Google’s Fuchsia OS: What We Know So Far

We know Fuchsia OS as something Google is working on – as an alternative to Android or maybe ChromeOS.

The most interesting aspect of this project is that it is open source in nature.

Unfortunately, you will not find it on GitHub anymore where it first appeared in 2016 because they’ve moved the project to Google Git.

Even though we still don’t have enough information on Fuchsia OS. There are a few things that you should know in this article.

Fuchsia.dev Official Website For Development Info

On July 2019 – Google launched the website for Fuchsia OS development.

The official website contains a lot of relevant information on the development and the process of contributing to its development.

Even though with a lot of officially maintained pages on the website -there’s still no concrete explanation on what Fuchsia aims for.

Is Fuchsia OS Going to Replace Android and Chrome OS?

Yes and no.

Google hasn’t mentioned anything officially for Fucshia OS. They have neither denied nor admitted to the fact that it could replace Android or Chrome OS.

It is a long shot to predict what exactly is Google planning to do with Fuchsia OS – but it is surely going to replace something significant if the project succeeds.

Is Fuchsia OS Open Source?

Well, yes because that’s what Google announced it initially. It’s just that you will no longer find the project on GitHub.

The project first appeared on GitHub in 2016 but then decided to use their own Google Git portal for the source code.

I believe that they would release the source code after the project reaches to a certain stage.

Fuchsia OS is Not Linux

Fuchsia is tailored as a modular operating system based on Google’s own Zircon kernel.

So, you should not consider it something based on Linux – it is totally something new.

You can learn more about the Zircon kernel on their official website.

Supported Hardware

Even though we are not sure if Fuchsia OS is something targeted for Chromebooks or smartphones. We do have an idea of its current hardware supported as per the information available in its official development site.

For now, a developer can test Fuchsia OS on Pixelbook, Intel NUC, Acer Switch Alpha, iMX8M EVK board, HiKey960 board, and a few others.

You can find the list of supported hardware and the instruction to install it on its development page. You should observe the hardware list in a dropdown list on the left sidebar when you load up the web page.

IoT Devices Over Android/Chrome OS

Everything we mention remains to be speculative until Google officially confirms anything.

However, in a report, Google made some references at the Google IO developer conference hinting that Fuchsia OS could be something very specific for IoT devices and may not be as exciting as an Android or Chrome OS replacement.

So, either Fuchsia OS is going to be something big – or it’s going to be tailored for a specific task.

What’s Under-the-hood?

If you are curious about the programming language, the Fuchsia Interface Definition Language (FIDL), the flutter module, and so on – the best place would be to check out the official Development documentation.

It seems that it supports multiple programming languages that include Dart, Python, C/C++, Rust, and more.

Wrapping Up

We shall keep the article up-to-date with every new Fuchsia OS update that we come across. Unfortunately, there are no recent UI demos – so we do not have an idea about its user experience.

If you find some UI screenshots on the Internet, make no mistake, 9to5Google has confirmed that they are not what you’re looking for.

What do you think of Fuchsia OS in its current early development state? What are your expectations from it?

Let me know in the comments below.

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  • It seems very interesting. The people developing it and their experience, the programming languages, the tools, the architecture and that it is google behind it.

  • A major point Fuchsia must cover is it’s ability to get extremely user friendly. With the growth in IOT and networks one will need first, A good OS to handle computing in a much unified way. In future there’ll be many devices connected to each other and they’ll make their individual worth in business world, if Fuchsia dominates to be the operating system of most devices it’ll be good for any kind of user (and Google Of course). Secondly, history has been evident than we have never stopped innovating, a system which is capable to give USER the power to mould and manipulate will help. Google should make a ground breaking software and with release of Pixel (google coming to mobile manufacturing market) it’s no time far.

  • There are many things about this initiative that are attractive but there is one aspect of it that causes me fear. That fear is grounded in any large corporation having control. The appeal about the GNU movement generally is that it is not owned by anyone.

