I have not covered many ChromeOS updates for a while but there were some surprises in 86.0.4208.0 that I had to make a post. It looks like the Chromium team quietly enabled support for additional USB device past-through in Crostini.
USB device support officially was limited to Android devices but it was possible to enable a flag to allow “Unsupported Devices”, this flag allowed items like the Intel Movidius VPU and Google Coral Edge TPU to work but there were so many devices that simply did not work such as Arduinos. This flag mysteriously disappeared in 86.0.4208.0 and USB devices that were previously unsupported now seem to show up in the ChromeOS Linux USB devices by default! It is worth noting that that officially only Android devices are supported.
I took some time to tonight to do some testing with devices and my findings were very promising. Keyboards, Mice, Webcams and Storage Devices are still unable to be passed through to the container.
Arduinos now work as expected if shared with Linux. This is a big deal for makers and those who wish to use their Chromebook to run a 3D printer as many 3D printers are powered by an Arduino. You will need to ensure that you add your username to the “dialout” group and restart your container to use Arduinos by running the command below.
sudo usermod -a -G dialout <USERNAME>
From here, you can install the Arduino IDE or any 3D printing slicer and start creating things.
Coal Edge TPU and Movidius Computer Stick
These devices still work as expected, please refer to my instructions if you wish to experiment with machine learning.