New Chromebook owners eventually hear about both Developer Mode and the Dev Channel of Chrome OS, wondering if they’re the same thing. They’re not.
What’s Developer Mode?
Developer Mode basically waters down one of the Chrome OS security features called “Verified Boot” so you can run alternative software, such as Linux. It also provides more access to the system files on your device. Unless you really want to tinker around — and know what you’re doing — Developer Mode isn’t for most people.
I have used Developer Mode in the past to allow my Chromebook to run both Chrome OS and Ubuntu Linux at the same time.
The main reason? I wanted to install apps so I could code on my Chromebook. These days, I can do that without using the less secure Developer Mode through Android apps, remotely accessing a Raspberry Pi I set up for coding or using a cloud development environment, such as AWS Cloud 9.
What’s the Dev Channel?
For starters, the Chrome OS platform has several versions, which are called “channels”. Chromebooks ship with the software from the Stable Channel, which is the latest generally available of the software. Typically, Chromebooks see an updated version of the Stable Channel every six weeks for major changes, while minor updates can appear more often.
New features and fixes don’t magically appear in the Stable Channel though. Instead, they first get added to and tested in three other channels: Canary, Dev, and Beta. Canary is where changes begin and it’s considered to be fairly unstable.
You wouldn’t want to run on the Canary Channel every day; in fact, you need to enable Developer Mode to use it. Plus, it can be updated or modified several times per day.
The Dev Channel is where tested changes from Canary end up, so this channel changes often as well: Often once or twice per week. As these changes are tested to ensure they’re working well, they make their way into the Beta Channel every week or so.
Eventually, over the course of several weeks, Beta features end up in the next Stable Channel release. The Chrome Releases Blog announces updates for all of the channels if you ever want to see what the latest channel versions are.
Switching between Dev, Beta and the Stable Channel is easy to do and gives you a glimpse at new features coming to your Chromebook.
There’s one caveat though: Changing channels from an older version to a newer one will wipe the data from your device so you’ll need to set it up like a brand new Chromebook.
You can go, for example from Chrome OS 88 Stable to Chrome OS 90 Dev without losing data. But if you move from Chrome OS 90 Dev to Chrome OS 88 Stable, your device will be powerwashed. In that type of downgrade situation, you’ll lose all locally stored data, Android apps, and Linux containers.
If you do want to make the switch, go into the Settings menu of your Chromebook and scroll down to and click the About Chrome OS option. Then click on the Detailed Build Information and look for the Change Channel option.
Just remember that your data could be erased before you make the switch, depending on if you’re upgrading or downgrading your version of Chrome OS!
Updated on February 22, 2021 to point out powerwash scenarios.
Developer Information for Chrome OS Devices
This page provides developer-related information for Chrome devices. These are systems that shipped from the factory with Google Chrome OS on them. For details about Google Chrome OS and how it differs from Chromium OS, see the note in the FAQ about Google Chrome OS. Chrome OS devices typically require special setup in order to be used for Chromium OS development.
Caution: Modifications you make to the system are not supported by Google, may cause hardware, software or security issues and may void warranty.
Remember: Chrome OS devices are not general-purpose PCs. We believe you should be able to hack on your own property, but if you do it's not our fault if something breaks.
Googlers not finding what they're looking for may want to look at go/cros-names.
End of Life (EOL) / Auto Update Expiration (AUE)
The official Google policy includes projected dates. Here we focus on the corresponding release versions as that is often more useful to developers.
These WiFi routers are marketed as OnHub, Google Wifi, and Nest Wifi.
Notebooks and Desktops
These are your standard Chromebook/Chromebox/etc devices.
|Release||OEM||Model||Code name||Board name(s)||Base board||User ABI||Kernel||Kernel ABI||Platform||Form Factor||First Release||EOL/AUE||USB Gadget||Closed Case Debugging|
|Pixelbook Go||atlas||atlas||poppy||x86_64||4.4||x86_64||Amberlake-Y||Chromebook||M75||June 2026||Yes||Yes|
|Lenovo||IdeaPad Flex 5i Chromebook||lillipup||volteer||volteer||x86_64||5.4||x86_64||TigerLake-UP3||Chromebook||R90||June 2029||Yes|
|Lenovo||Lenovo 300e Chromebook Gen 3 AMD||vilboz360||zork||dalboz||x86_64||5.4||x86_64||Pollock||Chromebook||R91|
|Lenovo||Lenovo 100e Chromebook Gen 3 AMD||vilboz||zork||dalboz||x86_64||5.4||x86_64||Pollock||Chromebook||M91|
|Acer||Acer Chromebook 712||Kindred||Hatch||Hatch||x86_64||4.19||x86_64||Cometlake-U||Chromebook||R79||Yes|
|Asus||ASUS Chromebook Detachable CM3 (CM3000)||Kakadu||kukui||kukui||arm||4.19||aarch64||MT8183||Chromeblet||R88||Yes|
|Asus||ASUS Chromebook Flip CM3 (CM3200)||Damu||jacuzzi||jacuzzi||arm||4.19||aarch64||MT8183||Convertible||R87||Yes|
|Lenovo||IdeaPad Flex 5i Chromebook (13", 5)||Akemi||Hatch||Hatch||x86_64||4.19||x86_64||Cometlake-U||Convertible||R81||Yes|
|December 5, 2010||Cr-48||Mario||x86-mario||x86||3.8||x86||PineTrail||Chromebook||~R8||R56||No|
|May 30, 2011||Samsung||Samsung Series 5 Chromebook||Alex||x86-alex & x86-alex_he||x86||3.8||x86||PineTrail||Chromebook||R11||R58||No|
|June 30, 2011||Acer||Acer AC700 Chromebook||ZGB||x86-zgb & x86-zgb_he||x86||3.8||x86||PineTrail||Chromebook||R12||R58||No|
|April 29, 2012||Samsung||Samsung Chromebook Series 5 550||Lumpy||lumpy||x86_64||3.8||x86_64||SandyBridge||Chromebook||R17||R65||No|
|July 1, 2012||Samsung||Samsung Chromebox Series 3||Stumpy||stumpy||x86_64||3.8||x86_64||SandyBridge||Chromebox||R17||R65||No|
|October 14, 2012||Samsung||Samsung Chromebook||Snow||daisy||daisy||arm||3.8||arm||Exynos 5250||Chromebook||R22||R75||No|
|October 30, 2012||Acer||Acer C7 Chromebook||Parrot||parrot_ivb||parrot||x86_64||3.8||x86_64||IvyBridge||Chromebook||R27||R69||No|
|October 30, 2012||Acer||Acer C7 Chromebook||Parrot||parrot||x86_64||3.8||x86_64||SandyBridge||Chromebook||R21||R65||No|
|December 30, 2012||Lenovo||Lenovo Thinkpad X131e Chromebook||Stout||stout||x86_64||3.8||x86_64||IvyBridge||Chromebook||R22||R69||No|
|January 30, 2013||Google Chromebook Pixel||Link||link||x86_64||3.8||x86_64||IvyBridge||Chromebook||R22||R69||No|
|January 30, 2013||HP||HP Pavilion Chromebook 14||Butterfly||butterfly||x86_64||3.8||x86_64||SandyBridge||Chromebook||R22||R65||No|
|September 12, 2013||Acer||Acer C720/C70P/C740 Chromebook||Peppy & Pepto||peppy||slippy||x86_64||3.8||x86_64||Haswell||Chromebook||R30||R76||No|
|September 29, 2013||HP||HP Chromebook 14||Falco||falco & falco_li||slippy||x86_64||3.8||x86_64||Haswell||Chromebook||R30||R76||No|
|September 29, 2013||HP||HP Chromebook 11 G1||Spring||daisy_spring||snow||arm||3.8||arm||Exynos 5250||Chromebook||R27||R72||No|
|January 15, 2014||Dell||Dell Chromebook 11||Wolf||wolf||slippy||x86_64||3.8||x86_64||Haswell||Chromebook||R31||R76||No|
|January 30, 2014||Toshiba||Toshiba Chromebook||Leon||leon||slippy||x86_64||3.8||x86_64||Haswell||Chromebook||R31||R76||No|
|March 13, 2014||ASUS||ASUS Chromebox CN60||Panther||panther||beltino||x86_64||3.8||x86_64||Haswell||Chromebox||R32||R76||No|
|May 4, 2014||Samsung||Samsung Chromebook 2 11"||Pit||peach_pit||peach||arm||3.8||arm||Exynos 5450||Chromebook||R30||R75||No|
|May 18, 2014||Samsung||Samsung Chromebook 2 13"||Pi||peach_pi||peach||arm||3.8||arm||Exynos 5450||Chromebook||R34||R75||No|
|May 18, 2014||LG||LG Chromebase 22CV241 & 22CB25S||Monroe||monroe||beltino||x86_64||3.8||x86_64||Haswell||Chromebase||R33||No|