    The hard fact is that Google is terrible when it comes to writing user-friendly software. Gmail and Chrome/Chromium are perfect examples of huge applications that are terrible for anyone but the technologically “plugged-in” to use; even in the most basic manner. (You may be surprised at this but you aren’t married to my wife!… I hope :-) ) So when Google come up with a new language or a new framework, invariably, it is for a particular elite tech-savvy segment of the population.

    There was mention of Java in this article. Here’s another reality. When Pascal was used to teach non-IT course students in universities in Australia, the pass rate was around 70%. When Java was introduced the pass rate fell to around 40%. Why do I know this? Because I have a nephew who almost failed his Chemistry Degree because of his inability to cope with Java. He went on to gain his PhD and discover a new way of fighting breast cancer and one day, no doubt, will be a great doctor/medical researcher. If you look at the languages that Google has promoted you will find that they appeal to Martians. Not to humans.

    Real progress will come when this world finally has software that allows a person with minimal training in computer science to create useful, user-friendly, fast and compact multi-platform applications.

    I wait for that day.

    • Mr Loughrey, I couldn’t agree more with You on the last paragraph that You wrote. Desktop (Not just Linux, but Desktop computing altogether) does need to improve a lot. It’s not just about having a number of great coders but it’s about having a coding language that everyone can use.
      A software that allows common man to fulfil his computing needs by designing an application to suit his requirements, Well, although this might seem not practical in the close future, the idea of such a software has a great scope. Until then, all we can do is try to spread Coding literacy among people, especially Young children as much as possible,
      Thank You for sharing Your insight with Us.

      • Just don’t mislead those people (especially young children) by claiming that coding literacy is the same as programming, or software engineering, or computer science.

  • ok, there are few things i need to correct in this article. First of all, it is GNU/LINUX, not just linux. Linux is a part of GNU project, therefore you are ignoring whole giant project when you call it LINUX. Secondly, Fuchsia OS is a product of GOOGLE. My point is it will never be free. Yes you may mean free of charge, but nothing google does gives you complete freedom. So you might wanna change the article according to this. Lastly, Fuchsia may be fast and fancy with its new core but GNU is developing its own core too(since 1990 -.- ). Hopefully it will be out soon and personally, I believe it will shake operating system market because i believe Richard Stallman is one the greatest programmer of our time and he has something up in his sleeve. Thank you for the heads up tough. Cheers to another fail operating system! :)

    • Thank you for sharing. Yup it’s GNU/LINUX. And you’re absolutely right on the free part. Google is a commerce oriented company. That’s why I said MAYBE free(:)) And We’re eager for the rollout of Hurd too. It WILL be awesome?

      • hey why was my comment not approved? I didn’t get any mail or something with the reason… I didn’t use any vulgar language or such just stating my opinion, but apparently if that isn’t to the author’s liking, its not allowed, sad sad community…

    • Stallman, greatest programmer? please… The main reason linux is not used more in a desktop OS is because of the GNU part, when everyone gives examples of how widespread linux is (to counter win and osx) and so on they immediately mention servers and supercomputers and etc why? because the kernel does it’s job just fine there, its the desktop part that sucks (GNU part)
      Also FYI its been years since Stallman coded anything, he mentioned this himself so don’t hold your breath, believe me he can’t bring anything new to the table, we have to look forward to the new ideas made by brilliant people that bring us Fuchsia and the sorts as a response to ancient problems that these “master coding” dinosaurs can’t fix…

  • It does sound promising! When companies compete, consumers usually win. Hopefully, this will solve the problem with the complete lack of security on IoT. The fact that a search engine for unsecured devices even existed and that it has such a wide range of devices anyone can see is ridiculous. If Fuschia can solve that, bravo to Google.

    That said, I doubt we will see much of Fuschia OS on devices until it gets a UI and even then, probably not soon. There is too much invested into Android and Chrome OS and too few ways to upgrade handsets that are already in the wild outside of the Nexus line.

    But I think it would be interesting to see them “compete” with one another until a good level of saturation is reached. (How does one compete against oneself?)

    It will definitely be a good move with all the knife sharpening over Java and it’s APIs.