Project Crostini brings Linux apps to the ARM-based Acer Chromebook R 13

Good news for owners of the Acer Chromebook R 13: The Dev Channel version of Chrome OS 72 brings Project Crostini support to the 2-in-1 device, according to Reddit. It may have taken a while for Crostini to arrive because the R 13 is powered by a MediaTek ARM processor. By comparison, many of the more readily available Intel-powered Chromebooks gained Linux app support with the Stable Version of Chrome OS 69.

If you want to switch to the Dev Channel to try this, just remember that you may encounter bugs and issues since this isn’t the final Chrome OS 72 software that will eventually make its way to the Stable Channel. And if you decide the Dev Channel isn’t for you, it’s easy to revert back to the current Stable software. However, your device will likely be Powerwashed so any local data would be deleted in that case.

Not scared enough yet to try the Dev Channel? That’s your choice of course, but early reports are that Crostini support is quite buggy for the moment, so it may make sense to wait; the Dev Channel software usually gets an upgrade every week or so. You can keep track of the version changes at this official site for Chrome OS; just do a search for the R 13.

Once the wrinkles are worked out, you’ll have full access to a Linux terminal and can download Linux apps from the repository of your choice and install them right from the Chrome OS Files app.

There is one more caveat though: You’ll need those Linux apps to be compatible with the ARM processor inside the Acer Chromebook R 13. Most are compatible with x86 chips made by Intel and AMD, so the app selection is limited unless you want to build the packages for ARM yourself.

6 thoughts on “Project Crostini brings Linux apps to the ARM-based Acer Chromebook R 13

  • November 4, 2018 at 10:25 am
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    I have been struggling with this on Canary for two weeks. Since Canary can update daily, some days it works and some days it doesn’t. Today it doesn’t but when it does I am encouraged. Wish I had more RAM.

    Reply
  • November 4, 2018 at 3:06 pm
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    I’m really disappointed that the Chromebook Pixel 2015 didn’t make the cut… Not that old and paid $1k for it, expecting that it would receive the same kind of attention.

    I will make a better choice as to which company I give my hard earned money to and recommend to others next time.

    Reply
    • November 4, 2018 at 5:25 pm
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      I hear you on that. Oddly, the 2015 Chromebook Pixel isn’t on the “won’t be supported” list, so maybe there’s hope. It’s very strange…

      Reply
    • November 4, 2018 at 6:25 pm
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      I’m also disappointed in my choice of the Asus C302 for the same reason. I’ve seen several Chromebooks that were in the running get support already. I didn’t pay $1K for it though.

      Reply
    • November 6, 2018 at 3:54 pm
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      As for Chromebook Pixel 2015, there’s a problem with older kernel 3.14, as it would mean to backport so much functionalities. All chromebooks with Linux app support till now have either kernel 4.4 or 3.18.

      Reply
  • November 7, 2018 at 1:53 am
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    I’ve been playing with this on my R13 since the weekend and it’s great. It is very buggy though seeing as it’s only been switched on for a couple of days. Looking forward to a bit moe stability. Time to brush up on my Linux skills…

    Reply

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