|May 25, 2014||HP||HP Chromebook 11 G2||Skate||daisy_skate||snow||arm||3.8||arm||Exynos 5250||Chromebook||R34||R75||No|
|May 29, 2014||Lenovo||Lenovo N20 Chromebook||Clapper||clapper||rambi||x86_64||4.4||x86_64||BayTrail||Convertible||R34||R76||No|
|May 31, 2014||ASUS||ASUS Chromebook C200||Squawks||squawks||rambi||x86_64||4.4||x86_64||BayTrail||Chromebook||R34||R76||No|
|June 5, 2014||Lenovo||Lenovo ThinkPad 11e Chromebook||Glimmer||glimmer||rambi||x86_64||4.4||x86_64||BayTrail||Convertible||R34||R76||No|
|June 14, 2014||<white label>||Enguarde||enguarde||rambi||x86_64||4.4||x86_64||BayTrail||Chromebook||R34||No|
|June 14, 2014||<white label>||Expresso||expresso||rambi||x86_64||4.4||x86_64||BayTrail||Chromebook||R34||No|
|June 21, 2014||HP||HP Chromebox G1||Zako||zako||beltino||x86_64||3.8||x86_64||Haswell||Chromebox||R34||R76||No|
|August 20, 2014||Acer||Acer Chromebox||McCloud||mccloud||beltino||x86_64||3.8||x86_64||Haswell||Chromebox||R36||R76||No|
|August 30, 2014||ASUS||ASUS Chromebook C300||Quawks||quawks||rambi||x86_64||4.4||x86_64||BayTrail||Chromebook||R34||R76||No|
|August 31, 2014||Acer||Acer Chromebook 11 (C730 / C730E / C735)||Gnawty||gnawty||rambi||x86_64||4.4||x86_64||BayTrail||Chromebook||R34||No|
|September 1, 2014||HP||HP Chromebook 11 G3 / G4 / G4 EE||Kip||kip||rambi||x86_64||4.4||x86_64||BayTrail||Chromebook||R34||No|
|September 2, 2014||Toshiba||Toshiba Chromebook 2||Swanky||swanky||rambi||x86_64||4.4||x86_64||BayTrail||Chromebook||R36||No|
|September 7, 2014||Acer||Acer Chromebook 13 (CB5-311)||Big||nyan_big||nyan||arm||3.10||arm||Tegra K1 T124||Chromebook||R35||R77||No|
|September 13, 2014||Dell||Dell Chromebox||Tricky||tricky||beltino||x86_64||3.8||x86_64||Haswell||Chromebox||R36||R76||No|
|October 13, 2014||Samsung||Samsung Chromebook 2 11 - XE500C12||Winky||winky||rambi||x86_64||4.4||x86_64||BayTrail||Chromebook||R36||No|
|October 18, 2014||HP||HP Chromebook 14 G3||Blaze||nyan_blaze||nyan||arm||3.10||arm||Tegra K1 T124||Chromebook||R36||R77||No|
|February 28, 2015||Acer||Acer C670 Chromebook 11||Paine||auron_paine||auron||x86_64||3.14||x86_64||Broadwell||Chromebook||R40|
|February 28, 2015||Dell||Dell Chromebook 11 (3120)||Candy||candy||rambi||x86_64||4.4||x86_64||BayTrail||Chromebook||R39||No|
|March 11, 2015||Google Chromebook Pixel (2015)||Samus||samus||x86_64||4.14||x86_64||Broadwell||Chromebook||R39|
|April 23, 2015||Acer||Acer Chromebook 15.6" (CB3-531)||Banjo||banjo||rambi||x86_64||4.4||x86_64||BayTrail||Chromebook||R42||No|
|April 30, 2015||<white label>||Jaq||veyron_jaq||veyron_pinky||arm||4.19||arm||RK3288||Chromebook||R41|
|April 30, 2015||<white label>||Mighty||veyron_mighty||veyron_pinky||arm||4.19||arm||RK3288||Chromebook||R41|
|April 30, 2015||Acer||Acer Chromebook 15||Yuna||auron_yuna||auron||x86_64||3.14||x86_64||Broadwell||Chromebook||R40|
|April 30, 2015||<white label>||Jerry||veyron_jerry||veyron_pinky||arm||4.19||arm||RK3288||Chromebook||R41|
|May 1, 2015||ASUS||ASUS Chromebook C201||Speedy||veyron_speedy||veyron_pinky||arm||4.19||arm||RK3288||Chromebook||R41|
|May 1, 2015||Acer||Acer Chromebox CXI2||Rikku||rikku||jecht||x86_64||3.14||x86_64||Broadwell||Chromebox||R42|
|June 2, 2015||Lenovo||Lenovo ThinkCentre Chromebox||Tidus||tidus||jecht||x86_64||3.14||x86_64||Broadwell||Chromebox||R42|
|July 1, 2015||ASUS||ASUS Chromebook Flip C100PA||Minnie||veyron_minnie||veyron_pinky||arm||4.19||arm||RK3288||Convertible||R42|
|August 1, 2015||Acer||Acer Chromebase||Kitty||nyan_kitty||nyan||arm||3.10||arm||Tegra K1 T124||Chromebase||R40||No|
|August 3, 2015||ASUS||ASUS Chromebox CN62||Guado||guado||jecht||x86_64||3.14||x86_64||Broadwell||Chromebox||R41|
|August 13, 2015||Dell||Dell Chromebook 13 7310||Lulu||lulu||auron||x86_64||3.14||x86_64||Broadwell||Chromebook||R43|
|September 1, 2015||AOpen||AOpen Chromebox Commercial||Ninja||ninja||rambi||x86_64||4.4||x86_64||BayTrail||Chromebox||R43||No|
|September 2, 2015||AOpen||AOpen Chromebase Commercial||Sumo||sumo||rambi||x86_64||4.4||x86_64||BayTrail||Chromebase||R43||No|
|September 4, 2015||Lenovo||Lenovo 100S Chromebook||Orco||orco||rambi||x86_64||4.4||x86_64||BayTrail||Chromebook||R44||No|
|September 22, 2015||Toshiba||Toshiba Chromebook 2 (2015 Edition)||Gandof||gandof||auron||x86_64||3.14||x86_64||Broadwell||Chromebook||R44|
|November 2, 2015||ASUS||Asus Chromebit CS10||Mickey||veyron_mickey||veyron_pinky||arm||4.19||arm||RK3288||Chromebit||R45|
|November 26, 2015||<white label>||Heli||heli||rambi||x86_64||4.4||x86_64||BayTrail||Chromebook||R45||No|
|December 1, 2015||Acer||Acer Chromebook R11||Cyan||cyan||strago||x86_64||3.18||x86_64||Braswell||Chromebook||R44|
|December 22, 2015||Samsung||Samsung Chromebook 3||Celes||celes||strago||x86_64||3.18||x86_64||Braswell||Chromebook||R46|
|February 29, 2016||ASUS||ASUS Chromebook C202SA/C300SA||Terra||terra||strago||x86_64||3.18||x86_64||Braswell||Chromebook||R48|
|March 7, 2016||Lenovo||ThinkPad 11e Chromebook 3rd||Ultima||ultima||strago||x86_64||3.18||x86_64||Braswell||Chromebook||R48|
|March 29, 2016||Acer||Chromebook 14 (CB3-431)||Edgar||edgar||strago||x86_64||3.18||x86_64||Braswell||Chromebook||R49|
|April 1, 2016||Acer||Acer Chromebase 24||Buddy||buddy||auron||x86_64||3.14||x86_64||Broadwell||Chromebase||R48|
|May 5, 2016||HP||HP Chromebook 13 G1||Chell||chell||glados||x86_64||3.18||x86_64||Skylake||Chromebook||R49|
|May 27, 2016||Lenovo||Thinkpad 13 Chromebook||Sentry||sentry||kunimitsu||x86_64||3.18||x86_64||Skylake||Chromebook||R50|
|May 31, 2016||Acer||Chromebook 14 for work (CP5-471)||Lars||lars||kunimitsu||x86_64||3.18||x86_64||Skylake||Chromebook||R49|
|July 8, 2016||HP||HP Chromebook 11 G5||Setzer||setzer||strago||x86_64||3.18||x86_64||Braswell||Chromebook||R51|
|August 1, 2016||Lenovo||Lenovo Chromebook 11||Reks||reks||strago||x86_64||3.18||x86_64||Braswell||Chromebook||R48|
|August 5, 2016||<white label>||Relm||relm||strago||x86_64||3.18||x86_64||Braswell||Chromebook||R52|
|August 8, 2016||<white label>||Wizpig||wizpig||strago||x86_64||3.18||x86_64||Braswell||Convertible||R50|
|August 12, 2016||Acer||Acer 15.6" Chromebook||Banon||banon||strago||x86_64||3.18||x86_64||Braswell||Chromebook||R51|
|September 6, 2016||Acer||Acer Chromebook R13||Elm||elm||oak||arm||3.18||aarch64||MT8173||Convertible||R52|
|January 5, 2017||ASUS||ASUS Chromebook Flip C302||Cave||cave||glados||x86_64||3.18||x86_64||Skylake||Convertible||R53|
|February 7, 2017||Dell||Chromebook 11 Model 3180||Kefka||kefka||strago||x86_64||3.18||x86_64||Braswell||Chromebook||R54|
|February 7, 2017||Dell||Dell Chromebook 13 3380||Asuka||asuka||kunimitsu||x86_64||3.18||x86_64||Skylake||Chromebook||R55|
|February 12, 2017||Samsung||Samsung Chromebook Plus||Kevin||kevin||gru||arm||4.4||aarch64||RK3399||Convertible||R53|
|February 28, 2017||AOpen||AOpen Chromebase Mini||tiger||veyron_tiger||veyron_pinky||arm||4.19||arm||RK3288||Chromebase||R54|
|February 28, 2017||AOpen||AOpen Chromebox Mini||fievel||veyron_fievel||veyron_pinky||arm||4.19||arm||RK3288||Chromebox||R54|
|March 17, 2017||Lenovo||Lenovo N23 Yoga Chromebook||hana||hana||oak||arm||3.18||aarch64||MT8173||Convertible||R56|
|April 24, 2017||Lenovo||Lenovo Thinkpad 11e Chromebook / Lenovo Thinkpad Yoga 11e Chromebook||Pyro||pyro||reef||x86_64||4.4||x86_64||ApolloLake||Chromebook||R56||Yes|
|April 24, 2017||HP||HP Chromebook x360 11 G1 EE||Snappy||snappy||reef||x86_64||4.4||x86_64||ApolloLake||Convertible||R56||Yes|
|May 25, 2017||Samsung||Samsung Chromebook Pro||Caroline||caroline||glados||x86_64||3.18||x86_64||Skylake||Convertible||R56|
|June 30, 2017||Acer||Acer Chromebook Spin 11 R751T||Electro||reef||reef||x86_64||4.4||x86_64||ApolloLake||Chromebook||R53||Yes|
|August 10, 2017||Poin2||Poin2 Chromebook 14||Birch||hana||oak||arm||3.18||aarch64||MT8173||Chromebook||R56|
|September 1, 2017||ASUS||Asus Chromebook Flip C101PA||Bob||Bob||gru||arm||4.4||aarch64||RK3399||Convertible||R58||Hinge Port|
|September 8, 2017||Acer||Chromebook 15 CB515-1HT/1H||Sand||sand||reef||x86_64||4.4||x86_64||ApolloLake||Chromebook||R59||Yes|
|October 31, 2017||Pixelbook||Eve||eve||eve||x86_64||4.4||x86_64||Kabylake-Y||Convertible||R61||Left Port||Left Port|
|November 15, 2017||Poin2||Poin2 Chromebook 11C||Hanawl||hana||oak||arm||3.18||aarch64||MT8173||Chromebook||R56|
|February 14, 2018||Acer||Acer Chromebook 11 (C732, C732T, C732L & C732LT )||Astronaut||coral||coral||x86_64||4.4||x86_64||ApolloLake||Chromebook||R64||Yes|
|March 1, 2018||Lenovo||Lenovo 300e Chromebook||hana||hana||oak||arm||3.18||aarch64||MT8173||Convertible||R64|
|March 1, 2018||Lenovo||Lenovo 100e Chromebook||robo||coral||coral||x86_64||4.4||x86_64||ApolloLake||Chromebook||R64||Yes|
|March 1, 2018||Lenovo||Lenovo 500e Chromebook||robo360||coral||coral||x86_64||4.4||x86_64||ApolloLake||Convertible||R64||Yes|
|March 5, 2018||Acer||AcerChromebook 11 (CB311-8H & CB311-8HT)||Santa||coral||coral||x86_64||4.4||x86_64||ApolloLake||Chromebook||R64||Yes|
|March 16, 2018||Acer||Acer Chromebook Spin 11 (CP311-1H & CP311-1HN)||Lava||coral||coral||x86_64||4.4||x86_64||ApolloLake||Convertible||R64||Yes|
|May 18, 2018||HP||HP Chromebox G2||Kench||fizz||fizz||x86_64||4.4||x86_64||Kabylake-U/R||Chromebox||Yes|
|June 1, 2018||Acer||Acer Chromebox CXI3||Sion||fizz||fizz||x86_64||4.4||x86_64||Kabylake-U/R||Chromebox||Yes|
|June 1, 2018||CTL||CTL Chromebox CBx1||Wukong||fizz||fizz||x86_64||4.4||x86_64||Kabylake-U/R||Chromebox||R67|
|June 1, 2018||Viewsonic||ViewSonic NMP660 Chromebox||Wukong||fizz||fizz||x86_64||4.4||x86_64||Kabylake-U/R||Chromebox||Yes|
|June 1, 2018||HP||HP Chromebook x2||Soraka||soraka||poppy||x86_64||4.4||x86_64||Kabylake-Y||Chromeblet||Left Port||Yes|
|June 1, 2018||ASUS||ASUS Chromebox 3||Teemo||fizz||fizz||x86_64||4.4||x86_64||Kabylake-U/R||Chromebox||Yes|
|June 14, 2018||Samsung||Samsung Chromebook Plus (V2)||Nautilus||nautilus||poppy||x86_64||4.4||x86_64||Kabylake-Y||Convertible||R67||Yes|
|June 15, 2018||CTL||CTL Chromebook J41||Whitetip||coral||coral||x86_64||4.4||x86_64||ApolloLake||Chromebook||R67|
|June 30, 2018||CTL||CTL Chromebook NL7||Blacktip||coral||coral||x86_64||4.4||x86_64||ApolloLake||Chromebook||R67|
|June 30, 2018||CTL||CTL Chromebook NL7T-360||Blacktip360||coral||coral||x86_64||4.4||x86_64||ApolloLake||Convertible||R67|
|June 30, 2018||<white label>||blacktip||coral||coral||x86_64||4.4||x86_64||ApolloLake||Chromebook||R67||Yes|
|August 8, 2018||ASUS||ASUS Chromebook C223||babymega||coral||coral||x86_64||4.4||x86_64||ApolloLake||Chromebook||R67||yes|
|August 31, 2018||Lenovo||Lenovo Chromebook C330||maple||hana||oak||arm||3.18||aarch64||MT8173||Convertible||R67|
|September 14, 2018||ASUS||ASUS Chromebook C423||rabbid||coral||coral||x86_64||4.4||x86_64||ApolloLake||Chromebook||R68||yes|
|September 17, 2018||Lenovo||Lenovo Chromebook S330||maple14||hana||oak||arm||3.18||aarch64||MT8173||Chromebook||M67|
|October 8, 2018||ASUS||ASUS Chromebook C523||babytiger||coral||coral||x86_64||4.4||x86_64||ApolloLake||Chromebook||R69||yes|
|October 15, 2018||Acer||Epaulette||coral||coral||x86_64||4.4||x86_64||ApolloLake||Chromebook||R69||Yes|
|October 26, 2018||Dell||Dell Inspiron 14 2-in-1 Model 7486||vayne||vayne||nami||x86_64||4.4||x86_64||Kabylake-U/R||Chromebook||R69||Yes|
|October 26, 2018||Lenovo||Yoga Chromebook C630||pantheon||pantheon||nami||x86_64||4.4||x86_64||Kabylake-U/R||Convertible||R69||Yes|
|October 26, 2018||Acer||Acer Chromebook 13 / Spin 13||Akali / Akali360||nami||nami||x86_64||4.4||x86_64||Kabylake-U/R||Convertible||R69|
|November 2, 2018||Samsung||Samsung Chromebook Plus LTE||Nautilus LTE||nautilus||poppy||x86_64||4.4||x86_64||Kabylake-Y||Convertible||R69||yes|
|November 26, 2018||Google Pixel Slate||Nocturne||nocturne||poppy||x86_64||4.4||x86_64||Kabylake-Y||Chromeblet||R71||Left Port||Left Port|
|January 6, 2019||HP||HP Chromebook 14 (db0000-db0999)||careena||grunt||grunt||x86_64||4.14||x86_64||Stoney Ridge||Chromebook||R70||Right Port|
|January 7, 2019||Acer||Acer Chromebook 315||Aleena||grunt||grunt||x86_64||4.14||x86_64||Stoney Ridge||Chromebook||R71||Left Port|
|January 16, 2019||PCmerge||PCmerge Chromebook AL116||Whitetip||coral||coral||x86_64||4.4||x86_64||ApolloLake||Chromebook||R71||yes|
|January 18, 2019||ASUS||ASUS Chromebook C403||babymako||coral||coral||x86_64||4.4||x86_64||ApolloLake||Chromebook||R71||yes|
|January 21, 2019||HP||HP Chromebook 11A G6 EE||Barla||grunt||grunt||x86_64||4.14||x86_64||Stoney Ridge||Chromebook||R71||Right Port|
|February 27, 2019||Lenovo||Lenovo 300e Chromebook 2nd Gen (MTK)||Sycamore360||hana||oak||arm||3.18||aarch64||MT8173||Chromebook||R72|
|February 27, 2019||Acer||Acer Chromebook 311||bobba||bobba||octopus||x86_64||4.14||x86_64||Gemini Lake||Chromebook||R72||Yes|
|February 27, 2019||Acer||Acer Chromebook Spin 511||bobba360||bobba360||octopus||x86_64||4.14||x86_64||Gemini Lake||Chromebook||R72||Yes|
|February 27, 2019||Lenovo||Lenovo 100e Chromebook 2nd Gen (MTK)||Sycamore||hana||oak||arm||3.18||aarch64||MT8173||Chromebook||R72|
|March 1, 2019||Lenovo||Lenovo 300e Chromebook 2nd Gen (Intel)||Phaser360||Octopus||octopus||x86_64||4.14||x86_64||Gemini Lake||Convertible||R72||Yes|
|March 1, 2019||Lenovo||Lenovo 100e Chromebook 2nd Gen (Intel)||Phaser||Octopus||octopus||x86_64||4.14||x86_64||Gemini Lake||Chromebook||R72||Yes|
|March 1, 2019||Lenovo||Lenovo 500e Chromebook 2nd Gen||Phaser360S||Octopus||x86_64||4.14||x86_64||Gemini Lake||Convertible||R72||Yes|
|March 6, 2019||Acer||Acer Chromebook Spin 512(R851TN)||sparky360||octopus||octopus||x86_64||4.14||x86_64||Gemini Lake||Convertible||R72||yes|
|March 6, 2019||Lenovo||Lenovo 14e Chromebook||liara||liara||grunt||x86_64||4.14||x86_64||Stoney Ridge||Chromebook||R71||Left Port|
|March 8, 2019||Acer||Acer Chromebook 512(C851/C851T)||sparky||octopus||octopus||x86_64||4.14||x86_64||Gemini Lake||Chromebook||R72||yes|
|March 15, 2019||ASUS||ASUS Chromebook Flip C434||Shyvana||rammus||rammus||x86_64||4.4||x86_64||Amberlake-Y||Convertible||R72||yes|
|March 22, 2019||Acer||The Acer Chromebook 311 (C721)||Kasumi||grunt||grunt||x86_64||4.14||x86_64||Stoney Ridge||Chromebook||R72||Left Port|
|March 22, 2019||Acer||Acer Chromebook Spin 311 (R721T)||Kasumi360||grunt||grunt||x86_64||4.14||x86_64||Stoney Ridge||Chromebook||R72||Left Port|
|March 30, 2019||ASUS||ASUS Chromebook Tablet CT100||Dumo||scarlet||scarlet||arm||4.4||aarch64||RK3399||Chromeblet||R73|
|April 1, 2019||CTL||CTL Chromebook Tab Tx1||Druwl||scarlet||scarlet||arm||4.4||aarch64||RK3399||Chromeblet||R72|
|April 5, 2019||ASUS||ASUS Chromebook Flip C204||Apel||octopus||octopus||x86_64||4.14||x86_64||Gemini Lake||Chromebook||R73||yes|
|April 5, 2019||ASUS||ASUS-Chromebook-Flip-C214||Ampton||octopus||octopus||x86_64||4.14||x86_64||Gemini Lake||Convertible||R73||yes|
|April 22, 2019||HP||HP Chromebook x360 11 G2 EE||Meep||octopus||octopus||x86_64||4.14||x86_64||Gemini Lake||Chromebook||R73||Yes|
|April 22, 2019||HP||HP Chromebook 11 G7 EE||Mimrock||octopus||octopus||x86_64||4.14||x86_64||Gemini Lake||Chromebook||R73||Yes|
|June 17, 2019||Lenovo||Lenovo Chromebook C340-11||Laser||octopus||octopus||x86_64||4.14||x86_64||Gemini Lake||Convertible||R74||yes|
|June 17, 2019||Lenovo||Lenovo Chromebook S340-14||Laser14||octopus||octopus||x86_64||4.14||x86_64||Gemini Lake||Chromebook||R74||yes|
|July 31, 2019||Lenovo||Lenovo Chromebook C340-15||pyke||nami||nami||x86_64||4.4||x86_64||Kabylake-U/R||Convertible||M75||Yes|
|August 20, 2019||ASUS||ASUS Chromebook C425||leona||leona||rammus||x86_64||4.4||x86_64||Amberlake-Y||Chromebook||M75||Yes|
|August 26, 2019||Dell||Dell Latitude 5400 Chromebook Enterprise||sarien||sarien||sarien||x86_64||4.19||x86_64||Whiskey Lake||Chromebook||R75||No|
|August 26, 2019||Dell||Latitude 5300 2-in-1 Chromebook Enterprise||arcada||sarien||sarien||x86_64||4.19||x86_64||Whiskey Lake||Chromebook||R75||No|
|September 2, 2019||ASUS||ASUS Chromebook Flip C433TA||shyvana-m||shyvana||rammus||x86_64||4.4||x86_64||Amberlake-Y||Convertible||M75||Yes|
|September 4, 2019||Acer||Acer Chromebook 315 (CB315-3H/3HT)||Blorb||octopus||octopus||x86_64||4.14||x86_64||Gemini Lake||Chromebook||R76||Yes|
