Press "Enter" to skip to content

Posts tagged as “chromebooks”

A First Look at the Samsung Chromebook Plus

Based on this video, it appears as if this Chromebook from Samsung would be a great machine with GNU/Linux installed on it.

The Viewing Room

Samsung ChromeBook plus

When watching this video, imagine how nice this Chromebook would be with a full Linux install.

Needed: A Linux Three in One Distro

If FOSS is to have a future, we must embrace both mobile and the Chromebook model and develop a distro that’s equally at home on a phone, a low resource cloud based computer and on a traditional PC.


When Linus Torvalds started work on Linux, his purpose wasn’t to reinvent the operating system. Just the opposite. His purpose was to build an operating system that was a lot like the already existing Unix. In other words, he embraced what was already being used.

Linux desktop, Chromebook, mobile distroLinux desktop, Chromebook, mobile distroAs development continued, refinements were naturally added that didn’t exist in other operating systems, many of which eventually ended up in other *nixes and even Windows, just as many new additions to Unix also ended up in the Linux kernel. But the original purpose was simply to build on what had gone before, not to create something radically different.

Christine HallChristine Hall

Christine Hall has been a journalist since 1971. In 2001, she began writing a weekly consumer computer column and started covering Linux and FOSS in 2002 after making the switch to GNU/Linux. Follow her on Twitter: @BrideOfLinux

A Look at Android Apps on Chromebook

The Video Screening Room

While the initial reaction from the FOSS community to Android Apps on Chromebooks will probably be a little cooler than lukewarm, the fact is that this might eventually be good for free and open source software.

When Google announced this week that future Chromebooks (and some current ones) will be able to run Android apps, a booming thunderclap spread across Silicon Valley — and could be heard in the four corners of the world. This news is indeed a game changer, reported nicely here in video form by The Verge.

Phil ShapiroPhil Shapiro

For the past 10 years, Phil has been working at a public library in the Washington D.C.-area, helping youth and adults use the 28 public Linux stations the library offers seven days a week. He also writes for MAKE magazine, and TechSoup Libraries. Suggest videos by contacting Phil on Twitter or at

A Screencast Look at GalliumOS

The Screening Room

Our video editor takes a look at GalliumOS, a distro designed especially for use on Chromebooks.

When a group of talented people get together to create a Linux distribution optimized for use on Chromebooks, a suitable way of giving thanks is to install that operating system on a Chromebook and make a screencast showcasing the operating system at work. Back in December 2015, I did that with the outstanding GalliumOS distro.

Phil ShapiroPhil Shapiro

For the past 10 years, Phil has been working at a public library in the Washington D.C.-area, helping youth and adults use the 28 public Linux stations the library offers seven days a week. He also writes for MAKE magazine, and TechSoup Libraries. Suggest videos by contacting Phil on Twitter or at

Year of Linux Depends on How You Define Linux

The Heart of Linux

It didn’t happen slowly. On the contrary, it was a thunderbolt…a deep, thrumming, resounding sense of being right, of being at the right place at the right time. A sense of finding something that you knew without doubt would be important in your life. There wasn’t any need to “think it through” or “evaluate the situation.” The moment I realized the power under my fingertips, even my self-identity changed. With that moment growing like a supernova inside of me, I fully took on that new identity. As that blazing power exploded from within me, I knew who I was. I was now a firebrand. It was six years ago this month that I knew who I was.

I was a Linux Advocate. I just opted out of the cape.

It didn’t take me long to realize the uphill trudge I had ahead of me. The battle between GNU Linux and just Linux was enough to confuse any convert-to-be in front of me. When it takes more than a few sentences to explain something to almost anyone, their interest wanes quickly. It doesn’t help that I was trying to sell subscriptions to a divided camp either.

Android mascotAndroid mascotA helpful tip for those coming of age as a Linux Advocate: Temper your rhetoric when explaining just how much Microsoft sucks. It’s easy to come off as a wild-eyed zealot. These are lessons in advocacy learned rather quickly. And yeah…, that whole wide-eyed zealot thing? It didn’t work out so well for me. Nor will it for you.

As I did then, I still do.

