Google began bringing Linux app support to Chrome OS almost exactly one month ago, but it only started with a single device, the very expensive Pixelbook. Now, that’s changing: Linux support is becoming available for Samsung’s Chromebook Plus as well, as spotted by users on Reddit.
This still isn’t a widely available feature or something that most Chromebook users will want to check out. You’ll have to opt-in to the developer-only build of Chrome OS, enable things labeled as beta and experimental, and then use the Terminal to install Linux apps. Presumably, this will all be simplified in the future, but right now, Google just seems to be testing whether it works at all.
The addition of Linux apps has the potential to make Chrome OS even more powerful and flexible. On a more immediate note, it begins turning Chromebooks into workable devices for programmers who want to code for Google’s platforms. Many of the tools programmers need won’t be available until later this year, but Google says they’re in the works.
We knew that more Chromebooks would get Linux support eventually, but it wasn’t clear how quickly or which models it would come to. Today’s news suggests some of the past year’s higher-profile models are likely to be the first in line. There’s no news on what comes next or how quickly Google is moving to get this out of beta. (It likely still has a while to go. Just think about how slow Google was to add Android app support.) Still, it seems like a good sign that a second model arrived this quickly.