|September 4, 2019||Acer||Acer Chromebook 314 (CB314-1H/1HT)||Droid||octopus||octopus||x86_64||4.14||x86_64||Gemini Lake||Chromebook||R76||Yes|
|September 4, 2019||Acer||Acer Chromebook Spin 311 (CP311-2H)||gik360||octopus||octopus||x86_64||4.14||x86_64||Gemini Lake||Convertible||R76||Yes|
|September 4, 2019||Acer||Acer Chromebook 311 (CB311-9HT/9H) )||gik||octopus||octopus||x86_64||4.14||x86_64||Gemini Lake||Chromebook||R76||Yes|
|October 7, 2019||Samsung||Samsung Chromebook 4||Bluebird||octopus||octopus||x86_64||4.14||x86_64||Gemini Lake||Chromebox||R76||yes|
|October 7, 2019||Samsung||Samsung Chromebook+||Casta||octopus||octopus||x86_64||4.14||x86_64||Gemini Lake||Chromebook||M75||yes|
|October 15, 2019||Pixelbook Go||atlas||atlas||poppy||x86_64||4.4||x86_64||Amberlake-Y||Chromebook||October 2019||June 2026||Yes||Yes|
|December 27, 2019||ASUS||ASUS Chromebook C202XA||telesu||hana||hana||arm||3.18||aarch64||MT8173||Chromebook||M78|
|January 6, 2020||Samsung||Samsung Galaxy Chromebook||kohaku||hatch||hatch||x86_64||4.19||x86_64||Cometlake-U||Convertible||M79||Yes|
|January 7, 2020||Lenovo||Lenovo Chromebook Duet/Lenovo IdeaPad Duet Chromebook||krane||kukui||kukui||arm||4.19||aarch64||MT8183||Chromeblet||R79||Yes|
|January 13, 2020||ASUS||ASUS Chromebook Flip C436FA||helios||hatch||hatch||x86_64||4.19||x86_64||Cometlake-U||Convertible||M79||Yes|
|January 14, 2020||Lenovo||Lenovo 10e Chromebook Tablet||kodama||kukui||kukui||arm||4.19||aarch64||MT8183||Chromeblet||M80||Yes|
|January 20, 2020||HP||HP Chromebook x360 11 G3 EE||Vortininja||octopus||octopus||x86_64||4.14||x86_64||Gemini Lake||Chromebook||R78|
|January 20, 2020||HP||HP Chromebook 14 G6||Dorp||octopus||octopus||x86_64||4.14||x86_64||Gemini Lake||Chromebook||R78|
|January 20, 2020||HP||HP Chromebook 11 G8 EE||Vorticon||octopus||octopus||x86_64||4.14||x86_64||Gemini Lake||Chromebook||R78|
|February 28, 2020||HP||HP Chromebook 14a||blooglet||octopus||octopus||x86_64||4.14||x86_64||Gemini Lake||Chromebook||R79|
|February 28, 2020||Lenovo||Lenovo 100e 2nd Gen AMD||Treeya||Grunt||x86_64||4.14||x86_64||Stoney Ridge||Chromebook||R80|
|February 28, 2020||Lenovo||Lenovo 300e 2nd Gen AMD||Treeya360||Grunt||x86_64||4.14||x86_64||Stoney Ridge||Convertible||R80|
|May 1, 2020||Acer||Acer Chromebook 314 (C933L/LT)||droid||octopus||octopus||x86_64||4.14||x86_64||Gemini Lake||Chromebook||R80||Yes|
|June 23, 2020||Acer||Acer Chromebook Spin 311 (CP311-3H)||juniper||jacuzzi||jacuzzi||arm||4.19||aarch64||MT8183||Chromebook||M81||Yes|
|July 31, 2020||Lenovo||Ideapad 3 Chromebook||Lick||Octopus||x86_64||4.14||x86_64||Gemini Lake||Chromebook||R80|
|August 11, 2020||Dell||Dell Latitude 7410 Chromebook Enterprise||Drallion||Drallion||Drallion||x86_64||4.19||x86_64||Cometlake-U||Chromebook||R83||Yes|
|October 12, 2020||Lenovo||Lenovo ThinkPad C13 Yoga Chromebook||morphius||zork||zork||x86_64||5.4||x86_64||Picasso/Dali||Convertible||M86||Yes|
|October 23, 2020||HP||HP Chromebox G3||Noibat||Puff||Puff||x86_64||4.19||x86_64||Cometlake-U||Chromebox||R85||Yes|
|October 29, 2020||ASUS||ASUS Chromebox 4||Duffy||Puff||Puff||x86_64||4.19||x86_64||Cometlake-U||Chromebox||R85||Yes|
|October 29, 2020||Acer||Acer Chromebox CXI4||Kaisa||Puff||Puff||x86_64||4.19||x86_64||Cometlake-U||Chromebox||R85||Yes|
|November 13, 2020||ASUS||ASUS Fanless Chromebox||Faffy||Puff||Puff||x86_64||4.19||x86_64||Cometlake-U||Chromebox||R85||Yes|
|December 29, 2020||HP||HP Pro c645 Chromebook Enterprise||berknip||zork||zork||x86_64||5.4||x86_64||Picasso/Dali||Chromebook||M86||June 2029||Yes|
|January 7, 2021||Samsung||Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2||nightfury||hatch||hatch||x86_64||4.19||x86_64||Cometlake-U||Convertible||Yes|
|January 13, 2021||Acer||Acer Chromebook Spin 514||Ezkinil||Zork||Zork||x86_64||4.19||x86_64||Picasso/Dali||Convertible||R86||Yes|
|January 22, 2021||Acer||Acer Chromebook Spin 513||Lazor||Trogdor||Trogdor||arm||5.4||aarch64||QC-7C||Convertible||R87||Yes|
|January 29, 2021||HP||HP Chromebook 11MK G9 EE||esche||jacuzzi||jacuzzi||arm||4.19||aarch64||MT8183||Chromebook||R87||Yes|
|January 29, 2021||HP||HP Chromebook x360 11MK G3 EE||burnet||jacuzzi||jacuzzi||arm||4.19||aarch64||MT8183||Convertible||R87||Yes|
|March 5, 2021||HP||HP Chromebook 14 G7||Drawman||Dedede||Dedede||x86_64||5.4||x86_64||Jasper Lake||Chromebook||R87||June 2029||Yes|
|March 12, 2021||HP||HP Chromebook 11 G9 EE||Drawlat||Dedede||Dedede||x86_64||5.4||x86_64||Jasper Lake||Chromebook||R87||June 2029||Yes|
|March 19, 2021||HP||HP Chromebook x360 11 G4 EE||Drawcia||Dedede||Dedede||x86_64||5.4||x86_64||Jasper Lake||Chromebook||R88||June 2029||Yes|
|March 26, 2021||HP||HP Chromebook 14a-nd0097nr||dirinboz||zork||dalboz||x86_64||5.4||x86_64||Pollock||Chromebook||R88||June 2029||Yes|
|April 16, 2021||Asus||ASUS Chromebook Flip CM5||woomax||zork||zork||x86_64||5.4||x86_64||Picasso/Dali||Chromebook||R88||June 2029||Yes|
|May 25, 2021||Lenovo||Lenovo 500e Chromebook Gen 3||Boten||boten||dedede||x86_64||5.4||x86_64||Jasper Lake||Convertible||R90||June 2029||Yes|
|May 27, 2021||Acer||Acer Chromebook Spin 713 (CP713-3W)||Voxel||Volteer||Volteer||x86_64||5.4||x86_64||TigerLake-UP3||Convertible||R89||Jun 2029||Yes|
|May 27, 2021||Acer||The Acer Chromebook 514 (CB514-1H)||Volta||Volteer||Volteer||x86_64||5.4||x86_64||TigerLake-UP3||Chromebook||R91||June 2029||Yes|
|May 30, 2021||Lenovo||botenflex||boten||dedede||x86_64||5.4||x86_64||Jasper Lake||Chromebook||R90||June 2029||Yes|
|May 31, 2021||Asus||ASUS Chromebook Flip CX5 (CX5500)||delbin||Volteer||Volteer||x86_64||5.4||x86_64||TigerLake-UP3||Convertible||R89||June 2029||Yes|
|June 4, 2021||HP||HP Pro c640 G2 Chromebook||Elemi||Volteer||Volteer||x86_64||5.4||x86_64||TigerLake-UP3||Chromebook||R90||June 2029||Yes|
|June 16, 2021||HP||HP Chromebook 14a||Lantis||Dedede||Dedede||x86_64||5.4||x86_64||Jasper Lake||Chromebook||R90||June 2029||Yes|
|June 26, 2021||Asus||copano||copano||terrador||x86_64||5.4||x86_64||TigerLake-UP4||Chromebook||R90||June 2029||Yes|
|June 30, 2021||Acer||Acer Chromebook 511||Limozeen||Trogdor||Trogdor||arm||5.4||aarch64||QC-7C||Chromebook||R90||June 2029||Yes|
|July 7, 2021||HP||HP Chromebook x360 14a||Gumboz||zork||dalboz||x86_64||5.4||x86_64||Pollock||Chromebook||R89||July 2029||Yes|
|July 20, 2021||Asus||ASUS Chromebook CX9 (CX9400)||drobit||drobit||Volteer||x86_64||5.4||x86_64||TigerLake-UP3||Chromebook||R90||June 2029||Yes|
|August 2, 2021||Asus||Asus Chromebook CX1500||Galith||Dedede||Dedede||x86_64||5.4||x86_64||Jasper Lake||Chromebook||R90||June 2029||Yes|
|August 5, 2021||Samsung||Galaxy Chromebook Go||sasuke||sasuke||dedede||x86_64||5.4||x86_64||Jasper Lake||Chromebook||R90||June 2029||Yes|
|August 20, 2021||ASUS||ASUS Chromebook CX1101||Apele||octopus||octopus||x86_64||4.14||x86_64||Gemini Lake||Chromebook||R91||June 2026||Yes|
|August 21, 2021||ASUS||ASUS Chromebook C424||Nospike||Octopus||Octopus||x86_64||4.14||x86_64||Gemini Lake||Chromebook||M75||June 2026|
|August 23, 2021||ASUS||ASUS Chromebook Flip CM1||Jelboz360||zork||dalboz||x86_64||5.4||x86_64||Pollock||Chromebook||R92||June 2029||Yes|
|August 24, 2021||Asus||ASUS Chromebook CX1700||Gallop||Dedede||Dedede||x86_64||5.4||x86_64||Jasper Lake||Chromebook||R91||June 2029||Yes|
|September 23, 2021||Lenovo||Lenovo Chromebook Duet 5 /IdeaPad Duet 5 Chromebook||Homestar||Strongbad||Strongbad||arm||5.4||aarch64||QC-7C||Chromeblet||R92||June 2029||Yes|
|September 27, 2021||Asus||ASUS Chromebook Flip CR1100||Storo360||Dedede||Dedede||x86_64||5.4||x86_64||Jasper Lake||Convertible||R92||June 2029||Yes|
|September 27, 2021||Asus||ASUS Chromebook CR1100||Storo||Dedede||Dedede||x86_64||5.4||x86_64||Jasper Lake||Chromebook||R92||June 2029||Yes|
|October 14, 2021||Acer||Acer Chromebook 514||Spherion||asurada||asurada||arm||5.4||aarch64||MT8183||Chromebook||M93||June 2029|
Deliver rich, engaging experiences to more people by adapting your Android and web apps for Chromebooks. With a few changes to your existing app, you can reach new audiences on different formats and devices — anytime, anywhere.
