As many of you know, I have been using a borrowed laptop for my coding classes and projects since May of this year and have been in search of one of my own! I wrote an article requesting expert advice on Laptop Requirements for Coding. You all did not disappoint! I had some really good suggestions about what I should look for and what everyone was using for their development setup. But, nothing intrigued me more than this comment from Matthew Clairmont:
I primarily do security tool development and contribute to a couple of open source projects. That said, I do a good amount of work on my Samsung Chromebook Plus since it has a built-in Linux distro while I'm commuting into work or sitting on the couch.
You had me at "built-in Linux." I already love the simplicity and security of Chromebook OS, but with Linux built in?! That sounded too good to be true! And so, my research began!
At first, I saw a lot of tutorials on using Crouton to essentially jailbreak the Chromebook, which did not seem appealing to me at all. But, as I researched further, I found that Google added built in functionality to run Linux on a VM using a container that lives separately from the Chrome container. Brilliant! Tyler V. wrote an excellent article about how this works here..
In this video, Google Engineers discuss the efforts they are taking to make Chromebooks secure devices for software development.
My plan is to buy a used Chromebook on the list of machines that have this feature built in. If you are interested in trying this, too, there is a reliable list here. I will enable the Linux container and let you all know how it goes in my next installment of this series. I hope to do that next week.
Has anyone else tried this setup or are you as excited by the prospect as I am? Let me know in the comments below! I can't wait to see everyone's input!