People think Chromebooks just run the Chrome browser and that’s it. In fact, it was always more complicated than that. The Chrome browser below it was Chrome OS, a thin Linux distribution. Kent Duke, a writer and hardcore Chrome OS fan, discovered that Google splits the browser and operating system into two separate entries.
Why is this important to everyone except the most enthusiastic Chromebook geeks? As you know, if you buy a Chromebook today, it will have an Auto Update Expiration (AUE) date, which is the end of support date. It’s been six and a half years since a particular Chromebook was released. Chrome OS settings on your machine[アップデートスケジュール]You can find yours by going to the section. Additional details menu[Chrome OSについて]It’s under the section.
It’s been six and a half years long, but Chromebooks will last even longer thanks to their old solid-state builds. For example, the only reason I stopped using the first commercial Chromebook, the Samsung Series 5, was that I accidentally sat down on it. Oops!
It wasn’t very security conscious for me. But now, as Duke pointed out:
Currently, Chrome is deeply involved with Chrome OS. This means that Google needs to compile one monolithic package and ship it to the update channel. It’s not a problem in itself, but the main problem occurs when the Chromebook reaches AUE or is no longer supported. As with Android smartphones, when your Chromebook reaches AUE, you will lose new Chrome OS updates. If you lose the Chrome OS update, Chrome itself will not be updated, your browser will become outdated, vulnerable, and you will not be able to use the updated platform on the web.
Duke continues. “This Chrome binary is distributed separately from Chrome OS, so Google can easily update the Chrome binary regardless of the operating system, which means that when the Chromebook reaches AUE, the browser will at least have the latest and greatest features. It’s very important, and Google’s security fix. ”Especially in cost-sensitive schools, you can continue to use your old Chromebook without major security concerns.
Yes, the Linux underneath may still have security issues. But despite the security hype, there has never been a truly serious desktop Linux security issue. This is especially true for Chromebooks, which have a small attack surface on the underlying Linux foundation. The same is not true for browsers that are under constant attack.
Here’s how this works. This new alpha approach is called Linux and Chrome OS or or Lacros. Currently, Chrome web browser binaries are mixed in with Chrome OS system UI and Linux. Using Lacros, the existing Chrome web browser Chrome OS has been renamed to ash-chrome. To this, Google developers added a Linux Chrome web browser and renamed it to lacros-chrome. Yes, this means you can run two versions of Chrome on the same machine.
To improve the lacros-chrome performance of Linux browsers, programmers have also improved the Wayland display server protocol in Chrome OS. This allows you to run two versions of Chrome web browsers without any significant performance degradation. Lacros uses ozone as an abstraction layer for graphics and event handling. Ozone, on the other hand, has a “backend” that supports the Wayland compositor protocol on the client side.
The boundaries of the application programming interface (API) between the two browsers are semi-stable. At this time, you can run two browsers as long as up to two versions are separated. For example, you can run Chrome OS 78 with the built-in Chrome web browser version 78 and Chrome web browser version 80. In the future, it will be able to run a much newer Chrome web browser than the version embedded in older editions of Chrome OS.
This means that at this point in 2021, older versions of Chromebooks may be safe to run on the latest version of Chrome. Not only is it personally convenient, but it also saves a lot of money on school systems and business.
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