Is Chrome OS Desktop Linux? 8 Points to Consider

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Do Chromebooks run Linux? This is not the way in which they are marketed, without a doubt. Google does not let you know Chromebooks include Linux. They run Chrome OS, Google’s undertake exactly what a desktop operating-system could be.

But despite how different Chrome OS feels and looks, Chrome OS is dependant on Linux. Then when we discuss Linux, shall we be also speaking about Chrome OS? Listed here are eight facts to consider.

1. Chromebooks Make use of the Linux Kernel

Linux, technically, is not an operating-system. It is a kernel, negligence your pc that allows your PC’s hardware to talk with software. The kernel is the reason why unexpected things happen whenever you press buttons and why you can observe things in your screen.

All of the software the thing is in your screen? That is not Linux. Linux has simply become shorthand for os’s (also referred to as distributions, or distro for brief) built while using Linux kernel. Chrome OS uses the Linux kernel, so with this standard, Chrome OS is desktop Linux.

2. Chrome OS Is dependant on Gentoo

Chrome OS does not only use the Linux kernel. It’s really built on the top from the Gentoo Linux distribution.

Which means that a lot of how are you affected behind the curtain is not code produced by Google. It comes down in the broader Linux community.

That stated, pricier to dive in to the Gentoo experience. Even though you stick to the steps to set up full-blown Linux in your Chromebook, it will not be Gentoo that you are running.

3. You Are Able To Install Some Linux Apps

The argument that Chrome OS is Linux does not hold on there. Chrome OS offers the choice to set up traditional desktop Linux apps using Crostini.

Now, these apps aren’t what drive individuals to Chrome OS. You have to first check to be certain your Chromebook includes Linux application support. Whether it does, you are able to run native desktop Linux apps like GIMP and VLC in your Chromebook without getting to change it to developer mode or replace Chrome OS entirely.

4. Chrome OS and GNU Are Largely Incompatible

To date it appears pretty apparent that Chrome OS is Linux. So how can this be a question?

Well, if you notice Linux discussed online, have you ever observed what it is frequently written as GNU/Linux? That is because most of the components that presently get into supplying a completely functional Linux desktop really existed prior to the Linux kernel did. They came into being included in the GNU project. A lot of what we should affiliate with Linux has more details on GNU compared to Linux.

Chrome OS is dependant on Linux, however it does not be part of the apps, values, or culture from the GNU project. It’s Linux, sure, but it is not necessarily GNU.

5. Is Chrome OS Free and Free?

A foundational area of the GNU project is making free software application, with “free” referring to not the cost but for your freedom to see, edit, and share the code. This is referred to as open-source software.

The Linux kernel is free of charge software. It’s available underneath the GNU Public License, which guarantees the Linux kernel and all sorts of changes designed to it remain free for everybody to make use of and share. All GNU software programs are also free software application.

A lot of what adopts Chrome OS can also be free software application, as it is readily available for anybody to download by means of Chromium OS. You are able to install and run Chromium OS in your machine. However the full experience that you will get on the Chromebook contains lots of closed source code.

Google adds proprietary bits towards the browser, many apps and extensions you put in will also be closed source. So even when the majority of the code which goes into Chrome OS is open, the majority of the bits you consciously communicate with aren’t, much like on Android.

6. You Cannot Swap Your Desktop Atmosphere

Google Chromebook with Google Homepage on Chrome

This black code includes a tangible effect on your knowledge about a Chromebook. When compared with your typical Linux desktop, you’ve relatively little freedom with regards to the way you setup or modify your experience.

You cannot choose another interface towards the one Google provides. You cannot swap the audio or display server. You are able to pick your application store or preferred package format though.

In a nutshell, some Linux desktops provide you with the freedom to configure your computer nevertheless, you want, Chrome OS does not. You can either use Chrome OS the way in which Google designed it, or else you use crouton to substitute an effective GNU/Linux desktop instead of Chrome OS.

It’s simpler either to replace Chrome OS with Linux or make use of the two side-by-side than with Home windows, but simply as with Home windows, they still seem like two separate things.

7. Development Isn’t Community-Brought

If code is on the internet for anybody to see, edit, and share, then yes, it’s open-source. This is correct of Chromium OS, the code that produces a lot of Chrome OS. However this is just area of the story.

Most Linux distributions don’t just have open code or supply you with a method to lead, they positively call you for participation in direction of the work. They’re also developed outside. You will find e-mail lists that individuals can sign up for and monitor conversations in regards to a project’s direction.

Or there’s a forum, or perhaps a GitHub, or perhaps a GitLab page. With Chromium OS, you’re asked to obtain involved, however the direction from the project is mainly determined in-house at Google.

8. Chrome Apps Aren’t Linux Apps

There are lots of desktop environments within the Linux ecosystem. They appear and performance in extremely various ways. But because different as GNOME and KDE Plasma might be from each other, you are able to run an application created for one inside another. Most Linux software programs are interoperable, even when it might not integrate well and appear unnatural.

This is not the situation with Chrome OS. To become fair, software generally is not created for Chrome OS. It’s either an Android application or perhaps a Chrome extension. You will find, you are able to install Chrome on Linux. But individuals extensions require Chrome, and Android apps require an emulator. Chrome OS exists in the own ecosystem outside of the remainder of Linux.

Same With Chrome OS Desktop Linux?

Chrome OS is Linux, sure. But could it be GNU/Linux? No, not necessarily. And it is Chrome OS what almost everyone has in your mind once they consider Linux?

Most Chrome OS users do not know that they’re using Linux. In connection with this, Chrome OS has a lot more that is similar to Android compared to other Linux-based desktops.

Ultimately, there’s no simple response to this, which has less related to Chrome and more details on how ambiguous of the name “Linux” to have an operating-system is really.

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