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Why Linux apps on Chromebooks are a really big deal (really!)

It may have gotten lost in the shuffle of all the Android P news at Google’s I/O conference last week, but fear not, dear friends: Chrome OS has definitely not been forgotten.

Google’s been making steady progress in advancing its Chromebook operating system over the past several months, particularly around its efforts to further align Android and Chrome OS and turn Chromebooks into all-purpose productivity machines and Android tablet replacements. Practically every week, in fact, there’s some new and noteworthy feature being added into the platform (something we’ve talked about a great deal in my weekly newsletter as of late).

And though it wasn’t in the keynote, a massive new development did sneak its way into Chrome OS during I/O: the quietly announced ability for Chromebooks to run Linux apps as if they were native applications, without the need for any complex and security-defeating configurations. Linux app support is on its way to the Pixelbook to start — currently in that device’s developer channel and likely becoming available much more broadly before long.

“Linux apps,” you’re probably thinking. “Yawn. What’s next — support for OS/2 programs, too?” (Nerd joke alert.)

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