Project Crostini getting Linux app notifications in Chrome OS

A request for Linux app notifications to appear on a Chromebook was first noted back in May but work hasn’t progressed on the feature for months. Now, it’s in full flight with several Chrome OS code commits related to Project Crostini notifications over the past two weeks.

You might think that Project Crostini already supports the Chrome OS notification based on messages seen in the system tray when installing .deb packages. But remember, it’s the Chrome OS native Files app that handles the process; those notifications (as shown in the above top image) are coming from Chrome OS, not the Linux container of Crostini.

Why might you need this if Linux apps are generally secondary to web apps?

It comes in handy when a Linux program is running in the background. For example, you may prefer a desktop-class email client instead of running Gmail in your Chromebook browser. If you can’t see the Linux client because you’re in a full screened browser, how will you know when messages arrive? Or maybe you’re building a code package in a development tool and passing the time in Android or Progressive Web Apps: Error and completion notifications are key.

Will this feature be widely used? Perhaps not since I anticipate a small percentage of Chrome OS device owners ever run Linux apps. For those that do, however, this is a sorely needed function. I don’t know which version will bring Linux notifications to Chrome OS yet; it appears that the feature is still in the works and being tested, so stay tuned.

2 thoughts on “Project Crostini getting Linux app notifications in Chrome OS

  • September 16, 2018 at 7:35 pm

    A lot of the growth going forward will be people using the gnu/Linux support so pretty important.

  • September 17, 2018 at 12:54 pm

    Chromebooks are the most exciting thing in consumer tech right now to me. I always mention them and even sent one to a relative but so far, nobody in my life shares the enthusiasm.


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