After months of rumors and commits in Chrome OS development, it was made official at Google I/O yesterday: Chrome OS will soon natively support Linux apps. It is a significant step forward for the platform and should bring improved tools to developers on the platform.
During the keynote, where this was almost mentioned as an after thought, Android Studio was highlighted as being one of the apps that will work once this feature rolls out to everyone.
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While Chrome OS is Linux based at heart, it is currently not able to run Linux apps or development tools natively. There are workarounds out there but they generally require you to put your Chromebook in Developer mode which bypasses many of the security features of the platform – not ideal for the everyday users.
That is what makes a new commit found in the Chrome OS Gerrit so exciting. The commit suggests that support for Linux VMs (Virtual Machines) could be coming to the platform. This would allow users to run popular Linux-based apps on their Chromebooks without having to change out of the Stable channel or bypass security features of the platform.
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