Run Linux in a window on your Chromebook

In today's open source roundup: Chromebooks can now run Linux in a window. Plus: NixOS 14.12 "Caterpillar" released, and Google Keep for Android versus Evernote

Crouton add-on for your Chromebook

Chromebooks are selling like hotcakes, according to Amazon's laptop bestseller list. And now you can use an add-on called crouton to run Linux in a Window on your Chromebook.

Janko Roettgers at GIGAOM reports on Chromebooks running Linux:

This is cool: Chromebook users can now run their favorite Linux distribution within a window right on their Chrome OS desktop.

Chromebook owners who have set their device in developer mode can download a special Crouton Chrome extension to run Linux without being forced to switch back and forth between the two operating systems.

More at GIGAOM

You can read the announcement post on Google+ from Google's Francois Beaufort:

Google Intern has added support to run Crouton¹ in a Chrome OS Window. Thanks to a 4,471 lines patch², fearless people can now run their favorite Linux distributions on their Chrome Devices in a nice window without jumping between Virtual Terminals as before.

Here's how to get there:
- First, you need to make sure your Chrome Device is in Developer Mode³ (not Dev Channel).
- Install the Crouton Integration Chrome Extension⁴
- Download crouton⁵
- Open a shell with Ctrl+Alt+T, type shell and hit Enter
- Run sudo sh ~/Downloads/crouton t unity,extension Enjoy!

More at Google+

run linux in window on chromebook2 Image credit: Google

Redditors weighed in with their thoughts about running Linux in a Window on Chromebooks:

Wontonspecial wondered why people preferred Chromebooks to full Linux:

"Why do people prefer these things over full Linux + Google Chrome package? Honest question."

TheSplines prefers Chromebooks because they are locked down:

"I totally get why this is cool, but I feel like it misses the point of the chromebook. I love my chromebook because it's a locked down device that doesn't hold anything but chrome os and my openvpn/ssh keys. If it dies/gets lost its 5 minutes to generate new keys and sign in to a new one thats already got all of my settings."

Vancvanc thinks it's cool but worries about performance issues:

"Pretty neat and makes for some good screenshots (like the one posted recently with Skype running) but it's too slow even on a 4GB Acer C720 and I can't think of any advantages for this over just running it full screen. Edit: also it hangs when waking from sleep"

More at Reddit

NixOS 14.12 "Caterpillar" released

A new release of NixOS is available for download.

DistroWatch has the announcement, along with additional details about NixOS:

Version 14.12 of NixOS 14.12, a distribution that uses a custom package manager, deploys a unique file system layout, and offers various innovative features, has been released.

NixOS is an independently developed GNU/Linux distribution that aims to improve the state of the art in system configuration management. In NixOS, the entire operating system, including the kernel, applications, system packages and configuration files, are built by the Nix package manager. Nix stores all packages in isolation from each other; as a result there are no /bin, /sbin, /lib or /usr directories and all packages are kept in /nix/store instead. Other innovative features of NixOS include reliable upgrades, rollbacks, reproducible system configurations, source-based model with binaries, and multi-user package management.

More at DistroWatch

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