Back at last year’s Google I/O conference, Google announced Linux app support for Chrome OS. This is due to the installation of GNU/Linux distributions in Linux containers, especially Debian 9 “Stretch”. Earlier this year, the Debian project released the Debian 10 “Buster”, but Google is not ready to upgrade the default Linux container on the Chromebook.
Now, after months of testing and bug fixes, Google is ready to turn Debian 10 “Buster” into the default Linux container in Chrome OS.
According to the recently merged commit found in Chromium Gerrit, by default, the new Crostini (code name for Linux applications on Chrome OS) will get Debian 10. The commit doesn’t mention how to migrate Chromebooks with Debian 9 installed to newer versions, but users can easily upgrade containers themselves by running some commands. Upgrading to a newer version of Debian enables new features and will also have more application support.
Chromebook support for Linux applications makes Chrome OS more useful to developers. Chrome OS 80 will also bring other changes that are useful to developers, such as side-loading Android apps without Developer Mode enabled, meaning that using Chromebook will enable you to build Android apps directly.
Chrome OS 80 is still on the Canary channel and is expected to be available to all users in February 2020.