Ken StarksKen Starks

Ken Starks is the founder of the Helios Project and Reglue, which for 20 years provided refurbished older computers running Linux to disadvantaged school kids, as well as providing digital help for senior citizens, in the Austin, Texas area. He was a columnist for FOSS Force from 2013-2016, and remains part of our family. Follow him on Twitter: @Reglue

What Computer Platforms Do You Use?

The FOSS Force Poll

Star Trek Communicator computerStar Trek Communicator computer
Photo by David Spalding
When Star Trek first hit the air back in the “swinging sixties,” that’d be the 1960s for those too young to remember, many of the technically minded took one look and said, “Impossible.” Or if not impossible, it’d be at least the 23rd century, the era in which the show was set, for the technology to arrive. They weren’t talking just the space travel science, stuff like warp drive, inertial dampers and the like, but were talking the small stuff too, like the communicators and tricorders. Today we have something akin to both, built into a single device called a smartphone. In hindsight, we should’ve seen it coming, but as some folks say, hindsight has perfect vision.

Free Bassel Day, Bodhi Linux Chromebook Giveaway & More…

FOSS Week in Review

As the week finally becomes Friday, here are a few things that deserve mentioning in the FOSS realm:

Bodhi Chromebook Giveaway: What’s better than having a Chromebook? Having a Chromebook with Bodhi installed on it, of course. We’ll let Jeff Hoogland explain:

“Whenever I am done working with development hardware I picked up for Bodhi Linux, instead of letting it rot in the corner of my basement I would prefer to give it back to our users,” Hoogland writes in a post on the Bodhi website describing the giveaway. “Last year we gave away an ARM powered Samsung Chromebook and this year I find myself with a spare Acer C720 Chromebook after recently upgrading to the i3 based version.”

Bodhi Linux logoBodhi Linux logoSo on May 15, some lucky Bodhi contributor — key word here is “Bodhi contributor” — will receive “a gently used Acer C720 Chromebook powered by Bodhi Linux.”

Says Jeff: “If you have already donated or contributed to the Bodhi project in 2015 no extra effort is needed on your part. If you have been thinking about getting involved or sending a donation our way now is a fantastic time to do as you might end up getting something back!”

Details on the giveaway are on the Bodhi site.

Larry CafieroLarry Cafiero

Larry Cafiero, a.k.a. Larry the Free Software Guy, is a journalist and a Free/Open Source Software advocate. He is involved in several FOSS projects and serves as the publicity chair for the Southern California Linux Expo. Follow him on Twitter: @lcafiero

How About a Chromebook on Steroids?

Jim Anderson

There’s been a lot of interesting Linux news of late. Not just GNU/Linux, but all types of Linux, Android, Chrome OS, Firefox OS, embedded (IoT), cloud computing, cars, TVs, just about anything you can think of. But truth be told, I’d like to see more Linux on the desktop — just as Linus Torvalds said he would like to see.

The recent purchase of a Chromebook for my son got me thinking about a new opportunity for Linux on the desktop. This is not an idea for getting a standard GNU/Linux desktop to automagically replace all existing Windows desktops, but to leverage the cloud computing paradigm with a bulked­-up Chromebook-­like system that would be workable for 80 to 90 percent of personal, school, and business needs.

Cloud Based LibreOffice, Facebook Reads PMs & More…

FOSS Week in Review

In 2013, Linux hits grand slam

Now that companies are closing-out their books on the old year, it’s becoming evident that Linux devices were a big hit in 2013.

On Friday, CNET’s Brooke Crothers reported that Chromebooks, those nifty laptops running Google’s Chrome OS that let the cloud do the heavy lifting, accounted for 21% of all laptop sales last year. As impressive as that may be, the numbers get even better when Android tablets are added to the mix. According to market research company NPD Group, January to November saw 1.76 million Chromebooks and Android tablets sold, up from only 400,000 during all of 2012.

The OEMs, of course, are paying attention and are readying new Linux devices for the market.

Windows Blue Blues, Symantec’s Kernel Confusion & More…

Friday FOSS Week in Review

Looking at life through the prism of the NSA

We thought last week was the week for leaked government secrets on government spying. Nope. Last week was just the tip of the iceberg coming over the horizon, with the helmsman going into full reverse attempting to avoid a collision. This week the slow motion ship of state made contact with the iceberg. Damage assessment is being done now as we write these words.

Latest FOSS News: