Lacros is Set to Become the Primary Browser on Chromebooks

Lacros, the Linux version of Chrome built for Chrome OS is set to become the primary browser on your Chromebook.

Update on 08-MAY-2021: Google is one more step closer to making Lacros the primary browser on a Chromebook. When I opened Lacros in the latest Canary version, my default Chrome profile had automatically moved to Lacros Chrome. Effective today, I am using Lacros as my primary browser. The next step for Google is to remove the regular Chrome browser.

Lacros as the primary browser

Chrome comes built-into Chrome OS. Well, Chrome OS was just the Chrome browser in the early days. Recently, Google started working on a new standalone version of Chrome for Chrome OS.

To make this happen, Google took Chrome for Linux and modified it and created a Chrome version for Chrome OS. They call this Lacros.

Lacros browser for Chrome OS

So, how does this help users?

When Chrome is built-into Chrome OS, you will stop receving Chrome updates, leaving your browser and thereby your Chromebook insecure.

Now, think what happens if Chrome was just another app on your Chrome OS? You could receive updates even when your Chromebook reaches end of life right?

This will change the way you use your Chromebook.

Are we there yet?

This morning I noticed a new Chrome OS flag to test Lacros as your primary browser:

Lacros as the primary browser: Use Lacros-chrome as the primary web browser on Chrome OS. This flag is ignored if Lacros support is disabled.”

As the flag name and description suggest, you will soon be able to make Lacros your primary browser on your Chromebook.

It might take a few more days for this flag to land in the Canary channel of Chrome OS where I will be able to test this. I shall update this article as soon as I get to do this.

In the meantime, let me know your thoughts in the comments section below. Do you have an old Chromebook that you will be able to use again because of this Chromebook?

Source: Chromium Gerrit.

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7 responses

  1. So… For all those who, like me, have chromebooks that are no longer upgradeable, none of this will solve, right? This is a real regret and disappointment. : ((((((

  2. So off course then the question becomes like with Windows 7 etc how long will Lacros get updates for on an old Chromebook lol. Most browsers only get 2 ish years (pandemic changed this) after Microsoft stopped supporting Win7.

    This is really cool, though one wonders what the performance will be like if it’s running in some sort of Linux container and hence it might not actually bring that much more life to current old Chromebooks with low spec.

    How does this work exactly? Is it running through a background Linux beta type thing?

    Surely if they can do this with Chrome Linux they can do this with any Linux app? Basically it could be a type of way to bring Linux apps to Chrome OS with it’s own Play store. Though that would surely make things less secure as Chrome OS was largely secure because it had no apps. Anyway you see my point that it possible opens up a more user friendly version of Linux beta?

    Basically Chrome OS just becomes Linux but supper user friendly.

  3. In order for this to be of use to “resurrect” Chromebooks that have already gone past their AUE date, it stands to reason that there will need to be a mechanism to update the old version of the OS just to be able to apply the new browser. That would be a nice trick for my old ASUS C100PA, which still runs just fine. Of course, the next performance obstacles to running any old laptop are greatly diminished battery life and obsolete hardware components.

  4. Hi,
    Like others have stated here in the comments, I too was in that same position of owning an older chromebook that had reached it end of life as far as google software updates goes. I came across at least two different sites that if your chromebook meets the stated qualifications can be ‘modified’ to give it some additional & renewed life. The sites I’m referring to are: https://mrchromebox.tech/#home & this group on the reddit site https://www.reddit.com/r/chrultrabook/ . At least for me I’m so happy to have given my chromebook added life.

  5. Do you when I would be able to use this Lacros browser? My Toshiba chromebook will have its end of life date this year somewhere.

    1. Sorry, no. They have been working on Lacros for a long time now. As the core component of Chrome OS I would think they will release it to Stable only when it is completely ready.

  6. Also neverware will be supporting Chromebooks with CloudReady.

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