than laptop? What about the Chrome Book's form factor was more appealing to you than that of the "standard" laptop?
>Being able to have a Linux laptop that just works is really awesome.
What Linux distribution were you using that didn't work to your liking? What were the pitfalls and what did Chrome Book do different to mitigate the issues you were having with other versions of Linux?
Really I needed a device exclusively for light browsing and writing - and what I got was actually more powerful than I realized; they snuck a full laptop into what used to be an internet appliance.
Crostini is the codename for the official Linux VM support.
There are some very nice Chromebooks out these days that have more than enough power to offer a decent-to-good Android development environment it just lacks an OS that can run the required tools out-of-the-box.
I hope to see a true developer Chromebook in 2019 :)
But if I decide to buy a new one I'd make sure that VFIO works on it, once you cross that bridge there's no reason to go back. And I suspect that Chromebooks don't support VFIO.
There are many offerings from other company for just a few hundred dollars that run Chrome OS.
But the web development tools likely won't run well on it.
(You can get plenty of power using a now low-cost box of Xeons from two generations ago. Likely not your use case, though.)
BUT,the biggest problem for me is the keyboard and missing a bunch of essential keys.
Chrome OS in general:
I wish Mozilla would compete against ChromeOS and release a similar OS. Too bad FF OS is dead.
Wow, what a value proposition!
Oh, and Ubuntu siphons data to Amazon.
So - if you really want no one snooping around by default, you should be on a more obscure Linux distro, that so devs don't support out of the box. For instance, one can find a Spotify app for Ubuntu/Debain, but you'll have to struggle on ArchLinux, or Suse
Does it really?
Standard economic theory suggests that precise knowledge about your properties and preferences will, in the future, allow firms to extract the maximum profit from you, to your detriment.
Google is already heavily investing the health sector, for example.
Not only does Google have a lot of broad data associated with your person, for example, any symptoms of disease you ever plugged into search, but we are also talking about an OS, which has absolute supremacy about anything you do on that computer.
That is why we should care, and that is why a comparision even to amazon or facebook is not accurate here. In this particular case, the breadth and depth of the possibilities to get data about you are unusual.
And keep in mind we are arguing about an OS that is technically not even open-source.
Everyone knows the consequences of surveillance, there is no need to wait for consequences to be concerned. The casual disregard and lack of appreciation of the values that make modern societies possible is concerning.
Hand waving away surveillance infrastructure and seeking to normalize invasive surveillance is in the interest of companies like Google who profit from it, but for citizens to be blase suggests a reckless disregard of historical record and the societies they live in.
Of course, the obvious solution is to run a good Linux distro or OpenBSD, but frankly it's hard to live with purely just Linux for me. ChromeOS has the advantage of things like near perfect High DPI support.
This has never happened in the ~20 years I have been using Linux and other OS. Linux went from "meh" to just as good pretty recently, imo.
Furthermore, this is just a usability consideration. Don't forget that all other OS become more and more closed, more and more about collecting private data, and more and more about proprietary app stores.
What info from within my Linux container is being sent to Google?
Better be safe than sorry.
By the way, interesting thing is that for Google employees, it is explicitly forbidden to use software that phones home (read that a while back, can't find the link, sorry).
How do you know? You're assuming they aren't phoning home, probably because it's open source, but you've probably never verified it. And you're unlikely to be enforcing that or proactively monitoring it. So how do you know an update didn't change the rules?
You don't. You just have trust.
And you can equally use Chrome OS with the same level of trust that it's not phoning home after you turn off the analytics that tell you they are phoning home. It's not actively malicious spyware. The settings aren't ignored.
In addition to the civil penalty, the order also requires
Google to disable all the tracking cookies it had said it
would not place on consumers’ computers.
But regardless what clearly did not happen in that case is Google violating one of Google's own settings. Which is what we're talking about here - the settings Chrome offers being violated. There's no evidence of that.
And if Ubuntu starts to abuse my trust for some reason, I will switch to a different distribution. I can already say that I don't like that Amazon shopping logo in the Unity interface.
Of course they do, money. Why else do you think they sold out to Amazon and sent them all your search data? https://www.zdnet.com/article/shuttleworth-defends-ubuntu-li...
What's the old saying, "if you didn't pay for it you are the product"?
How much does Ubuntu cost again? Oh, right, you don't pay for it.
But you're right, if they pull another trick like this in the future, I'm switching to a different distribution.
I think the comparison with Google is still way off, by the way. Android is basically ad/malware, and there is no reason to believe ChromeOS will be much different.
Google has a history of downright ignoring your privacy setting for the benefit of getting more data. And they are aggressively trying to associate you with more devices. It's also not even that they want usage data specifically, they are in the business of building data rich personalized profiles of you, for whatever use they decide on later.
Whether or not you are concerned is up to you.
I don't see any advantage of ChromeOS over Linux that would, for me, be worth the risk.
What? I can absolutely look at network traffic on my device. People do this... all the time. There are plenty of reports of Chrome traffic - many of them being people mistakenly believing that Chrome is doing something malicious when it isn't.
I don't believe that Google is incentivized to use host-based instrumentation to do their collection. The cost is quite high for them to do that. Much easier for them to rely on Google Analytics, Search, and various other web-based tracking mechanisms.
ChromeOS is fine for web development, except that it started killing tabs after you open ten or more. I liked Cloud9 for the most part, particularly that it saved its state all the time: you could close your browser window, and come back to that project a few days later, and all of the same files would be open, and any terminal commands still running.
Both NetBeans and Atom were painfully slow, regardless of system configuration.
Switching to a docker-centric (i.e. HDD-heavy) workflow has meant switching to a remote server -- for now, a VPS, at least until I get my local server a new HDD. So ChromeOS is perfect for my needs, in that it has a full-color terminal with ssh, and a web browser for documentation. However, that's kind of a low bar. On the plus side, ChromeOS is quite secure. On the minus side, it's not "real" Linux in some relevant senses. Auto-updating is nice, and also being able to unbox a new machine, sign in, and automatically have your local apps and files start appearing. Heavy Google Apps integration is probably more of a feature than not. However, the rate at which the OS would kill tabs (including the terminal!) made the system quite unpleasant to use. Yes, the problem here is me: the hardware can't easily handle a large number of tabs, and it's a perfectly valid decision to kill tabs quickly rather than let the system become unresponsive. Probably it was even mostly effective at that. Probably a better-spec'd machine would have fewer memory issues. However, I have consistently gone to considerable lengths to avoid using ChromeOS: replacing the firmware requires disassembly and the removal of an internal screw, and risks bricking the machine. Enabling developer mode prevents the system from booting normally: instead, a white screen appears after power-on which says something like "Press spacebar to restore ChromeOS". I believe that it does let you know that this will wipe the user partition, after you've started. It does not tell you the key combination required to boot the machine. Loaning out a Chromebook in developer mode is therefore not recommended.
I'm shopping for a replacement for the chromebook I'm typing this on. It cost $115, I've used it for a couple years, the second power cord seems to be giving up, and the screen is partially held together with electrical tape: I think it gives it a bit of character. I've had at least two other (cheap) Chromebooks before this. I don't think I'm in the market for another. At the moment, I'm probably looking for a (Linux) Dell XPS 13, or similar: I would appreciate any suggestions.