02.17.14

Gemini version available ♊︎

Chromebooks Run GNU/Linux But Don’t Offer Freedom

Posted in GNU/Linux, Google at 7:20 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Now that GNU/Linux is sold/installed on many PCs (laptops in particular) we need to remember what Chrom* is all about

GNU/LINUX is doing just fine on the desktop. There are new stories that show its quiet expansion [1] and there is additional help from Chromebooks [2], which also essentially run GNU/Linux out of the box. A lot of people run GNU/Linux distributions other than Chrome OS on their Chromebooks and some distro developers optimise their distros for Chromebooks [3,4]. Google goes further than this by trying to facilitate Windows running (virtualised) on Chromebooks [5-8] while expanding the reach of Chrome “apps” [9] and the fitness of the browser [10] which runs very well on GNU/Linux, even with Wayland [11].

One must remember that Chrome and Chrome OS are proprietary, unlike their FOSS siblings (*ium), and they are very privacy-infringing (much more so than Ubuntu). Chromecast takes this even further by introducing additional limitations (APIs and SDK [12-16], no source code, and probably DRM).

Google is basically taking GNU/Linux mainstream with Chrome OS and Android, but Google shouldn’t be confused with respect for freedom. A lot of the apps are proprietary, the base system has a certain duality on freedom, and even Windows is now being facilitated. Chromebooks are not about freedom, but it’s easy to convert them into freedom-respecting machines.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. High School Rolls Out 1,700 Linux Laptops

    Penn Manor High School this semester gave a Linux laptop to each of its more than 1,700 students, grades 9-12. Student help desk apprentices helped with laptop configuration and testing, distribution and orientation.

  2. Six Clicks: 2014′s top Linux desktops

    For years, we’ve talked about the Linux desktop becoming important. Now, it finally is. But thanks to Chromebooks and Android PCs, it’s not the Linux desktop we expected. Instead of desktop distributions from smaller groups such as Arch or Mint, or companies such as Canonical, we’re seeing Chrome OS and Android, thanks to Google and top vendors such as Asus, Dell, HP, and Lenovo — who are robbing market share from the moribund Windows PC industry.

  3. Acer C720 Review – Perfect Little PC

    By default the C720 comes with Chrome OS preinstalled – if you are happy with that skip onto the next section.

  4. Improvements to Bodhi’s Chromebook Support

    Just a quick update to let folks know about a few updates our special installers for Bodhi Linux on Chromebook hardware.

  5. Google taps VMware to bring Windows access to Chromebooks
  6. VMware, Google, team to target corporate Chrome OS adopters

    Google teaming up with VMware therefore makes Chrome OS more attractive because it means those organisations that already have VMware VDI infrastructure now have an easier way to pipe those legacy apps into a shiny new Chromebook, or just into Chrome. Or the myriad other devices Horizon View can target.

  7. VMware and Google Partner to Bring Windows Desktops to Chromebooks
  8. VMware, Google Partner for DaaS Chromebooks

    Google exec says solution is a ‘fantastic opportunity’ for VMware partners

  9. Google Means to Take Chrome Apps to Every Major Platform
  10. Google’s revamped JavaScript engine cures Chrome’s stutters

    Google has begun testing a new version of its V8 JavaScript engine for the Chrome browser that improves application performance by executing and compiling JavaScript code at the same time.

  11. Chromium Browser Is Running Great On Wayland

    For several months now Intel developers have been working on a new Ozone-Wayland project that allows Google’s Chrome/Chromium browsers and other applications to work on Wayland. Google’s Ozone component provides the windowing system / input abstraction layer that is where this implementation for Wayland is being plugged into. After much investment, the Chromium browser is now starting to run great with Wayland.

  12. Google Opens Chromecast to App Developers with New SDK, APIs
  13. Google releases Chromecast SDK
  14. Google waves its Chromecast dongle in front of developers

    Google has released the final version of the Google Cast Software Development Kit (SDK), paving the way for broader support for its $35 Chromecast media-streaming dongle.

  15. Google Ships Cast SDK For Chromecast
  16. Ready to cast: Chromecast now open to developers with the Google Cast SDK

    Back in July we announced the developer preview of the Google Cast Software Development Kit (SDK), the underlying Chromecast technology that enables multi-screen experiences across mobile devices (phones, tablet, laptops) and large-screen displays. Starting today, the Google Cast SDK is available for developing and publishing Google Cast-ready apps.

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

Decor ᶃ Gemini Space

Below is a Web proxy. We recommend getting a Gemini client/browser.

Black/white/grey bullet button This post is also available in Gemini over at this address (requires a Gemini client/browser to open).

Decor ✐ Cross-references

Black/white/grey bullet button Pages that cross-reference this one, if any exist, are listed below or will be listed below over time.

