Samsung Chromebook Plus gets Linux apps through Project Crostini

Looks like the Pixelbook isn’t the only game in town for running Linux apps, which is great news. Redditor FrMarkFenn posted screenshots of LibreOffice and MuseScore the ARM-powered Samsung Chromebook Plus. Of course, like the Pixelbook, you’ll need to be on the Dev Channel of Chrome OS because version 68 supports Project Crostini: The container-method Google is using to bring Linux apps to Chromebooks.

crostini on Samsung Chromebook Plus

The steps to get Linux app support on the Samsung Chromebook Plus are basically the same as for the Pixelbook, but if you need a refresher, another Redditor posted a list for you to follow.

Note that this brings all of the same Crostini functionality to the Chromebook Plus: You should see your Linux files mount automatically to the Chrome OS Files app if you have the proper flag enabled.

Linux files mounted in Chrome OS Files

If you opted for the Samsung Chromebook Pro over the Plus, don’t fret: Google is working to backport certain modules to get Linux apps on that device as well as others. You just may have to wait a bit longer for that to happen.

7 thoughts on “Samsung Chromebook Plus gets Linux apps through Project Crostini

  • June 4, 2018 at 10:10 pm

    Maybe the Asus C302 will be next? *crosses fingers*

  • June 5, 2018 at 6:09 am

    We don’t know how extensive this backporting of modules will be. It would be safer to assume that there won’t necessarily be any backports to older Chromebooks unless otherwise advised by Google. Backports can require a lot of work and it is not clear that older Chromebooks, with their memory restrictions, have the makings of a good Linux box, even with the relevant modules having been backported.

    I don’t think things have radically changed since IO. It is best to regard Linux 4.4 as a prerequisite for all of the work currently going on to build support for Linux applications into Chrome OS.

  • June 5, 2018 at 4:28 pm

    Does anyone know what the specific requirements are here?
    Would this work for another Chromebook with the same op1 processor such as the Acer Chromebook Tab 10?

    • June 5, 2018 at 4:30 pm

      Device support is currently limited to those with Linux kernel version 4.x. However the ability to run Linux containers is still a device by device option. Google has to enable it in the Chrome OS code for each specific device. At the moment, that’s only the Pixelbook and Chromebook Plus.

      • June 5, 2018 at 6:02 pm

        Thank you for the prompt reply.

        Is there a reason why a new ARM Chromebook would not use the same Linux Kernel as
        the Samsung Chromebook Plus?

      • June 8, 2018 at 4:03 am

        Yes, indeed. We don’t know for sure until Google says one way or another. Of course, looked at abstractly this should work. As Crostini is coming to the Linux 4.4 and RK3399/OP1 based CB+ it ought to be able to migrate easily to the Linux 4.4 and RK3399/OP1 based Acer Chromebook Tab 10 (or the Linux 4.4 and RK3399/OP1 based Asus Chromebook Flip C101PA), right? That does make sense, in the abstract.

        But, looking at this more concretely why would Google rush to implement all of the machinery of virtualized Linux on a Chromebook with a low end hardware configuration like the Acer Chromebook Tab 10? As it happens the CB+ also has a low end hardware configuration but that doesn’t seemed to have dampened Google’s enthusiasm.

        So, there appears to be weak reasons favouring and weighing against the migration of Crostini to the Acer Chromebook Tab 10. I’m guessing – that’s right, guessing – that Linux on the Acer Chromebook Tab 10 will be very low priority. I can’t see a lot on interest in a Linux box that relies on a Bluetooth keyboard, the only physical keyboard option in this case, it seems to me. And, I expect people serious enough to want Linux will also want a physical keyboard. I doubt a wireless keyboard, however, will be acceptable to Linux enthusiasts/developers. As I see it, that would make Crostini on Acer Chromebook Tab 10 (or any Chromebook tablet) fairly unlikely.


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