Chromebooks with Linux kernel 3.14 and earlier will not support Linux apps


When Google announced Linux apps for Chrome OS, everyone was excited. We published an article where we listed all of the older Chromebooks that would benefit from Linux app support because the developers were already working on backporting essential kernel modules, such as vsock. Well, we were not technically wrong, because the developers definitely tried to make vsock backward compatible. But, it turns out that vsock cannot be backported to the Linux 3.14 kernel.

Failure to backport vsock to Linux kernel 3.14 or earlier means that devices with that kernel version will not be able to install Linux applications. Here is the list of Chromebooks that use Linux kernel 3.14 or earlier and cannot run Linux apps:

Device Release date Kernel version Architecture
Acer Chromebase August 1, 2015 3.10 arm
HP Chromebook 14 G3 October 18, 2014 3.10 arm
Acer Chromebook 13 (CB5-311) September 7, 2014 3.10 arm
Acer C670 Chromebook 11 February 28, 2015 3.14 x86_64
ASUS Chromebook Flip C100PA July 1, 2015 3.14 arm
ASUS Chromebook C201 May 1, 2015 3.14 arm
Acer Chromebox CXI2 May 1, 2015 3.14 x86_64
Acer Chromebase 24 April 1, 2016 3.14 x86_64
Toshiba Chromebook 2 (2015 Edition) September 22, 2015 3.14 x86_64
Lenovo ThinkCentre Chromebox June 2, 2015 3.14 x86_64
Google Chromebook Pixel (2015) March 11, 2015 3.14 x86_64
Acer Chromebook 15 April 30, 2015 3.14 x86_64
Dell Chromebook 13 7310 Aug 13, 2015 3.14 x86_64
ASUS Chromebox CN62 Aug 3, 2015 3.14 x86_64
Open Chromebase Mini February 28, 2017 3.14 arm
Asus Chromebit CS10 November 2, 2015 3.14 arm
Open Chromebox Mini February 28, 2017 3.14 arm

As you can see, there are a lot of Chromebooks on this list, and some of them are quite new. Even Google’s original Chromebook Pixel, released in 2015, makes the list. Keep in mind that those with ARM processors have already seen their support dropped due to 32-bit infrastructure. While it’s possible that some of these older Chromebooks might get newer kernel versions in an update, you shouldn’t expect this to happen.

Are you lucky enough to have a Chromebook device that uses Linux kernel 3.18 or newer? Here is the list of devices that support Linux applications, or that will be supported soon. You will soon be able to run Linux applications there. But, for those of you who haven’t been lucky, well, the struggle continues.

Source: Chrome Gerrit Via: / r / Crostini

This article was updated at 11:03 PM CT to remove the wording that the Linux Kernel Extended LTS would have prevented this situation from occurring. LTS branches don’t see feature backports, only bug fixes and security fixes.

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