Decor ▢ Respond and Discuss

Black/white/grey bullet button If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

DecorWhat Else is New


  1. Links 19/1/2022: XWayland 22.1 RC1 and OnlyOffice 7.0 Release

    Links for the day



  2. Links 19/1/2022: ArchLabs 2022.01.18 and KDE's 15-Minute Bug Initiative

    Links for the day



  3. When Twitter Protects Abusers and Abuse (and Twitter's Sponsors)

    Twitter is an out-of-control censorship machine and it should be treated accordingly even by those who merely "read" or "follow" Twitter accounts; Twitter is a filter, not a news/media platform or even means of communication



  4. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, January 18, 2022

    IRC logs for Tuesday, January 18, 2022



  5. Links 19/1/2022: Wine 7.x Era Begins and Istio 1.12.2 is Out

    Links for the day



  6. Another Video IBM Does Not Want You to Watch

    It seems very much possible that IBM (or someone close to IBM) is trying to purge me from Twitter, so let’s examine what they may be trying to distract from. As we put it 2 years ago, "Watson" is a lot more offensive than those supposedly offensive words IBM is working to purge; think about those hundreds of Red Hat workers who are black and were never told about ethnic purges of blacks facilitated by IBM (their new boss).



  7. What IBM Does Not Want You to Watch

    Let's 'Streisand it'...



  8. Good News, Bad News (and Back to Normal)

    When many services are reliant on the integrity of a single, very tiny MicroSD card you're only moments away from 2 days of intensive labour (recovery, investigation, migration, and further coding); we've learned our lessons and took advantage of this incident to upgrade the operating system, double the storage space, even improve the code slightly (for compatibility with newer systems)



  9. Someone Is Very Desperate to Knock My Account Off Twitter

    Many reports against me — some successful — are putting my free speech (and factual statements) at risk



  10. Links 18/1/2022: Deepin 20.4 and Qubes OS 4.1.0 RC4

    Links for the day



  11. Links 18/1/2022: GNOME 42 Alpha and KStars 3.5.7

    Links for the day



  12. IRC Proceedings: Monday, January 17, 2022

    IRC logs for Monday, January 17, 2022



  13. Links 17/1/2022: More Microsoft-Connected FUD Against Linux as Its Share Continues to Fall

    Links for the day



  14. The GUI Challenge

    The latest article from Andy concerns the Command Line Challenge



  15. Links 17/1/2022: digiKam 7.5.0 and GhostBSD 22.01.12 Released

    Links for the day



  16. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, January 16, 2022

    IRC logs for Sunday, January 16, 2022



  17. Links 17/1/2022: postmarketOS 21.12 Service Pack 1 and Mumble 1.4 Released

    Links for the day



  18. [Meme] Gemini Space (or Geminispace): From 441 Working Capsules to 1,600 Working Capsules in Just 12 Months

    Gemini space now boasts 1,600 working capsules, a massive growth compared to last January, as we noted the other day (1,600 is now official)



  19. [Meme] European Patent Office Space

    The EPO maintains a culture of illegal surveillance, inherited from Benoît Battistelli and taken to a whole new level by António Campinos



  20. Gemini Rings (Like Webrings) and Shared Spaces in Geminspace

    Much like the Web of 20+ years ago, Gemini lets online communities — real communities (not abused tenants, groomed to be ‘monetised’ like in Facebook or Flickr) — form networks, guilds, and rings



  21. Links 16/1/2022: Latte Dock 0.11 and librest 0.9.0

    Links for the day



  22. The Corporate Cabal (and Spy Agencies-Enabled Monopolies) Engages in Raiding of the Free Software Community and Hacker Culture

    In an overt attack on the people who actually did all the work — the geeks who built excellent software to be gradually privatised through the Linux Foundation (a sort of price-fixing and openwashing cartel for shared interests of proprietary software firms) — is receiving more widespread condemnation; even the OSI has been bribed to become a part-time Microsoft outsourcer as organisations are easier to corrupt than communities



  23. EPO's Web Site Constantly Spammed by Lies About Privacy While EPO Breaks the Law and Outsources Data to the United States

    The António Campinos-led EPO works for imperialism, it not only protects the rich; sadly, António’s father isn’t alive anymore and surely he would blast his son for doing what he does to progress his career while lying to staff and European citizens



  24. Links 16/1/2022: Tsunami and Patents

    Links for the day



  25. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, January 15, 2022

    IRC logs for Saturday, January 15, 2022



  26. Links 16/1/2022: Year of the GNU/Linux Desktop and Catch-up With Patent Misinformation

    Links for the day



  27. Patrick Breyer, Unlike Most German Politicians, Highlights the Fact That Unified Patent Court (UPC) and Unitary Patent Are Incompatible With EU Law

    A longtime critic of EPO abuses (under both Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos leadership), as well as a vocal critic of software patents, steps in to point out the very obvious



  28. Links 15/1/2022: Flameshot 11.0 and Libvirt 8.0

    Links for the day



  29. Blogging and Microblogging in Geminispace With Gemini Protocol

    Writing one’s thoughts and other things in Geminispace — even without setting up a Gemini server — is totally possible; gateways and services do exist for this purpose



  30. Links 15/1/2022: Raspberry Pi in Business

    Links for the day


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

Recent Posts