Chromebooks are selling like hot cakes. Gartner estimated that around 7 million Chromebooks will be sold in the year 2015. These budget friendly, relatively lower hardware configuration laptops come with Google’s Chrome OS.
While Chrome OS itself is based on Linux, like Android, it doesn’t really provide the complete Linux experience. This is the reason why the Linux users often remove Chrome OS and install Linux on the Chromebooks.
Since most Chromebooks consists of lower hardware configuration and hence latest mainstream Linux OS like Ubuntu and Fedora might not perform as good as the Chrome OS itself.
Custom Linux for Chromebooks
Keeping this in mind, a new Linux distribution is being developed to target Chromebooks. GalliumOS aims to build a Linux distribution that would out-perform Chrome OS on the same hardware. It is based on Xubuntu.
Feature of GalliumOS
Some of the (implemented and proposed) features of GalliumOS are:
- Alternative kernel schedulers to prevent system stalls
- Improve boot time and reduced memory usage
- Zram for swap, much faster swap than to disk
- Unnecessary kernel features/modules removed
- Compton as the compositor for tear free compositing
- The kernel watchdog timer has been disabled for power saving
- Disabled HDMI polling (that doesn’t prevent HDMI connections from working)
- Reduced the minimum GPU frequency for power save
- Integrated ChromeOS mouse driver provides a touchpad experience similar to ChromeOS
- A fast, lightweight, beautiful, and fully functional desktop based on XFCE desktop
GalliumOS is still under development and has no clear dates on when will it be releasing the final version. If you want to give it a try on your Chromebook, feel free to try the beta version:
At the same time, if you are a regular Linux user and want to have a Chrome OS like experience, try Chromixium Linux which is a Chrome OS look alike Linux distribution.