Being able to run Linux applications on Chromebooks isn’t just useful for developers, it can help plug what little remaining app or feature gap prevents you from using the platform. Unfortunately for those that do use it, some folks have been experiencing a problem where their devices spontaneously reboot during sleep if Linux containers are running, and it isn’t clear if it will be fixed in time for the next Chrome OS release.
Reports for the issue on the Chromium bug tracker’s relevant thread go back as early as Chrome OS 74, though others claim they didn’t experience it until 75, with yet more not having any problem until the current Chrome OS 76 betas. Those comments also vary wildly when it comes to which release channel and version combination triggered the behavior first. Many reports of similar issues elsewhere are likely related, though the specifics make it hard to draw a connection. Still, it’s a straightforward problem: If a Linux application has been run on the device in the current session, once it goes to sleep, it will reboot upon waking rather than resuming as expected. Battery life during sleep also allegedly takes a nosedive as a result of it silently crashing.
The cause of the problem has to do with not correctly unmounting a filesystem used by the Linux application container system, preventing the device from suspending correctly, and apparently forcing a reboot when it attempts to resume.
Based on a comment from someone at the Chromium project yesterday, although the issue should eventually be fixed, it isn’t clear if that will arrive before Chrome OS 77. A developer claimed at the time that it was “too late for R76.” A later comment seems to indicate that it may have been cherry-picked for Chrome OS 76, but communication on the bug tracker between developers and those reporting the problem hasn’t been entirely clear.
Hopefully those more recent comments are an indicator that a fix is coming with the next major release, otherwise those affected by the issue in recent months will have even longer to wait.
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