A New Feature for GPU Support Coming to Chrome OS 76

It’s been more than a year since Linux apps were made available for Chrome OS devices. Since then, Chromebooks have started getting more and more support. However, GPU support is heavily demanded by users. GPU support was not available for Linux applications until now. Finally, a feature called ‘Crostini GPU Support’ is added to Chrome OS 76 by fulfilling the wishes of the users.

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The feature is available in Chrome OS version 76.0.3789.0, which was originally developed for Chrome OS 76. The new feature is at a very early stage for now and is not in a fully stable version. Therefore, there are likely to be some disturbances. Also, GPU acceleration is only supported on a few Chromebooks. The list of them is as follows:

  • Google Pixelbook
  • Dell Inspiron 14
  • Lenovo Yoga Chromebook C630
  • Acer Chromebook 13
  • Acer Chromebook Spin 13
  • HP X360 Chromebook 14

Users who own any of these and want to test Crostini GPU acceleration should install a very experimental version of Chrome OS for now. You can do this by reading the instructions below:

  • Open the Chrome browser, go to chrome://flags/#crostini-gpu-support and enable the feature;
  • The browser will ask you to restart the device, for this click the ‘Restart Now’ button;
  • Open terminal app and run ‘sudo apt-get update’;
  • Then run ‘sudo apt-get dist-upgrade’ then reboot your device once again;
  • In the last step, you can open the terminal again for checking and run ‘glxinfo -B’.

If you see the ‘Device: virgl’ column in the logs, you have successfully enabled GPU acceleration. The video memory column outputs 0 MB for some users, but that doesn’t seem to be a problem.

The stable version of Chrome OS 76 will be released in August. Apart from Crostini GPU Acceleration, virtual desktop support is also coming. There are also some minor changes, such as the rearrangement of the ‘Clear All’ button. Many more features are expected to be added before the final release, which is more than 3 months away.

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