Chrome OS to bring Android VPN support for Linux apps on Chromebooks

Back in February, I noted that the Chromium team was working to add VPN support in Linux containers running on Chromebooks. Now there appears to be a second VPN option in the works: As spotted by 9to5 Google, there’s an effort to extend any Android-based VPN apps to Linux.

Currently, you can use a VPN Android app on a Chromebook and the security will work within Chrome OS, so you can privately browse the web. However, such a setup doesn’t support any browsing or app usage in a Crostini container running Linux.

The brief summary description of the code change in progress only says:

This CL adds Crostini VM interfaces to the whitelisted networking interfaces that route traffic through VPNs.

If you look at the associated bug for the code change, however, you’ll get a clearer picture of the problem the developer team is trying to solve.

As a test, an Android VPN app was installed on a Chromebook and then enabled. Next, a Linux container was created and used to surf to a website that can show you your IP address. If the Android VPN carried over to the Linux container then, the user’s IP address wouldn’t appear. Instead, the IP address of the VPN proxy server would. Alas, that did not happen, exposing the lack of VPN support from Android in Chrome OS to Linux.

The bug report isn’t yet associated with a Chrome OS release version and at this point, the earliest we might see this feature availability is Chrome OS 74. However, that version hit its Beta Promotion stage last week, so I’m thinking Chrome OS 75 will be the target. You can always “star” the bug for updates though and at some point, it will show the targeted release date.

2 thoughts on “Chrome OS to bring Android VPN support for Linux apps on Chromebooks

  • March 23, 2019 at 11:53 pm

    Hey,a bit werid, but how did you get your text on the system tray that little? My one is giant text, which I don’t like. Do you know why?

  • March 27, 2019 at 11:50 am

    Is there a page somewhere that shows what the changes are for each release of ChromeOS. I see the schedule page on appspot but it does not say what the changes are.

    I like Kevin’s articles about upcoming changes but since I stick to the beta channel, it may be a month or two before I see the feature and it may have changed by the time it comes out. I completely lose track.

    It would be great if there were a table with features (and links) for each release. Dev and Beta can be flagged as “subject to change”. helps but the features get lost in the “bug fixes and security updates”.


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