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.
It should not come as a shock that I am a huge fan of ChromeOS/ChromiumOS and while I am clearly a fan, I am also very critical of the operating system and want to see it evolve. A bit over 3 years ago, I wrote a article on my website outlining some of the major shortcomings with ChromeOS in 2017 and I am happy to say that ChromeOS has come a very long way. A lot of new and impressive features have come to ChromeOS since my post including proper SD card support for Android, upgrading the dated Android 6.0 and various other improvements that were not on my radar such as Linux application support. ChromeOS is a great operating system that has been a daily driver of mine for a long time but there are still several major shortcomings that I would love to see resolved in future releases of ChromeOS.
The Chromium team is hard at work with bringing new features to Chromebooks, recently a change was made to set Debian 10 (Buster) as the default operating system for the Crostini “Penguin” container. Unfortunately this change does not upgrade existing installations of from Debian 9 (Stretch) to Debian 10. You are in luck though as upgrading your existing container is pretty easy, here are the steps.
If you are a Chromebook user on the Dev Channel, you may want to start mashing your Check for Updates button as 78.0.3889.0 is rolling out right now. I am in the process of sifting through the changes and will update this page as I find them.
If you are in the market for a high end Chromebook and an Amazon Prime Customer – They are running a Prime Day Special on the Google Pixel Slate. This is the higher end version complete with an Intel Core i5, 128 GB of Space and 8 GB of RAM. This version of the Pixel Slate is normally $1000 alone however Amazon is selling it for $899.99 for Prime Day. To sweeten the deal, Amazon is also throwing in the official Type Cover for free which would normally add another $200 to the price. Sadly if you need the Pixel Stylus, you will need to obtain that separately
If you are on the ChromeOS dev channel, you may have noticed that network connectivity has been hit and miss over the past few weeks and if so, you may want to start mashing your check for updates button now to update to ChromeOS 77.0.3849.0 while reading this post. I am still working my way through the changelog for this build and it is pretty lengthy. Here are the notable changes that I have been able to find so far. This is also the first official beta for ChromeOS 77
Multi-tasers rejoice! ChromeOS 76.0.3809.6 is currently rolling out to those on the Development Channel and it brings a few very welcomed changes including Virtual Desktops and fixing Crostini which has been broken for almost a week. I am still going through the change-logs but I can say that this looks like a very solid build.
The Chrome team has just released the first Developer Build of ChomeOS 76 and it brings at least one welcomed change that eliminates the need to manually enable GPU support on Crostini. I am currently doing a teardown of the build to try to spot other changes and will update this post accordingly.
It has been a crazy year for those watching the rapid evolution of ChromeOS, in fact it has been a month since I first broke that ChromeOS had implemented proper USB support in Crostini 75.0.3759.4. Officially the Crostini USB support is limited to Android Phones, specifically to allow for developers to connect to adb on the phone to test applications on actual hardware however it is possible to pass support to many other devices by activating a hidden flag. There is a myriad of USB devices out there and this article provides a overview of what works and what does not work.