Chromebooks with Linux kernel 3.14 & older won’t get Linux app support
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:
|Device||Release Date||Kernel Version||Architecture|
|Acer Chromebase||August 1, 2015||3.10||arm|
|HP Chromebook 14 G3||October 18, 2014||3.10||arm|
|Acer Chromebook 13 (CB5-311)||September 7, 2014||3.10||arm|
|Acer C670 Chromebook 11||February 28, 2015||3.14||x86_64|
|ASUS Chromebook Flip C100PA||July 1, 2015||3.14||arm|
|ASUS Chromebook C201||May 1, 2015||3.14||arm|
|Acer Chromebox CXI2||May 1, 2015||3.14||x86_64|
|Acer Chromebase 24||April 1, 2016||3.14||x86_64|
|Toshiba Chromebook 2 (2015 Edition)||September 22, 2015||3.14||x86_64|
|Lenovo ThinkCentre Chromebox||June 2, 2015||3.14||x86_64|
|Google Chromebook Pixel (2015)||March 11, 2015||3.14||x86_64|
|Acer Chromebook 15||April 30, 2015||3.14||x86_64|
|Dell Chromebook 13 7310||August 13, 2015||3.14||x86_64|
|ASUS Chromebox CN62||August 3, 2015||3.14||x86_64|
|AOpen Chromebase Mini||February 28, 2017||3.14||arm|
|Asus Chromebit CS10||November 2, 2015||3.14||arm|
|AOpen Chromebox Mini||February 28, 2017||3.14||arm|
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.
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.