A few months ago, 9to5 Google reported on “kernelnext” in Chrome OS, with the expectation that it was a way to bring the Linux beta, also known as Project Crostini, to some older Chromebooks. Now, the results of that effort are appearing in early builds of Chrome OS 77, reports 9to5 Google: The Chromebook Pixel 2015 and eight other Chrome OS devices are getting Linux support, thanks to an updated kernel.
Here’s a full list of the devices that have this special “kernelnext” build:
- Acer Chromebase 24
- Acer C670 Chromebook 11
- Acer Chromebook 15
- Acer Chromebox CXI2
- ASUS Chromebox CN62
- Dell Chromebook 13 7310
- Google Chromebook Pixel (2015)
- Lenovo ThinkCenter Chromebox
- Toshiba Chromebook 2 (2015)
As Project Crostini was in development, prior to its official release with Chrome OS 69, there was disappointment by many who found out that their Chromebooks and Chromeboxes wouldn’t see the required Linux kernel update for Crostini. It’s taken a long time but at least Linux is finally arriving.
If you have one of the above-listed devices, you can wait for the Stable Channel release of Chrome OS 77, expected around September 17. Or if you’re feeling adventurous, you can try the Dev or Beta Channel of Chrome OS 77 now and enable the feature at chrome://flags/#enable-experimental-kernel-vm-support.
Note that you’ll first need to make sure you have the “kernelnext” build before the flag will work. To check this, hit “About Chrome OS” in the Settings of your device and see if the Platform info ends with “kernelnext”. And if you’re new to Linux, take a look at this post to get you started with the command line.