Remember last year when developers started to notice a feature in Google’s Chromium OS code that suggested one day you might be able to dual-boot Windows and Chrome OS on the same computer?

Yeah, it looks like that’s not coming anytime soon. Not officially anyway.

A recent update to the Chromium Gerrit shows that the so-called “Alt OS” code has been deprecated.

To be fair, Google never officially announced support for turning Chromebooks into dual-boot computers that could run Windows. So it’s not like the company is backing out on a promise. It’s just that Chome OS is based on the open source Chromium project, so development happens in public… and observers can sometimes get a peek at in-development features that never actually see the light of day (as well as many that do).

That said, if you want to run desktop apps on a Chromebook, there are more options than ever before. And unlike the apparently-scrapped “Alt OS” or “Campfire” implementation, you don’t even need to reboot your device to do it.

Chromebooks have supported running Android apps as well as web apps for several years, and more recently Google has allowed users to enable a Linux beta feature to install desktop Linux apps such as LibreOffice and GIMP.

Many recent Chromebooks already support Linux, and Google says every new Chromebook released this year will support Linux, whether it’s a device that ships with an Intel, AMD, or ARM-based processor.

via About Chromebooks and /r/Crostini


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7 replies on “Chromebooks may not get dual-boot Windows support after all”

  1. Being able to dual boot with another OS might have been nice, but what I’d really appreciate from Google is an easy way to wipe out ChromeOS and install another OS after the Chromebook has reached the end of it’s official support. I know it can be done now, at least on certain models, but it’s not for novices. There’s perfectly good Chromebooks that have reached end of support that would be fine running a lightweight Linux distro. And before anyone mentions Crouton, it’s not the same thing as installing a different OS. Crouton is better than nothing, but being able to install a whole new OS would be a better solution.

    1. I needed to remove a screw when I installed seabios. I thought that was a nice of them having a hardware method to defeat the firmware/bios protection. Maybe if Best Buy provided this service for $20, that could be an option for people.

  2. … And with liGNUx comes … WINE and the ability to use STEAM liGNUx, proton or WINE, also GOG, DOSBOX, dosemu and many emulators.

  3. Why does everything need to have Windows? The whole point of a Chromebook is not to use Windows.

    1. Effectively, Chromebooks takes away Windows from Jr High and High School students. Dual boot might be something that corporate IT departments want before the fully commit to ChromeOS.

  4. Most of these dual boot devices get hosed the first time Microsoft installs an update.

    1. Yeah. Windows 10 has made maintaining a dual boot system difficult. I used to dual boot with Ububntu all the time back in the Windows XP days, but hardly do it anymore. Most modern computers can boot from external storage, and the connections are fast enough now to make it more practical.

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