This is really cool. Instead of needing to use Crouton, ChromeOS will provide access to a terminal, which will let you run a Debian container. But with the terminal, you’ll probably be able to use just about any distro.
I periodically think about a Chromebook because my ThinkPad is so heavy. But then, the thought of getting crouton working with it makes it seem easier to just suck-up the weight.
I’m not sure native-ish Linux apps within Chrome changes my mind but I’m certainly curious to see it in action.
Chrome OS Stable Channel Gets Linux Apps | Linux Journal
I’m interested in this because Chromebooks are cheap and pretty light. The idea that I could use it for actual programs, rather than just as a big browser, is interesting. Especially if it happens natively. I know there’s Crouton, but it always seemed risky to buy a machine and potentially break it.
Of course, as we learned earlier this week, I’m still pretty committed to my Thinkpad.
You can now run Linux apps on Chrome OS | TechCrunch
The hardware looks beautiful, but $1200 seems like a lot for Chrome OS, which I find kind of limited (although I haven’t used it in quite some time). I was sort of half expecting this to run Android (I assume it’ll run Android apps, though).
For that money, I’d rather have an operating system I can customize a lot more.
Part of me wonders if this is a Google trick to see if they can secretly unite Android and ChromeOS.
I suspect this “merger” will be lost by Chrome OS.
I joked about this on Twitter, but the more I think about it, the more I think Dropbox really is about to become an operating system. In a lot of ways, it could offer a lot more functionality than Chrome OS.
If Dropbox partnered with a Linux distro, it could easily become a game-changer.
A cool guide to getting KDE and/or Xfce on your Chromebook.
This is a great interview. David has a very interesting setup, creatively using KDE, Ubuntu, and ChromeOS together. It’s obvious he’s put a lot of thought into what works and what doesn’t. I also appreciate his efforts to insert Linux into schools. In general, American schools have money for hardware but usually not enough, or anything, for personnel to implement and customize technology. As a result, a lot of stock hardware and software is purchased, with the idea that it’s easy to get up-and-running, even if the tools are imperfect. Linux offers the opportunity to spend less on hardware and software, and instead, spend the money on programmers to create something that works for an individual institution. This is covered much more elegantly in Decoding Liberation, which I highly recommend to anyone interested in the economics of open source software. David is a pioneer in terms of getting educational institutions to rethink how they use technology. I look forward to hearing about more of his projects.
- Who are you, and what do you do?
I’m David Burke. I run a small IT consulting company, Burke Software and Consulting LLC. We work in schools and non-profits doing everything from our own open source Django-based school information system to setting up a LTSP thin client lab. I started out as a Jesuit Volunteer (think Americorps style year of service) for Cristo Rey New York High School. The school has a unique work-study program which is where I volunteered. As a programmer, I didn’t like seeing paper timesheets so I automated it with Django. That turned into a full school information system and some spin-off tools, all open source on github.
- What distribution do you run on your main desktop/laptop?
ChromeOS with Ubuntu 12.04 in a chroot environment using crouton. This is pretty recent. Before that I was using stock Ubuntu.
- What software do you depend upon with this distribution?
I’m using KDE because I think it has good ultra high DPI support and touch support. I still think GNOME looks prettier, but that said, I’m glad to have a normal task bar in KDE.
I had an xmonad phase once, too — doesn’t everyone?
Firefox lost me when they introduced that sync system they have where you have to keep track of some huge key. Chrome’s sync implementation is easier to use, and now I’m using ChromeOS some of the time. I’ll stay in ChromeOS if I’m just reading email or watching a movie.
For coding I use Komodo IDE and vim. I’ll usually fire up Komodo if I need debugging or profiling tools. That stuff looks better in a GUI. I use Dropbox for file syncing. I really made an effort to switch to an open source sync program, but I couldn’t find anything as fast and reliable as Dropbox when dealing with the fast edits in programming.
At work I use Crossover, a commercially supported version of Wine, because clients just can’t give up their MS Office. I personally can’t stand Office but I need to make sure it runs smoothly for them.
I do some occasional gaming and am pretty happy Steam for Linux is out. I refuse to purchase Windows-only software to run via Wine. I feel like a vegetarian at an all-vegetarian restaurant suddenly presented with overwhelming choice.
- What kind of hardware do you run it on?
The Chromebook Pixel in developer mode. The screen resolution was a big selling point for me. I also have a Samsung Android phone and Nexus 7. I’m excited to try Ubuntu out on one or both once it’s more stable.
Ed. note: Here is David’s review of the Pixel.
- What is your ideal Linux setup?
Something that works and annoys me as little as possible. I love ChromeOS auto updates. I can be pretty sure they will just work. Then I just maintain an Ubuntu 12.04 chroot. Not having to worry about drivers is great. Suspend even works!
- Will you share a screenshot of your desktop?
Interview conducted April 22, 2013