Start building with information and tools for Chrome OS
Discover resources to start building your Android apps, web apps, and games for Chrome OS.
Learn about publishing your apps on the Google Play Store and engage millions of users on Chromebooks.
Use Chrome OS to develop apps in a fast, secure, and hassle-free environment.
Bring ideas to life with Linux on Chrome OS
Linux on Chrome OS gives you the power to use a single machine to build and run Android, Web, and Linux apps using your favorite editors, IDES, and world-class devs tools. Just set up Linux on Chrome OS to start building.Start with Linux
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Find everything you need to know about designing your app for and on Chrome OS with app guidelines including information on user experience, visual design, UI components, navigation, fonts, and more.See design resources
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When Gameloft optimized for Chromebooks, their game Asphalt 8 saw a 6× increase in daily app users and a nearly 9× boost in their Chrome OS app revenue.Read more
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How to enable Developer mode on a Chromebook in just a few minutes
Eric Zeman / Android Authority
Chrome OS devices are getting more powerful and capable, allowing for a pretty good, albeit simple, PC experience. If you want to go beyond the basic capabilities of your Chromebook, though, you’ll have to enable Chrome OS Developer Mode. This post will explain exactly how to do it and what to look out for when you’re at it.
Here:What is a Chromebook and what can it do?
Warning: Remember that enabling Chrome OS Developer Mode opens up your computer to abilities that aren’t officially supported. Make sure to do your research, and keep in mind that unsupported and experimental features can cause problems. The responsibility falls only upon you if something happens to your software or hardware.
What is Chrome OS Developer Mode, anyway?
Eric Zeman / Android Authority
Chrome OS Developer Mode is similar to gaining root access on your Android device. It gives you more control over your Chromebook and is a great option for those who love tweaking their devices.
Developer Mode isn’t for everyone and has several drawbacks, which we’ll get to later on. But if you want to gain root access to the Chrome OS’s file system to do things like sideload Android apps or install an additional OS, among many other things, enabling Developer Mode is the way to go.
How to enable Chromebook Developer Mode
Eric Zeman / Android Authority
First, make sure you back up and save any important files you have stored on your device. Enabling Developer Mode wipes your login info and any locally stored data, which cannot be restored.
How to enable Developer Mode:
- Turn on your Chromebook.
- Press and hold the Esc key, refresh key, and the power button at the same time.
- When the “Chrome OS is missing or damaged. Please insert a recovery USB stick or SD Card.” message shows up, press and hold the Ctrl and D keys simultaneously.
- Some Chromebooks may require you to turn OS verification off. Press Enter (if required).
- Wait for the device to restart and go through the Chromebook setup process.
- You will get an odd screen saying that OS verification is off. Keep in mind this screen will happen every single time you boot up.
- Press Ctrl and D to restart successfully.
Also:The best Chromebooks you can buy
How to disable Chrome OS Developer mode
Eric Zeman / Android Authority
As easy as it is to enable Chromebook Developer Mode, it is even simpler to disable it. But remember to backup your data once again, as disabling Developer Mode also erases everything from your Chrome OS device.
How to disable Developer Mode:
- Turn on your Chromebook or reboot it if it’s already on.
- When the screen that says “OS verification is off” shows up, press the spacebar.
- This will technically perform a factory data reset and wipe the laptop clean.
- Go through the Chromebook setup process again.
That’s all there is to it!
Also read:How to reset a Chromebook
Drawbacks of enabling Developer mode
David Imel / Android Authority
There are a lot of advantages to enabling Developer Mode on your Chromebook. It gives you access to the developer shell, allows you to install a standard Linux desktop environment, and is something you will need to enable if you are a Chrome OS developer.
Developer Mode is certainly not for the average user, and some technical know-how is needed to take full advantage of this mode. It also has a few disadvantages that you need to be wary of — check them out below.
- Google doesn’t support Developer mode, so you may be at risk of voiding your device’s warranty.
- All the security features are disabled when Developer Mode is turned on.
- You lose your data when enabling or disabling Developer Mode. As you can see from the steps required to disable it, an accidental press of the spacebar at the wrong time is all you need to lose all your data once again. Making continuous backups if you’re working on something important is recommended.
- Chromebooks boot up extremely fast, which is a feature you will lose when Developer mode is enabled. You’ll have to see that warning screen every single time you switch on the device.
Read next:The best Chromebook deals you can get right now
You’ll likely have plenty of other questions. Don’t worry; we’re here to help. Here are some resources to make life with your new Chromebook easier.
Android DevelopmentHow ToChromebooks, Google Chrome OS
Dev chrome os
Linux-based operating system developed by Google
This article is about the operating system. For the web browser, see Google Chrome.
The Chrome OS logo as of July 2020
Chrome OS 87 Desktop
|OS family||Linux (Unix-like)|
|Working state||Preinstalled on Chromebooks, Chromeboxes, Chromebits, Chromebases, Chromeblets|
|Source model||Closed-source with open-source components|
|Initial release||June 15, 2011; 10 years ago (2011-06-15)|
|Latest release||94.0.4606.97 (October 14, 2021; 3 days ago (2021-10-14)) [±]|
94.0.4606.97 (October 13, 2021; 4 days ago (2021-10-13)) [±]
|Update method||Rolling release|
|Platforms||ARM32, ARM64, x86, x86-64|
|Kernel type||Monolithic (Linux kernel)|
|Userland||Aura Shell (Ash), Ozone (display manager); X11 apps can be enabled in recent Chrome OS|
Chrome OS (sometimes styled as chromeOS) is a Gentoo Linux-based operating system designed by Google. It is derived from the free softwareChromium OS and uses the Google Chrome web browser as its principal user interface. Unlike Chromium OS, Chrome OS is proprietary software.
Google announced the project, based on Ubuntu, in July 2009, conceiving it as an operating system in which both applications and user data reside in the cloud: hence Chrome OS primarily runs web applications. Source code and a public demo came that November. The first Chrome OS laptop, known as a Chromebook, arrived in May 2011. Initial Chromebook shipments from Samsung and Acer occurred in July 2011.
Chrome OS has an integrated media player and file manager. It supports Progressive Web Apps and Chrome Apps, these resemble native applications, as well as remote access to the desktop. As more Chrome OS machines have entered the market, the operating system is now seldom evaluated apart from the hardware that runs it.
Android applications started to become available for the operating system in 2014, and in 2016, access to Android apps in Google Play's entirety was introduced on supported Chrome OS devices. Support for a Linux terminal and applications, known as Project Crostini, was released to the stable channel in 2018 with Chrome OS 69. This was made possible via a lightweight Linux kernel that runs containers inside a virtual machine.
Chrome OS is only available pre-installed on hardware from Google manufacturing partners, but there are unofficial methods that allow it to be installed in other equipment. Its open-source upstream, Chromium OS, can be compiled from downloaded source code. Early on, Google provided design goals for Chrome OS, but has not otherwise released a technical description.
Google announced Chrome OS on July 7, 2009, describing it as an operating system in which both applications and user data reside in the cloud. To ascertain marketing requirements, the company relied on informal metrics, including monitoring the usage patterns of some 200 Chrome OS machines used by Google employees. Developers also noted their own usage patterns. Matthew Papakipos, the former engineering director for the Chrome OS project, put three machines in his house and found himself logging in for brief sessions: to make a single search query or send a short email.
The initial builds of Chrome OS were based on Ubuntu, and its developer, Canonical, was an engineer partner with Google on the project. In 2010, Chrome OS moved to Gentoo Linux as its base to simplify its build process and support a variety number of platforms. Sometime in 2013, Google switched Chrome OS to its own flavour of Linux.
Chrome OS was initially intended for secondary devices like netbooks, not as a user's primary PC. While Chrome OS supports hard disk drives, Google has requested that its hardware partners use solid-state drives "for performance and reliability reasons" as well as the lower capacity requirements inherent in an operating system that accesses applications and most user data on remote servers. In November 2009 Matthew Papakipos, engineering director for the Chrome OS, claimed that the Chrome OS consumes one-sixtieth as much drive space as Windows 7. The recovery images Google provides for Chrome OS range between 1 and 3 GB.
On November 19, 2009, Google released Chrome OS's source code as the Chromium OS project. At a November 19, 2009, news conference, Sundar Pichai, at the time Google's vice president overseeing Chrome, demonstrated an early version of the operating system. He previewed a desktop which looked very similar to the Chrome browser, and in addition to the regular browser tabs, also had application tabs, which take less space and can be pinned for easier access. At the conference, the operating system booted up in seven seconds, a time Google said it would work to reduce. Additionally, Chris Kenyon, vice president of OEM services at Canonical Ltd, announced that Canonical was under contract to contribute engineering resources to the project with the intent to build on existing open-source components and tools where feasible.
