Is that a Chromebook in your pocket or are you just happy to see me? I am a huge fan of Chromebooks and absolutely love ChromeOS, this should really come as no surprise to anyone who reads my blog. I have been the owner of a first generation GPD-Pocket Laptop for a while now and was wondering if it would be possible to get ChromiumOS to run on the GPD-Pocket. Sadly it is not as simple as downloading one of the pre-made forks of ChromiumOS and booting as essentially nothing works out of the box (but it does boot). I rolled up my sleeves this morning and started building my own custom fork of ChromiumOS.
We know that Google is working on eventually adding the ability to integrate Google Drive with Crostini in the future but this feature is not expected to hit production Chromebooks until sometime next year. Sadly it is also not possible to mount a Google Drive share (or any remote filesystems) at this time as well. Fortunately there is a excellent third party Google Drive client that I have personally used for a few years on my Linux machines called Insync – it turns out that it works in Linux without much of an issue. Here is now to install it:
I have been contacted by serveral readers and seen countless posts on reddit from users who have been forced to powerwash their devices after a unstable “Dev” update to their Chromebook. While I do not recommend that users who demand stability use the “Dev” channel, I do understand why they do as it offers a lot of features that allow a Chromebook to replace their primary machine. I am a firm believer in a saying that says “If it is not backed up, you must not care about it”. As Google does not yet offer a way to backup your device, allow me to show you a simple way to do this via rsync and a remote server.
Over the past few days, instructions to install Debian Packages (.deb) files on ChromeOS via the Chrome OS File Manager have been floating around many major tech sites. I was originally not planning to cover this story as it was already covered so many times however I changed my mind after following the steps on these sites and was not successful. It turns out that they were missing a step – the .deb file needs to be placed in the “Linux Files” mount first. Here are the instructions:
Microsoft’s PowerShell is without question a very powerful management tool/automation tool, especially for those who use Windows. Many developers have also started to embrace PowerShell and it has even seen native releases for MacOS and Linux. Thanks to the magic of Chrome OS and Crostini, it can also be installed on a Chromebook, here is how:
As I have mentioned on this blog in the past, the build of debian that is used for the default “penguin” container is very vanilla aside from a few extra packaged used to bridge some of the functionality with ChromeOS. These extra packages are not always updated via the primary Chrome OS update utility and thus must be manually upgraded via the command line. Google has released a upgrade for one of the packages – cros-garcon. Fortunately upgrading this package is very easy.
Discord has been one of the fastest growing communication platforms on the planet right now but unfortunately they do not publish an official client for Chrome OS so Chrome OS users are stuck using the web application. While the web application is pretty good, some would wish to have access to the desktop application. Fortunately it is pretty easy to install, here are the steps.
Update : June 21, 2018 – It seems that Google has pulled the update. Users who managed to install the update before Google pulled it can perform a rollback if the stability issues are making your Chromebook unusable. Rollbacks do require a powerwash which may or may not be a reason to hold out for a stable update.
It looks like Google has begun the rollout of ChromeOS 69.0.3464.0 to users on the “dev” channel. This is actually a major version increase as all previous updates were part of ChromeOS 68. Lets look at some of the changes Google has packed into this release – fair warning, there is A LOT in this release and plenty of bugs.
If you are normally a Linux user who has ever worked in an office that uses Office365 or Exchange, you will likely have heard of the Hiri email client. Hiri is one of the most robust Office 635 / Microsoft Exchange email clients on the market. Getting Hiri to run on ChromeOS via Project Crostini is pretty simple so lets get started.
ChromeOS 68.0.3440.4 was released a few hours ago and it seems like a small update, likely heavy on under the hood bug fixes but very light on changes as far as I can tell after playing with it for a few hours. Here are all of the changes I could find: