Chromebooks with Linux kernel 3.14 & older won’t get Linux app support

Chromebooks with Linux kernel 3.14 & older won’t get Linux app support

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When Google announced Linux apps on Chrome OS, everyone was excited. We published an article where we listed all the older Chromebooks that would get Linux app support, as developers were already working on backporting the essential kernel modules, such as vsock. Well, we weren’t technically wrong, as the developers definitely tried to make vsock backward compatible. But, as it turns out, vsock can’t be backported to Linux kernel 3.14.

The inability to backport vsock to Linux kernel 3.14 or older means that the devices with this version of the kernel won’t be able to install Linux apps. Here is the list of Chromebooks that use Linux kernel 3.14 or older and can’t run Linux apps:

DeviceRelease DateKernel VersionArchitecture
Acer ChromebaseAugust 1, 20153.10arm
HP Chromebook 14 G3October 18, 20143.10arm
Acer Chromebook 13 (CB5-311)September 7, 20143.10arm
Acer C670 Chromebook 11February 28, 20153.14x86_64
ASUS Chromebook Flip C100PAJuly 1, 20153.14arm
ASUS Chromebook C201May 1, 20153.14arm
Acer Chromebox CXI2May 1, 20153.14x86_64
Acer Chromebase 24April 1, 20163.14x86_64
Toshiba Chromebook 2 (2015 Edition)September 22, 20153.14x86_64
Lenovo ThinkCentre ChromeboxJune 2, 20153.14x86_64
Google Chromebook Pixel (2015)March 11, 20153.14x86_64
Acer Chromebook 15April 30, 20153.14x86_64
Dell Chromebook 13 7310August 13, 20153.14x86_64
ASUS Chromebox CN62August 3, 20153.14x86_64
AOpen Chromebase MiniFebruary 28, 20173.14arm
Asus Chromebit CS10November 2, 20153.14arm
AOpen Chromebox MiniFebruary 28, 20173.14arm

As you can see, there are a lot of Chromebooks on this list, and some of them are fairly new. Even Google’s own original Chromebook Pixel, which was released in 2015, is on the list. Keep in mind that those with ARM processors already had their support dropped due to the 32-bit infrastructure. While there’s a possibility that some of these older Chromebooks will get newer kernel versions in an update, you shouldn’t count on that happening.

Are you lucky enough to have a Chromebook device which is using Linux kernel 3.18 or newer? Here is the list of the devices which support Linux apps, or will support soon. You’ll soon be able to run Linux apps on it. But, for those of you who were out of luck, well, the struggle continues.


Source: Chromium Gerrit Via: /r/Crostini

This article was updated at 11:03PM CT to remove wording stating that extended LTS of the Linux kernel would have prevented this situation from happening. LTS branches do not see feature backports, only bug fixes and security patches.