In 2010, Google released the unbranded Cr-48 Chromebook in a pilot program. The launch date for retail hardware featuring Chrome OS was delayed from late 2010 until the next year. On May 11, 2011, Google announced two Chromebooks from Acer and Samsung at Google I/O. The Samsung model was released on June 15, 2011, but the Acer was delayed until mid-July. In August 2011, Netflix announced official support for Chrome OS through its streaming service, allowing Chromebooks to watch streaming movies and TV shows via Netflix. At the time, other devices had to use Microsoft Silverlight to play videos from Netflix. Later in that same month, Citrix released a client application for Chrome OS, allowing Chromebooks to access Windows applications and desktops remotely. Dublin City University became the first educational institution in Europe to provide Chromebooks for its students when it announced an agreement with Google in September 2011.
By 2012, demand for Chromebooks had begun to grow, and Google announced a new range of devices, designed and manufactured by Samsung. In so doing, they also released the first Chromebox, the Samsung Series 3, which was Chrome OS's entrance into the world of desktop computers. Although they were faster than the previous range of devices, they were still underpowered compared to other desktops and laptops of the time, fitting in more closely with the Netbook market. Only months later, in October, Samsung and Google released a new Chromebook at a significantly lower price point ($250, compared to the previous Series 5 Chromebooks' $450). It was the first Chromebook to use an ARM processor, one from Samsung's Exynos line. In order to reduce the price, Google and Samsung also reduced the memory and screen resolution of the device. An advantage of using the ARM processor, however, was that the Chromebook didn't require a fan. Acer followed quickly after with the C7 Chromebook, priced even lower ($199), but containing an Intel Celeron processor. One notable way Acer reduced the cost of the C7 was to use a laptop hard disk rather than a solid-state drive.
In April 2012, Google made the first update to Chrome OS's user interface since the operating system had launched, introducing a hardware-accelerated window manager called "Aura" along with a conventional taskbar. The additions marked a departure from the operating system's original concept of a single browser with tabs and gave Chrome OS the look and feel of a more conventional desktop operating system. "In a way, this almost feels as if Google is admitting defeat here", wrote Frederic Lardinois on TechCrunch. He argued that Google had traded its original version of simplicity for greater functionality. "That's not necessarily a bad thing, though, and may just help Chrome OS gain more mainstream acceptance as new users will surely find it to be a more familiar experience."Lenovo and HP followed Samsung and Acer in manufacturing Chromebooks in early 2013 with their own models. Lenovo specifically targeted their Chromebook at students, headlining their press release with "Lenovo Introduces Rugged ThinkPad Chromebook for Schools".
When Google released Google Drive, they also included Drive integration in Chrome OS version 20, released in July 2012. While Chrome OS had supported Flash since 2010, by the end of 2012 it had been fully sandboxed, preventing issues with Flash from affecting other parts of Chrome OS. This affected all versions of Chrome including Chrome OS.
Main article: Chromebook Pixel
Up to this point, Google had never made their own Chrome OS device. Instead, Chrome OS devices were much more similar to their Nexus line of Android phones, with each Chrome OS device being designed, manufactured, and marketed by third-party manufacturers, but with Google controlling the software. However, in February 2013 this changed when Google released the Chromebook Pixel. The Chromebook Pixel was a departure from previous devices. Not only was it entirely Google-branded, but it contained an Intel i5 processor, a high-resolution (2,560x1,700) touchscreen display, and came at a price more competitive with business laptops.
By the end of 2013, analysts were undecided on the future of Chrome OS. Although there had been articles predicting the demise of Chrome OS since 2009, Chrome OS device sales continued to increase substantially year-over-year. In mid-2014, Time magazine published an article titled "Depending on Who's Counting, Chromebooks are Either an Enormous Hit or Totally Irrelevant", which detailed the differences in opinion. This controversy was further spurred by the fact that Intel seemed to decide Chrome OS was a beneficial market for it, holding their own Chrome OS events where they announced new Intel-based Chromebooks, Chromeboxes, and an all-in-one from LG called the Chromebase.
Seizing the opportunity created by the end of life for Windows XP, Google pushed hard to sell Chromebooks to businesses, offering significant discounts in early 2014.
Chrome OS devices outsold Apple Macs worldwide for the year 2020.
In March 2014, Google hosted a hacking contest aimed at computer security experts called "Pwnium". Similar to the Pwn2Own contest, they invited hackers from around the world to find exploits in Chrome OS, with prizes available for attacks. Two exploits were demonstrated there, and a third was demonstrated at that year's Pwn2Own competition. Google patched the issues within a week.
Material Design and app runtime for Chrome
Although the Google Native Client has been available on Chrome OS since 2010, there originally were few Native Client apps available, and most Chrome OS apps were still web apps. However, in June 2014, Google announced at Google I/O that Chrome OS would both synchronise with Android phones to share notifications and begin to run Android apps, installed directly from Google Play. This, along with the broadening selection of Chromebooks, provided an interesting future for Chrome OS.
At the same time, Google was also moving towards the then-new Material Designdesign language for its products, which it would bring to its web products as well as Android Lollipop. One of the first Material Design items to come to Chrome OS was a new default wallpaper, though Google did release some screenshots of a Material Design experiment for Chrome OS that never made it into the stable version.
Functionality for small and medium businesses and Enterprise
Chrome Enterprise, launched in 2017, includes Chrome OS, Chrome Browser, Chrome devices and their management capabilities intended for business use. Businesses can access the standard Chrome OS features and unlock advanced features for business with the Chrome Enterprise Upgrade. Standard features include the ability to sync bookmarks and browser extensions across devices, cloud or native printing, multi-layered security, remote desktop, and automatic updates. Advanced features include Active Directory integration, unified endpoint management, advanced security protection, access to device policies and Google Admin console, guest access, kiosk mode, and whitelisting or blacklisting third-party apps managed on Google Play.
The education sector was an early adopter of Chromebooks, Chrome OS, and cloud-based computing. Chromebooks are widely used in classrooms and the advantages of cloud-based systems have been gaining an increased share of the market in other sectors as well, including financial services, healthcare and retail. "The popularity of cloud computing and cloud-based services highlights the degree to which companies and business processes have become both internet-enabled and dependent." IT managers cite a number of advantages of the cloud that have motivated the move. Among them are advanced security, because data is not physically on a single machine that can be lost or stolen. Deploying and managing cloud-native devices is easier because no hardware and software upgrades or virus definition updates are needed and patching of OS and software updates is simpler. Simplified and centralized management decreases operational costs.
Employees can securely access files and work on any machine, increasing the shareability of Chrome devices. Google's Grab and Go program with Chrome Enterprise allows businesses deploying Chromebooks to provide employees access to a bank of fully charged computers that can be checked out and returned after a period of time.
From Chromebooks to Chromebox and Chromebase
In an early attempt to expand its enterprise offerings, Google released Chromebox for Meetings in February 2014. Chromebox for Meetings is a kit for conference rooms containing a Chromebox, a camera, a unit containing both a noise-cancelling microphone and speakers, and a remote control. It supports Google Hangouts meetings, Vidyo video conferences, and conference calls from UberConference.
Several partners announced Chromebox for Meetings models with Google, and in 2016 Google announced an all-in-one Chromebase for Meetings for smaller meeting rooms. Google targeted the consumer hardware market with the release of the Chromebook in 2011 and Chromebook Pixel in 2013, and sought access to the enterprise market with the 2017 release of the Pixelbook. The second-generation Pixelbook was released in 2019. In 2021 there are several vendors selling all-in-one Chromebase devices.
Enterprise response to Chrome devices
Google has partnered on Chrome devices with several leading OEMs, including Acer, ASUS, Dell, HP, Lenovo, and Samsung.
In August 2019, Dell announced that two of its popular business-focused laptops would run Chrome OS and come with Chrome Enterprise Upgrade. The Latitude 5300 2-in-1 Chromebook Enterprise and Latitude 5400 Chromebook Enterprise were the result of a two-year partnership between Dell and Google. The machines come with a bundle of Dell's cloud-based support services that would enable enterprise IT managers to deploy them in environments that also rely on Windows. The new laptop line "delivers the search giant's Chrome OS operating system in a form tailored for security-conscious organizations." Other OEMs that have launched devices with Chrome Enterprise Upgrade include Acer and HP.
With a broader range of hardware available, Chrome OS became an option for enterprises wishing to avoid a migration to Windows 10 before Windows 7 support was discontinued by Microsoft.
Main articles: Chromebook, Chromebox, and Chromebit
Laptops running Chrome OS are known collectively as "Chromebooks". The first was the CR-48, a reference hardware design that Google gave to testers and reviewers beginning in December 2010. Retail machines followed in May 2011. A year later, in May 2012, a desktop design marketed as a "Chromebox" was released by Samsung. In March 2015 a partnership with AOPEN was announced and the first commercial Chromebox was developed.
In early 2014, LG Electronics introduced the first device belonging to the new all-in-one form factor called "Chromebase". Chromebase devices are essentially Chromebox hardware inside a monitor with a built-in camera, microphone and speakers.
The Chromebit is an HDMI dongle running Chrome OS. When placed in an HDMI slot on a television set or computer monitor, the device turns that display into a personal computer. The first device, announced in March 2015 was an Asus unit that shipped that November and which reached end of life in November 2020.
Chromebook tablets were introduced in March 2018 by Acer with their Chromebook Tab 10. Designed to rival the Apple iPad, it had an identical screen size and resolution and other similar specifications, a notable addition was a Wacom-branded stylus that doesn’t require a battery or charging.
Chrome OS supports multi-monitor setups, on devices with a video-out port, USB 3.0 or USB-C, the latter being preferable.
The software and updates are limited in their support lifetime. Each device model manufactured to run Chrome OS has a different end-of-life date, with all new devices released in 2020 and beyond guaranteed to receive a minimum of eight years from their date of initial release.
As of Version 78, the device's end-of-life date for software updates is listed in "About Chrome OS"-"Additional Details".
In September 2014, Google launched App Runtime for Chrome (beta), which allowed certain ported Android applications to run on Chrome OS. Runtime was launched with four Android applications: Duolingo, Evernote, Sight Words, and Vine. In 2016, Google made Google Play available for Chrome OS, making most Android apps available for supported Chrome OS devices.
In 2018, Google announced plans for Chrome OS support for desktop Linux apps. This capability was released to the stable channel (as an option for most machines) with Chrome 69 in October 2018, but was still marked as beta. This feature was officially released with Chrome 91.
By default X11 is not used, while X11 apps can be runProject Crostini makes X11 work (through Wayland).
