Google Publishes List of Chrome OS Devices With Meltdown Protection Status

Chrome OS Build 61 App Launcher

The Chromium team within Google has publicly published a detailed list of every Chrome OS device and its status on being protected against the Meltdown vulnerability.  The list can be found here and I strongly encourage readers to visit the link and bookmark it.

The list is broken down into seven columns that provide details for each device.  The columns are:

  • Public codename for the device
  • Marketing name of the device
  • Kernel version
  • Architecture (x86, ARM, aarch64)
  • Date of when automatic updates end for the device
  • If Meltdown protection has come to the Kernel Page Table Isolation (KPTI) in Chrome 63 for that device
  • Kernel Page Table Isolation (KPTI) will eventually be updated

The last two columns in this table are the key ones to pay attention to as you review it.  This tells you if your device is protected, will be protect, or at EoL (End of Life) and will not be updated.

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Android App Support Expands to Several Chromebooks in Latest Chrome OS Builds

Samsung Chromebook 2

The Chromium team has updated the list of Chromebooks that can run Android apps either in the Chrome OS beta or stable channels.  In all, 10 devices are able to run Android apps now, bringing the total number up to 67 different Chromebooks and Chromeboxes that can run Android apps.

When it comes to pure new additions to the list, there are eight new devices that moved into the beta channel.  That includes the likes of the Toshiba Chromebook 2 (2015), the Haier Chromebook 11 C, and the Viglen Chromebook 360.  Two devices, the Acer Chromebook 11 (C740) and the Dell Chromebook 13 (7310) moved from the Beta channel to the Stable channel, meaning they are fully supported by those devices.

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Chrome 63 Build for Chrome OS Finally Rolling Out

Acer Chromebook 14

After being announced a few weeks back and virtually no device getting the update immediately, Chrome 63 is finally rolling out for Chrome OS.  It is an important release because it addresses the vulnerabilities outlined by Intel and Google earlier this week.  With Chrome 63, devices running Chrome OS will be protected.

Clearly users of Chromebooks and Chromeboxes need to update to this new build immediately.  You can do so by typing chrome://help in the omnibar of the browser and then clicking the Check for Update button.  The update will take about 5 minutes to download depending on your device & connection speed.  As is normal with Chrome OS, you will need to reboot your device to apply the new build.

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Minor Stable Channel Update for Chrome OS Released

Toshiba Chromebook 2

An incremental update to Chrome OS has been released by the Chromium team and is starting to roll out to devices.  The updated version is build 63.0.3239.116 (Platform version: 10032.75.0) and Google indicates that the majority of Chrome OS devices will get the update over the course of the next few days.

As is often the case with these midstream updates, there are not a lot of details available on what was addressed or fixed.  Rather, we simply get the generic “This build contains a number of bug fixes and security updates”.

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Chrome OS Build 63 Protected Against the Intel CPU Vulnerability

Chrome OS Build 61 App Launcher

It has been a frantic week for Apple, Google and Microsoft as they have tried to deal with a serious CPU vulnerability in modern processors from Intel, ARM and AMD.  The security issue, which could allow for system memory to be read which could give access to passwords and other sensitive information.   The significance of this issue is that it requires an OS level update to fix.

For Google and Chrome OS, the fix is already out.  The Chrome 63 train for Chrome OS was released on December 15th and part of that update was fixing this issue.  The issue does not impact Chrome OS devices running ARM processors.  This is good news as it means a wide swatch of Chromebooks are already protected.

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Chrome OS Update to Chrome 63 Now Rolling Out

Chrome OS Build 61 App Launcher

After the release of Chrome 63 for Android and desktop browsers, Chrome OS is now getting the treatment.  Chrome OS build 63.0.3239.86 (Platform version: 10032.71.1) was released last yesterday (December 15, 2017) and will be coming to the majority of Chromebooks over the course of the next few days.  Google did not release a specific list of devices that were not getting the update.

Oddly, Google did not release any details on what is improved or new in this update.  The only statement in the announcement is that it contains “a number of bug fixes and security updates”.  That could well mean that the focus is simply on overall stability but it is likely that, like the desktop browser, the Flags page is now in Material Design.

I have not received the update this morning but will verify any changes in an update to this post as I find them.

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Chrome Browser Sees A Minor Security Update

Chrome Browser for Windows

For those of you who use the Chrome browser on your Windows PC, Mac or Linux machines, there is a new update rolling out for you today.  The new version is build 63.0.3239.108 and is a security update that addresses two security concerns with the browser.  The update keeps what has been the norm for Chrome in that a major release happens early in the month and a minor release happens in the middle to end of the month.

As you can see by the build number, this update remains in the Chrome 63 train.

Google hasn’t released full details of the fixes that are in this update but has outlined the one high priority item that was addressed was a security flaw while the second security issue was not addressed in the release notes.  Google tends to not release bug details until after a majority of users have been updated to assure that the exploit is not used.

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