Cub Linux, an improved rebranding of the innovative Chromixium Linux distro, combines the look, feel and functionality of Google’s Chrome OS with traditional Linux performance.
Cub Linux provides a complete Chromebook experience on the hardware of your choice. The innovation is quite impressive. Cub Linux also runs software from the Ubuntu distro ecosystem.
When I reviewed the Linux hybrid Ubuntu-based Chromixium distribution in May of last year, I liked it so much that I continued using it on some of my aging hardware. I found that it ran super-fast on my new gear, and I now run the new Cub Linux version on that same gear.
Chromixium’s success apparently hit too close to the real deal for Google. Google’s Trademark Enforcement Team politely invited sole developer Rich Jack to change the product’s name to avoid suggesting an affiliation with the Chrome project. So the former Chromixium community rebranded the distro as “Cub” Linux — Chromixium + Ubuntu = Cub.
Cub Linux 1.0, released on July 1, is a replacement for the former Chromixium 1.0. It does not disappoint. In fact, performance-wise, it picks up where Chromixium left off. It has some new features and system updates. Cub has expanded into a 64-bit version.
Cub Linux Is a Worthy Chromixium Offspring
Chrome OS may be Google’s simple, minimalist operating system, but the company is still adding features to make it more useful for users. These features are often first found in Developer Mode, which isn’t difficult to enable.
For example, users running Chrome OS in Developer mode can access a PIN Unlock feature, so they don’t have to type in your entire Google password to unlock the display after putting the notebook to sleep. Here’s how to enable Chrome OS’s Developer Mode.
Chrome OS may warn you from using Developer mode, telling you it’s not as stable as regular Chrome OS, but remember, you’re already saving all of your files in the cloud. What’s the worst that can happen: having to perform factory restore?
How to Enable Chrome OS Developer Mode, Try New Features
Ask any computer power user how much more efficient they are by using keyboard shortcuts, and the general consensus will likely be “a lot.” It’s no different for Chrome OS users, and Google baked-in a slew of useful keyboard shortcuts—including one that will show you all the others.
Basically, if you’re ever in need of a definitive list of every Chrome OS keyboard shortcut available to you, just press Ctrl+Alt+/ on your keyboard.
Hitting that one shortcut will show an on-screen keyboard, where you can then press Ctrl, Alt, Shift, and Search (or any combination of the four!) to expose all available shortcuts with the currently-pressed combination. It’s pretty awesome.
For example, if you can’t remember how to take a screenshot, just hit the master shortcut, then press Ctrl. You’ll quickly find that the combination of Ctrl + “switch window” will take a screenshot. Add the Shift key to that combination, and it’ll take a regional screenshot. Use Ctrl+Alt+switch window to grab a screenshot of a window.
There is a huge collection of key combinations that you can use on Chrome OS, so this is definitely something you’ll want to explore more thoroughly.
Instantly See Every Keyboard Shortcut on Your Chromebook with This Combo
Chrome OS and Android Apps now run together on some Chromebooks. Many, but not all, Chromebook models will get the operating system update that allows it as fall approaches.
The Asus Chromebook Flip C100P — the first Chromebook to get the upgrade — is an impressive example of what will come with the hybrid integration of Chrome OS and Android apps. The performance is not flawless, but many of the apps work well enough to offer a nonplussed working experience.
The Google Chrome OS developer team last month released the first Chromebook upgrade that put the Google Play Store on the Chromebook. The Chromebook’s Chrome OS has its own inventory of apps and browser extensions provided by the Chrome Web Store.
The Google Play Store gives the Chromebook platform a huge boost in usability. Depending on the Chromebook form factor selected, being able to run Android apps alongside Chrome OS apps and browser extensions could allow users leave their tablets and traditional laptops behind.
Android, Chromebook Make a Sweet Couple
At its I/O developers conference last month, Google announced that the Google Play app store would soon be available on its set of Chromebook laptops.
Now, that plan is starting to come to fruition.
As noted by Google’s François Beaufort, anyone with an Asus Chromebook Flip can now access the Play Store, and the millions of Android apps within it, by switching to Chrome OS’s developer channel.
Beaufort says other devices will follow with the update “very soon.” Last month Google noted that Acer’s Chromebook R11 (C738T) and its own Chromebook Pixel (2015) would also be in the first wave of Google Play-enabled Chromebooks, so expect those to gain the update before long.
As you can guess, the developer channel is meant for developers, so ordinary users will have to dig into the “About Chrome OS” part of the Settings menu (and reboot their computers) to access the store. Just know that there might be bugs.
Google’s killer feature for Chromebooks has started to roll out
HP and Google last week unveiled the HP Chromebook 13.
Designed with input from customers on what they want in a next-generation Chromebook, the device is about 13 mm thick, weighs 2.8 pounds, has a brushed anodized aluminum chassis, and is the first Chromebook to use Intel’s sixth-generation Core M processors.
It has a USB C port, and HP offers a USB-C docking station as an option at US$145.
The docking station lets users hook up the Chromebook 13 to dual high-definition displays, full-sized keyboards and wired networks.
HP Chromebook 13 Wins High Praise – for a Chromebook
Google appears to be on the verge of executing a long-speculated plan to integrate Google Play’s vast collection of more than a million Android apps into the Chrome operating system. A series of screen shots recently posted on Reddit show Chrome OS users able to access the Google Play store on a Chromebook.
Users were able to find extensive references to ARC, or App Runtime for Chrome, embedded in the source code. ARC allows users to run their favorite Android apps in the Chrome OS.
Google was coy about whether the code cameo signals a new strategy.
“We’re always experimenting with new features, but we don’t have anything to announce at this time,” spokesperson Iska Saric told TechNewsWorld.
Chromebooks May Get Avalanche of Android Apps