Main article: Google Chrome App
From 2013 until January 2020, Google encouraged developers to build not just conventional Web applications for Chrome OS, but Chrome Apps (formerly known as Packaged Apps). In January 2020, Google's Chrome team announced its intent to phase out support for Chrome Apps in favor of "progressive web applications" (PWA) and Chrome extensions instead. In March 2020, Google stopped accepting new public Chrome Apps for the web store. According to Google, general support for Chrome Apps on Chrome OS will remain enabled, without requiring any policy setting, through June 2022.
Integrated media player, file manager
Google integrates a media player into both Chrome OS and the Chrome browser, enabling users to play back MP3s, view JPEGs, and handle other multimedia files while offline. It also supports DRM videos.
Chrome OS also includes an integrated file manager, resembling those found on other operating systems, with the ability to display directories and the files they contain from both Google Drive and local storage, as well as to preview and manage file contents using a variety of Web applications, including Google Docs and Box. Since January 2015, Chrome OS can also integrate additional storage sources into the file manager, relying on installed extensions that use the File System Provider API.
Remote application access and virtual desktop access
In June 2010, Google software engineer Gary Kačmarčík wrote that Chrome OS would access remote applications through a technology unofficially called "Chromoting", which would resemble Microsoft's Remote Desktop Connection. The name has since been changed to "Chrome Remote Desktop", and is like "running an application via Remote Desktop Services or by first connecting to a host machine by using RDP or VNC". Initial roll-outs of Chrome OS laptops (Chromebooks) indicate an interest in enabling users to access virtual desktops.
At Google I/O 2014, a proof of concept showing Android applications, including Flipboard, running on Chrome OS was presented. In September 2014, Google introduced a beta version of the App Runtime for Chrome (ARC), which allows selected Android applications to be used on Chrome OS, using a Native Client-based environment that provides the platforms necessary to run Android software. Android applications do not require any modifications to run on Chrome OS, but may be modified to better support a mouse and keyboard environment. At its introduction, Chrome OS support was only available for selected Android applications.
In 2016, Google introduced the ability to run Android apps on supported Chrome OS devices, with access to Google Play in its entirety. The previous Native Client-based solution was dropped in favor of a container containing Android's frameworks and dependencies (initially based on Android Marshmallow), which allows Android apps to have direct access to the Chrome OS platform, and allow the OS to interact with Android contracts such as sharing. Engineering director Zelidrag Hornung explained that ARC had been scrapped due to its limitations, including its incompatibility with the Android Native Development Toolkit (NDK), and that it was unable to pass Google's own compatibility test suite.
All Chromebooks since 2018 and many earlier models can run full-fledged Linux apps; as with Android apps, they can be installed and launched alongside other apps. Google maintains a list of devices that were launched before 2019, which support Linux apps.
Since 2013, it has been possible to run Linux applications in Chrome OS through the use of Crouton, a third-party set of scripts that allows access to a Linux distribution such as Ubuntu. However, in 2018 Google announced that desktop Linux apps were officially coming to Chrome OS. The main benefit claimed by Google of their official Linux application support is that it can run without enabling developer mode, keeping many of the security features of Chrome OS. It was noticed in the Chromium OS source code in early 2018. Early parts of Crostini were made available for the Google Pixelbook via the dev channel in February 2018 as part of Chrome OS version 66, and it was enabled by default via the beta channel for testing on a variety of Chromebooks in August 2018 with version 69.
Google's project for supporting Linux applications in Chrome OS is called Crostini, named for the Italian bread-based starter, and as a pun on Crouton. Crostini runs a virtual machine through a virtual machine monitor called crosvm, which uses Linux's built-in KVM virtualization tool. Although crosvm supports multiple virtual machines, the one used for running Linux apps, Termina, contains a basic Chrome OS kernel and userland utilities, in which it runs containers based on Linux containers (specifically LXD).
In late 2020, Parallels launched Parallels Desktop for Chrome OS, which allows Windows 10 virtual machines to be run on Chromebook Enterprise devices.
Chrome OS is built on top of the Linux kernel. Originally based on Ubuntu, its base was changed to Gentoo Linux in February 2010. For Project Crostini, as of Chrome OS 80, Debian 10 (Buster) is used. In preliminary design documents for the Chromium OS open-source project, Google described a three-tier architecture: firmware, browser and window manager, and system-level software and userland services.
- The firmware contributes to fast boot time by not probing for hardware, such as floppy disk drives, that are no longer common on computers, especially netbooks. The firmware also contributes to security by verifying each step in the boot process and incorporating system recovery.
- System-level software includes the Linux kernel that has been patched to improve boot performance. Userland software has been trimmed to essentials, with management by Upstart, which can launch services in parallel, re-spawn crashed jobs, and defer services in the interest of faster booting.
- The window manager handles user interaction with multiple client windows (much like other X window managers).
In March 2010, Google software security engineer Will Drewry discussed Chrome OS security. Drewry described Chrome OS as a "hardened" operating system featuring auto-updating and sandbox features that would reduce malware exposure. He said that Chrome OS netbooks would be shipped with Trusted Platform Module (TPM), and include both a "trusted bootpath" and a physical switch under the battery compartment that activates a "developer mode". That mode drops some specialized security functions but increases developer flexibility. Drewry also emphasized that the open-source nature of the operating system would contribute greatly to its security by allowing constant developer feedback.
At a December 2010 press conference, Google declared that Chrome OS would be the most secure consumer operating system due in part to a verified boot ability, in which the initial boot code, stored in read-only memory, checks for system compromises. In the following nine years, Chrome OS has been affected by 55 documented security flaws of any severity, compared with over 1,100 affecting Microsoft Windows 10 in the five years to the end of 2019 and over 2,200 affecting Apple OS X in 20 years.
Chrome OS includes the Chrome Shell, or "crosh", which documents minimal functionality such as ping at crosh start-up.
In developer mode, a full-featured bash shell (which is supposed to be used for development purposes) can be opened via VT-2, and is also accessible using the crosh command . To access full privileges in shell (e.g. sudo) a root password is requested. For some time the default was "chronos" in Chrome OS and "facepunch" in Chrome OS Vanilla and later the default was empty, and instructions on updating it were displayed at each login.
Chrome OS is partially developed under the open-sourceChromium OS project. As with other open-source projects, developers can modify the code from Chromium OS and build their own versions, whereas Chrome OS code is only supported by Google and its partners and only runs on hardware designed for the purpose. Unlike Chromium OS, Chrome OS is automatically updated to the latest version.
Chrome OS on Windows
On Windows 8, exceptions allow the default desktop web browser to offer a variant that can run inside its full-screen "Metro" shell and access features such as the Share charm, without necessarily needing to be written with Windows Runtime. Chrome's "Windows 8 mode" was previously a tablet-optimized version of the standard Chrome interface. In October 2013, the mode was changed on Developer channel to offer a variant of the Chrome OS desktop.
Early in the project, Google provided publicly many details of Chrome OS's design goals and direction, although the company has not followed up with a technical description of the completed operating system.
Design goals for Chrome OS's user interface included using minimal screen space by combining applications and standard Web pages into a single tab strip, rather than separating the two. Designers considered a reduced window management scheme that would operate only in full-screen mode. Secondary tasks would be handled with "panels": floating windows that dock to the bottom of the screen for tasks like chat and music players. Split screens were also under consideration for viewing two pieces of content side by side. Chrome OS would follow the Chrome browser's practice of leveraging HTML5's offline modes, background processing, and notifications. Designers proposed using search and pinned tabs as a way to quickly locate and access applications.
Version 19 window manager and graphics engine
On April 10, 2012, a new build of Chrome OS offered a choice between the original full-screen window interface and overlapping, re-sizable windows, such as found on Microsoft Windows and Apple's macOS. The feature was implemented through the Ash window manager, which runs atop the Aura hardware-accelerated graphics engine. The April 2012 upgrade also included the ability to display smaller, overlapping browser windows, each with its own translucent tabs, browser tabs that can be "torn" and dragged to new positions or merged with another tab strip, and a mouse-enabled shortcut list across the bottom of the screen. One icon on the task bar shows a list of installed applications and bookmarks. Writing in CNET, Stephen Shankland argued that with overlapping windows, "Google is anchoring itself into the past" as both iOS and Microsoft's Metro interface are largely or entirely full-screen. Even so, "Chrome OS already is different enough that it's best to preserve any familiarity that can be preserved".
Google Cloud Print is a Google service that helps any application on any device to print on supported printers. While the cloud provides virtually any connected device with information access, the task of "developing and maintaining print subsystems for every combination of hardware and operating system—from desktops to netbooks to mobile devices—simply isn't feasible." The cloud service requires installation of a piece of software called proxy, as part of the Chrome OS. The proxy registers the printer with the service, manages the print jobs, provides the printer driver functionality, and gives status alerts for each job.
In 2016, Google included "Native CUPS Support" in Chrome OS as an experimental feature that may eventually become an official feature. With CUPS support turned on, it becomes possible to use most USB printers even if they do not support Google Cloud Print.
Google announced that Google Cloud Print would no longer be supported after December 31, 2020 and that the online service would not be available as of January 1, 2021.
Chrome OS was designed with the intention of storing user documents and files on remote servers. Both Chrome OS and the Chrome browser may introduce difficulties to end users when handling specific file types offline; for example, when opening an image or document residing on a local storage device, it may be unclear whether and which specific Web application should be automatically opened for viewing, or the handling should be performed by a traditional application acting as a preview utility. Matthew Papakipos, Chrome OS engineering director, noted in 2010 that Windows developers have faced the same fundamental problem: "Quicktime is fighting with Windows Media Player, which is fighting with Chrome."
Release channels and updates
Chrome OS uses the same release system as Google Chrome: there are three distinct channels: Stable, Beta, and Developer preview (called the "Dev" channel). The stable channel is updated with features and fixes that have been thoroughly tested in the Beta channel, and the Beta channel is updated approximately once a month with stable and complete features from the Developer channel. New ideas get tested in the Developer channel, which can be very unstable at times. A fourth canary channel was confirmed to exist by Google Developer Francois Beaufort and hacker Kenny Strawn, by entering the Chrome OS shell in developer mode, typing the command shell to access the bash shell, and finally entering the command update_engine_client -channel canary-channel -update. It is possible to return to the verified boot mode after entering the canary channel, but the channel updater disappears and the only way to return to another channel is using the "powerwash" factory reset.
At its debut, Chrome OS was viewed as a competitor to Microsoft, both directly to Microsoft Windows and indirectly the company's word processing and spreadsheet applications—the latter through Chrome OS's reliance on cloud computing. But Chrome OS engineering director Matthew Papakipos argued that the two operating systems would not fully overlap in functionality because Chrome OS is intended for netbooks, which lack the computational power to run a resource-intensive program like Adobe Photoshop.
