Google is adding the ability to securely run Linux applications inside a virtual machine within Chrome OS. The Linux support is designed for developers so they can use Chromebooks in addition to—or even instead of—their usual Macs and PCs. Google will offer Linux support in a forthcoming Chrome OS beta for its own Pixelbook line of Chromebooks.
In the Linux VM, developers will be able to build, test, and run both Android and web apps for smartphones, tablets, and laptops.
Developers will also be able to run popular editors, code in their favorite language, and put projects on the Google Cloud platform via the command line. Additionally, developers will be able to run the Android Studio IDE on Chrome OS.
Previously, developers have had the option of installing Linux on a Chromebook by using the open source Crouton tool. With Crouton, developers can switch back and forth between Chrome OS and Linux.