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Chrome OS 75 extends Android VPN support to Linux apps

Google is still working on native VPN functionality for apps running in a Linux container on Chrome OS but has recently completed a code change to extend Android VPN support to Linux. The Dev Channel of Chrome OS 75 brings this VPN support, as well as a few other fixes.

I received word of the Android VPN support by email since I starred that issue some time ago and it was also noticed by Keith Myers, who wrote it up on his blog after testing OpenVPN for Android. He writes:

Your Linux container will now route traffic over a VPN if you have a VPN running on your Chromebook. This includes both VPNs setup in the ChromeOS VPN settings and Android VPNs! I have personally tested this using the OpenVPN application on Android connecting to my personal VPN and it worked flawlessly.
There are no flags to enable, it just works.

I haven’t tested it myself yet since I’m not currently running a Chromebook on the Chrome OS 75 Dev Channel, but I fully trust Keith’s testing prowess. He also notes some other fixes, including the Google Assistant button, which was broken for supported devices with Chrome OS 74.

VPN tunneling

Why have both an Android VPN and still-in-progress native Linux VPN for Chrome OS? It makes sense because on the Linux side, you’ll have more control and configuration options. Additionally, some enterprises have custom VPN services and settings that may not be supported in an Android VPN app.

Although this new VPN feature is available in the Dev Channel of Chrome OS 75, most people won’t see it for some time because the Stable Channel is currently expected to drop in mid-June. You can always try it early in the Dev Channel now, or soon in the Beta Channel if you want to test it out.

author avatar
Kevin C. Tofel

8 thoughts on “Chrome OS 75 extends Android VPN support to Linux apps

  1. Google seems to be more than content to tell users to rely on Android as the global VPN solution for Chrome OS rather than extend Chrome OS to provide global VPN natively. Out of necessity, I use about four or five Android apps on a regular basis. However, while I have no objection to using Android apps in principle, I’m always on the lookout for ways to purge them from my Chromebook. I’m always much happier with an alternative Chrome app, Chrome extension, or Web app. Any insights into whether we’ll ever see a native Chrome OS VPN solution that works no matter what apps you use on your Chromebook?

    1. The native VPN for Crostini has been actively worked on now for a good few months. I think it was easier for Google to provide some kind of VPN protection via Android for now while they work on the native support. My guess: It’s ready for Chrome OS 76. Just a guess though, based on their progress.

    1. I don’t quite follow. Chrome OS Stable is on version 73 and should hit 74 this week.

    2. Stable channel should receive Chrome OS 74 within a matter of days, and then Chrome OS 75 six weeks thereafter. Readers follow “About Chromebooks” mostly so that they can learn about and discuss newly emerging, possibly even rumored, features. This site and it’s author have a history and reputation for often breaking this type of news before anyone else. It’s what readers have come to expect. ? ?

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