Some observers claimed that other operating systems already filled the niche that Chrome OS was aiming for, with the added advantage of supporting native applications in addition to a browser. Tony Bradley of PC World wrote in November 2009:
We can already do most, if not all, of what Chrome OS promises to deliver. Using a Windows 7 or Linux-based netbook, users can simply not install anything but a web browser and connect to the vast array of Google products and other web-based services and applications. Netbooks have been successful at capturing the low-end PC market, and they provide a web-centric computing experience today. I am not sure why we should get excited that a year from now we'll be able to do the same thing, but locked into doing it from the fourth-place web browser.
In 2016, Chromebooks were the most popular computer in the US K–12 education market.
By 2017, the Chrome browser had risen to become the number one browser used worldwide.
In 2020, Chromebooks became the second most-popular end-user oriented OS (growing from 6.4% in 2019 to 10.8% in 2020). The majority of growth came at Windows expense (which fell from 85.4% in 2019 to 80.5% in 2021).
Relationship to Android
Google's offering of two open-source operating systems, Android and Chrome OS, has drawn some criticism despite the similarity between this situation and that of Apple Inc.'s two operating systems, macOS and iOS. Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO at the time, accused Google of not being able to make up its mind.Steven Levy wrote that "the dissonance between the two systems was apparent" at Google I/O 2011. The event featured a daily press conference in which each team leader, Android's Andy Rubin and Chrome's Sundar Pichai, "unconvincingly tried to explain why the systems weren't competitive." Google co-founder Sergey Brin addressed the question by saying that owning two promising operating systems was "a problem that most companies would love to face". Brin suggested that the two operating systems "will likely converge over time." The speculation over convergence increased in March 2013 when Chrome OS chief Pichai replaced Rubin as the senior vice president in charge of Android, thereby putting Pichai in charge of both.
The relationship between Android and Chrome OS became more substantial at Google I/O 2014, where developers demonstrated native Android software running on Chrome OS through a Native Client-based runtime. In September 2014, Google introduced a beta version of the App Runtime for Chrome (ARC), which allows selected Android applications to be used on Chrome OS, using a Native Client-based environment that provides the platforms necessary to run Android software. Android applications do not require any modifications to run on Chrome OS, but may be modified to better support a mouse and keyboard environment. At its introduction, Chrome OS support was only available for selected Android applications. In October 2015, The Wall Street Journal reported that Chrome OS would be folded into Android so that a single OS would result by 2017. The resulting OS would be Android, but it would be expanded to run on laptops. Google responded that while the company has "been working on ways to bring together the best of both operating systems, there's no plan to phase out Chrome OS."
In 2016, Google introduced the ability to run Android apps on supported Chrome OS devices, with access to Google Play in its entirety. The previous Native Client-based solution was dropped in favor of a container containing Android's frameworks and dependencies (initially based on Android Marshmallow), which allows Android apps to have direct access to the Chrome OS platform, and allow the OS to interact with Android contracts such as sharing. Engineering director Zelidrag Hornung explained that ARC had been scrapped due to its limitations, including its incompatibility with the Android Native Development Toolkit (NDK), and that it was unable to pass Google's own compatibility test suite.
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Warning: This document is old & has moved. Please update any links:
Production Chrome OS devices that are shipped from the factory are locked down and will not let you make changes to the software. This page describes how to enable developer mode and get root access to your system.
Enable Developer Mode
Modern Chrome OS devices can be put into developer mode by pressing specific keys while Chrome OS is booting:
Caution: Modifications you make to the system are not supported by Google, may cause hardware, software or security issues and may void warranty.
NOTE: Putting your device into developer mode inherently makes it a little less secure. Specifically, it makes the “verified boot” that's built-in to your hardware a little bit more lax, allowing your hardware to run custom (non-Google-signed) images. It also gives you access to a “root” shell.
If you’re encountering issues putting your device into Developer Mode, it's possible that your device administrator has blocked Developer Mode access on your device. Please follow the link to read more details about blocked Developer Mode.
You can tell that you're in Developer Mode if you see one of these screens when you turn the device on:
Switch to Normal Mode
To restore your device to Normal Mode (i.e., disable Developer Mode), reboot your device and perform the following action:
- Device with keyboard: Press the at the firmware screen.
- Devices without keyboard (tablet): Use the and keys to select the option. Press the button to confirm.
NOTE: If you‘ve made changes to the rootfs filesystem while in developer mode, you may have to use the recovery process to restore your device to its factory condition. However, as long as you don’t crack open the case, you shouldn‘t be able to do anything that can’t be undone by recovery (software).
Getting to a Command Prompt
If you‘re a Linux hacker, you probably know that Google Chrome OS is built on top of Linux and you’re wondering how you can jailbreak your device so you can get to a command prompt. It turns out: there's no need. The command prompt is built in to your device!
NOTE: Before following these instructions, remember to put your device into Developer Mode.
Get the Command Prompt Through VT-2
One way to get the login prompt is through something called , or “virtual terminal 2”. If you're a Linux user, this is probably familiar. You can get to by pressing:[ Ctrl ] [ Alt ] [ → ]
where the key is the right-arrow key just above the number on your keyboard.
Once you have the login prompt, you should see a set of instructions telling you about command-line access. By default, you can login as the user with no password. This includes the ability to do password-less . The instructions on the screen will tell you how you can set a password. They also tell you how to disable screen dimming.
In order to get back to the browser press:[ Ctrl ] [ Alt ] [ ← ]
where the key is the left-arrow key just above the number on your keyboard.
NOTE: The top-rows of the keyboard on a Chrome OS device are actually treated by Linux as the keys through . Thus, the key is actually and the key is actually .
NOTE: Kernel messages show up on .
Getting the Command Prompt Through “crosh”
An alternate way to get to a terminal prompt is to use :
- Go through the standard Chrome OS login screen (you‘ll need to setup a network, etc) and get to the web browser. It’s OK if you login as guest.
- Press to get the  shell.
- Use the shell command to get the shell prompt. NOTE: even if you set a password for the chronos user, you won't need it here (though you still need it for sudo access)
NOTE: Entering the shell this way doesn't give you all the instructions that does (like how to set your password). You might want to follow the steps once just to get the instructions.
If you want to get back to the browser without killing the shell, you can use .
NOTE: You can create as many shells as you want with again and another shell will be opened. You can between them.
Making Changes to the Filesystem
The Chromium OS rootfs is mounted read-only. In developer mode you can disable the rootfs verification, enabling it to be modified.
NOTE: If you mount the root filesystem in writeable mode, even if you make no changes, it will no longer be verifiable and you'll have to use a recovery image to restore your system when you switch back to normal mode. Auto updates may also fail until a full payload is downloaded.
To make your rootfs writable, run the following command from a shell on the device:(dut) $ sudo /usr/share/vboot/bin/make_dev_ssd.sh --remove_rootfs_verification
Then reboot. Your rootfs will be mounted read/write.
Specifying Command Line Flags for Chrome
Booting from USB or SD card
Chromium OS can be installed on a USB stick or SD card, for example if you build it yourself. In order to boot these, you have to first enable booting from external storage by opening a shell and running the command . (Even though this only says USB, it will also work for SD cards.)
Afterwards, reboot the device and use the method appropriate for your device to trigger external storage boot when you see the developer mode boot screen.
Running an alternative bootloader (“legacy BIOS”)
You can install an alternative bootloader that may make it easier to boot other operating systems. This does not require you to disable firmware write protection (with its associated risks).
NOTE: Some Chrome OS devices may ship with one or more alternative bootloaders pre-installed. These are merely provided as examples of how to set up the alternative bootloader feature. They are not officially supported, usually not tested and may or may not work at all or do anything useful. The point of the alternative bootloader feature is just to allow users to install their own -- we may occasionally pre-install software if it is readily available, but we are not committing to test and maintain it or to provide the same set across all platforms.
You can also find ready-made alternative bootloaders to install on third-party community sites such as mrchromebox.tech. Note that these sites are not affiliated with Google or the Chromium OS project and we are not responsible for any issues or damages arising from them. Use at your own risk.
Alternative bootloaders must be packaged as a coreboot payload and installed in the section of the firmware flash. You can read out the flash and print the contents of this section by opening a shell and runningflashrom -r /tmp/bios.bin cbfstool /tmp/bios.bin print -r RW_LEGACY
If you see a file called in this output, you have a 2019+ platform that supports having more than one alternative bootloader installed at the same time. Otherwise, you can only install a single bootloader that must be called . In that case you may need to remove an already installed bootloader via to make room.
The new bootloader you want to add should be formatted as an ELF file. Make sure that the entry point information in the file is correctly set and that it contains code able to run in a firmware environment (i.e. no operating system support, nothing set up other than what coreboot usually provides to its payloads). Then add the file viacbfstool /tmp/bios.bin add-payload -r RW_LEGACY -c lzma -n <your bootloader name> -f <path/to/your/bootloader.elf>
On an older platform make sure the name is and you're done. On a newer platform, you can choose any name you want but you need to enter it in the bootloader directory file. Extract this file withcbfstool /tmp/bios.bin extract -r RW_LEGACY -n altfw/list -f /tmp/altfw.txt
and edit with a normal text editor (e.g. ). The file contains one line per bootloader with the following values separated by semicolons:
- Number of the bootloader in the developer mode menu (0 through 9)
- NOTE: The bootloader number 0 is always the “default” that will boot if is set and the developer boot screen timer runs out.
- Name of the bootloader in CBFS (i.e. the parameter to )
- Name of the bootloader that shall appear in the developer mode menu
- Comment field for more detailed description (not used by firmware)
Add a line for the bootloader you just added, save the file, then replace the file in CBFS with the updated version viacbfstool /tmp/bios.bin remove -r RW_LEGACY -n altfw/list cbfstool /tmp/bios.bin add -r RW_LEGACY -n altfw/list -f /tmp/altfw.txt -t raw
You may also want to delete the file, if present. This will prevent future Chrome OS system updates from overwriting the alternative bootloader section after you modified it:cbfstool /tmp/bios.bin remove -r RW_LEGACY -n cros_allow_auto_update
Finally, you must write the modified CBFS section back to the firmware flash and tell the firmware to enable the alternative bootloader feature:flashrom -w /tmp/bios.bin -i RW_LEGACY crossystem dev_boot_legacy=1
Now you can reboot and use the method appropriate for your device to run your alternative bootloader when you see the developer mode boot screen.
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