These are the Chromebooks that won’t be getting Linux apps through Project Crostini

I hate to share this news, but I’ve always felt bad news doesn’t get better with age. Sadly, a new code commit from Tuesday confirms that any Chrome OS devices running on the Linux kernel version 3.14 (or older) will not be getting Project Crostini support.

This commit was found by Redditor keeto and I scoured through the code to double-check the information. Unfortunately, it’s legit:

containers_and_vms: drop support for linux-3.14 and older

Since vsock (and other security patchsets) aren’t being backported to
linux-3.14, update the docs to match.

So to save everyone some trouble, I hit up the Developer Information Page for Chrome OS Devices to create the following list of devices that will not be able to run Linux apps in a container due to their kernel version.

  • Acer Chromebase
  • HP Chromebook 14 G3
  • Acer Chromebook 13 (CB5-311)
  • Acer C670 Chromebook 11
  • ASUS Chromebook Flip C100PA
  • ASUS Chromebook C201
  • Acer Chromebox CXI2
  • Acer Chromebase 24
  • Toshiba Chromebook 2 (2015 Edition)
  • Lenovo ThinkCentre Chromebox
  • Google Chromebook Pixel (2013)*
  • Google Chromebook Pixel (2015)*
  • Acer Chromebook 15 (2015)
  • Dell Chromebook 13 7310*
  • ASUS Chromebox CN62
  • AOpen Chromebase Mini
  • Asus Chromebit CS10
  • AOpen Chromebox Mini

While this is bad news for any owners of these devices, the one that really stands out to me is the Google Chromebook Pixel from 2015. Why? Because the original 2013 Chromebook Pixel has a higher kernel version. That really makes no sense to me. (Note: See update below)

Project Crostini Terminal

As we knew prior, only devices with Linux kernel 3.18 and above were targeted for Crostini. And the bulk of Chrome OS devices still supported have or will have Project Crostini for full Linux app support. Even so, this doesn’t lessen the blow to those device owners that were hoping to get the feature.

So again, sorry for the bad news. Don’t shoot the messenger!

*Update: Based on this information, it’s still yet possible that the 2015 Chromebook Pixel and the Dell Chromebook 13 7310 may get Crostini support. However, the 2013 Chromebook Pixel definitely is not: It has the kernel version but the Intel Ivy Bridge chip negates the possibility.

6 thoughts on “These are the Chromebooks that won’t be getting Linux apps through Project Crostini

  • August 22, 2018 at 5:20 pm
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    so you are saying only 17 devices wont get crostini and rest of the approx 80+ device will get crostini?

    Reply
    • August 23, 2018 at 10:30 am
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      That’s the really odd thing to me. You’re correct that it’s EOL is up. June of this year. Yet, it now runs Chrome OS v.69 on Dev and Beta. Stable is 68 but I suspect it could see 69 on Stable. We’ll see!

      Reply
  • August 22, 2018 at 9:55 pm
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    Google Chromebook Pixel (2015) not getting crostini support is pretty shameful. It’s Google’s own device. They need to figure out a way to do kernel upgrades. Feel bad for people spending the extra money in order to future-proof and be blind-sided like this. It’s billed as a dev machine and in typical modern-tech irony, it will lack official dev tools.

    Not a ChromeOS user but this is frustrating to see.

    Reply
  • August 23, 2018 at 9:52 am
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    I didn’t realize that Chromebook kernels are never upgraded.

    I think it’s also fair to point out that to get the most of out of Crostini, you could use more disk space to store Linux apps and data, and possibly more memory to run more apps in parallel.

    So for some of these older Chromebooks, the experience would have been poor to impractical anyway.

    While I would love to see this feature backported further, It’s fair that it depends on newer hardware and newer kernels.

    Reply
  • August 24, 2018 at 2:19 am
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    It’s not that Chromebook kernels are NEVER updated; there have been a very few occasions where that has happened. But updating a kernel is a high-risk proposition so doing it on anything but a very exceptional basis would run counter to Chrome OS’s high stability, high security, paradigm.

    Reply

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