It’s perfectly possible to run AppImages from within Crostini.

One of the assets which I have, is an Asus Chromebook, that has modest specifications (including mere 32GB of storage), but on which I did activate the Debian / Stretch flavour of Linux. I should also mention that this Chromebook has the Intel Celeron N3350 CPU, which runs the x86_64 instruction set. This latter detail is of some importance, as full compatibility with Linux will not be realized without it. Admittedly, the subset of Debian / Stretch packages that have been cross-compiled to ARM CPU binaries is limited, and what I’m about to describe in this posting will not work at all, on ARM CPUs (that were also the more-common CPUs for use with Android).

The virtual machine that runs Linux inside ChromeOS is also called “Crostini”.

One of the limitations which I’ve heard about Crostini is, that one cannot perform most loop-mounts in root mode. For that reason, there might be some misgivings about being able to run AppImage’s, because those require a user-space mount of a ‘SquashFS’ file system, and also require the existence of a kernel module to do so.

Therefore, I am most happy to report, that on my Linux setup, and with up-to-date Chrome 85…, I am able to run AppImage’s after all, that were meant for Linux, and for the 64-bit, Intel / AMD CPU family.

As an example, I was well-able to download the Kdenlive video editor, in the form of the Linux AppImage, and to get it to run under ChromeOS. I find that often, the video editing features available from Google Play / Android apps are way too limiting.

Thus, I am finding new ways to enjoy my Chromebook and its Linux subsystem. I would warn people though, that, before running AppImage’s, they install a somewhat complete set of Linux applications and libraries.


 

(Update 9/10/2020, 20h55: )

 

One of the facts which my other postings describe is that recently, I have been building my own AppImages – on a tower PC. Those AppImages can be found here:

https://dirkmittler.homeip.net/binaries/

A handicap with which I’ve been building these, has been, an inability to test, whether they really work. After the executable tries to find its libraries within its own bundle – within its locally mounted file system, it looks to the host machine for additional libraries. Well, the simple fact that my AppImages run on the same computer I used to create them, is not enough to prove, that the system for determining which libraries to bundle, is in fact a good process.

What I have now done was, to transfer 3 of the AppImage’s I created myself, to my Chromebook, and to try running them there, even though admittedly, they are not as fascinating as mainstream software is. And what I found is, that all 3 run on the Chromebook. :-D

 

Dirk

 

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