Apps & Software


Is 2019 the year of Linux?


With the recent news that DeX is adding Linux support, and the fact that Linux support is a big part of making Chrome OS a legitimate desktop OS contender, and Android Studio coming to Chrome OS, is Linux finally getting the big break it deserves?

For all the criticism levelled at Linux distros in general, the overwhelming sense of having too much choice and the lack of basic uniformity and coherence, these are OS specific shortcomings and don't reflect on the quality of the wealth of Linux apps that are out there. For example, I would 100% use Geary or Thunderbird over an Android mail app in Chrome OS. As another example, LibreOffice or SoftMaker Office offer a good experience if you're looking for a Microsoft Office alternative without being forced into Google Docs.

Linux support offers the tantalising promise of desktop-class apps on Chrome OS. I've read enough opinions to see that a Iot of unsatisfied Windows users look to Chrome OS for a simpler, hassle-free experience. If enough ordinary users of Chromebooks start seeing the merits of installing Linux apps to make their Chromebook experience better, then I think 2019 or 2020 could see real growth in apps being supported on Linux for the sake of reaching Chrome OS users, which is of course a huge win for the Linux community.

There is the scenario in which Google simply drags their feet on bringing Linux on Chrome OS out of beta, and the whole project languishes in development hell, but I hope Google sees the immense benefit in having Linux apps on Chrome OS. I was reminded of the fact that the Chrome App Store no longer exists, and Chrome OS no longer has a first-party app platform. I think it's a race between whether Linux apps or Android apps work better on Chrome OS at this point, and I would prefer Linux apps to win. (The toaster fridge analogy comes to mind)

Is 2019 the year of Linux? Will Adobe CC support Linux? Will other industry standard programs bring support to Linux? Will Google start preloading certain Linux apps on Chrome OS to make it more like a desktop OS? VLC desktop or VLC Android?

P.S. Of course I could be completely wrong, and all we talk about in 5 years is PWAs. #PWAmasterrace