Current Chrome OS Channel Builds – As of July 20, 2018
- Canary Channel: Chrome 70
- Dev(loper) Channel: 69.0.3494.0
- Beta Channel: 68.0.3440.70
- Stable Channel: 67.0.3396.99 or 67.0.3396.101 (Device dependent)
Chrome OS History & Channel Overview
Chrome OS is a Linux-based Operating System that uses the Chrome browser as its primary user interface. The platform was released initially on June 15, 2011 after being announced in July 2009.
As part of the platform, there are four distinct channels that reflect the different stages of development for the next iteration or version. These channels consist of the following:
- Canary Channel: This channel is considered pre-alpha builds and is aimed at developer community who are developing apps or integrations with Chrome OS. It is best described as bleeding edge and bypasses many of the safety and security mechanisms that Google has put into the platform to protect users. In order to get to this channel, you have to put your Chromebook into Developer mode, a mode that Google does not support.
- Dev(loper) Channel: This channel is considered the alpha channel and is the first channel that is available to any user through the normal channel changing mechanism built into Chrome OS (described below). This channel is still aimed at the developer community and is generally where we see the first iterations of new features. Often these new features are enabled by changing flags within the platform and by the time the build is in the Stable Channel, it is a feature (but not always).
- Beta Channel: This is the last testing channel prior to a version going to the Stable Channel. While there are likely still to be bugs or two, this is very close to being complete from a coding perspective. By this point, all features are all-but set and it is now a matter of doing broader field testing to assure that there are not any show stopping bugs.
- Stable Channel: The Stable Channel is the public version of Chrome OS. This is what the vast majority of users will be running on their Chromebooks and it is updated roughly once per month after the build has cascaded from Canary>Dev>Beta and then to Stable. This is the build that is supported by Google
Changing Your Chrome Channel
Changing the channel that your Chromebook is running in is a fairly simple process assuming you are not wanting to go into the Canary channel. As mentioned above, that requires you to enter Developer mode and bypass most of the security Google has built into the platform. For the other Channels, you can type Chrome://help in the browser. On the settings page, click the “Detailed Build Information” section.
Once there, click on the “Change Channel” button. You can then switch from the Stable Channel to the Beta or Dev Channels.
Keep in mind that if you decide to go back to the Stable Channel from one of the others that it will Powerwash your Chromebook. If you have any locally saved data on your device, you will need to back it up prior to changing channels so you don’t lose it.