INTRO: In its initial days, Chrome OS usually got dismissed as a classy browser due its web-first approach and therefore the lack of app compatibility. Chrome OS has significantly evolved as a platform since then and has reached an edge where it can function the first OS in your PC.
If you’re employing a Chromebook as your main computer, you’re likely to ascertain a mistake message that reads “This device will not receive the newest software updates. Please consider upgrading” when it reaches end of life. Since Google Chrome is deeply integrated with Chrome OS, this suggests that you simply won’t receive updates once your Chromebook gets deprecated.
This is quite unacceptable since the user should get browser updates to remain safe from vulnerabilities. Browser vulnerabilities may get exploited, rendering old Chromebooks insecure and leaving them as a simple victim to hackers for web-based attacks.
Setting the safety aspect of this aside, dropping support for an internet browser also can cause inconsistencies in terms of compatibility on the online . In other words, some sites and features may not get supported, thereby breaking the online browsing experience. As a part of Google’s efforts to deal with this problem, the corporate is now performing on a project codenamed Lacros that potentially separates Google Chrome from Chrome OS.
What is Lacros?
Lacros is coined from Linux And Chrome OS. The project aims to decouple the Chrome browser from the Chrome OS’ window manager and system UI elements. On the technical side, it makes use of the linux-chrome binary and improves its Wayland support. Engineers at Google renamed the first Chrome OS binary as ‘ash-chrome’ and tweaked the Linux-chrome binary to develop the lacros-chrome binary.
“Lacros are often imagined as “Linux chrome with more Wayland support”. Lacros uses ozone as an abstraction layer for graphics and event handling. Ozone features a “backend” with client-side support for the Wayland compositor protocol,” explains Google.
The changes went sleep in the newest Chrome OS Canary and was first spotted by the parents over at Chrome Unboxed. After enabling feature flags within the Canary build, it’s possible to access Lacros version of Chrome immediately and it’s functional.
This could mean that within the future, your Chromebooks would continue getting Chrome updates even after their scheduled end of life. At that time, you’ll not receive Chrome OS updates intrinsically, but with regular Chrome updates, you ought to be ready to use the online with none security or compatibility issues.
It remains to be seen how Google would implement Lacros. The software giant could either plow ahead and replace its messy Chrome browser situation directly or implement in such how that Lacros-based Chrome kicks in once the Chromebook hits the end of life.
Now that Chrome could soon co-exist as an independent entity, it’ll be interesting to ascertain if the platform would let users install all channels of Chrome browser like Chrome Beta, Dev, and Canary regardless of the underlying version of Chrome OS. albeit it doesn’t, Lacros may be a breakthrough to extend the reliability of Chromebooks.