After Three Years, Linux Apps on Chromebooks are Finally Breaking Out of Beta

A banner describing Linux Development Enviornment status on Chrome OS.
Google

When Linux app support landed on Chrome OS in 2018, the feature was incredibly unstable. Most apps didn’t work, and those that did were buggy and missing sound or graphical elements. But the Linux Development Environment for Chrome OS, nicknamed Crostini, finally works well enough to lose its “beta” moniker.

Google will take Crostini out of beta in the next Chrome OS update (version 91), according to an I/O announcement made May 19th. The version of Crostini included in Chrome OS version 91 will also offer improved stability over previous releases, plus better USB support, a new terminal app, and port forwarding. Google also says that the Crostini environment will automatically update alongside Chrome OS (instead of taking ten minutes to update after you install a new version of Chrome OS).

But that’s not all. Google says that Chrome OS will eventually gain support for the Vulkan API, a 3D graphics interface that could open the door to Steam gaming on Chrome OS. It’s unclear when the Vulkan API will arrive on Chrome OS—if we’re lucky, it’ll come with the version 91 update.

Chrome OS version 91 should rollout within the next few weeks. During its I/O conference, Google also confirmed that Chromebooks are getting improved Android support through virtualization software (which replaces the old Android container). The company is currently rolling out Android 11 for compatible Chromebooks.

Source: Chrome OS Dev, Google via XDA-Developers

Andrew Heinzman Andrew Heinzman
Andrew is a writer for Review Geek and its sister site, How-To Geek. Like a jack-of-all-trades, he handles the writing and image editing for a mess of tech news articles, daily deals, product reviews, and complicated explainers. Read Full Bio »

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