Google Chromebook vs. Gallium Chromebook

Chromebooks have been enhancing quite a bit over time. They’re not simply net browsers with keyboards anymore. Many Chromebooks can now run Linux applications through an included Crostini digital machine container, and plenty of may run Android apps. (As lengthy because it’s not enrolled in enterprise administration: Be cautious about shopping for refurbished Chromebooks.) Those additions can vastly enhance the usefulness of Chromebooks and vastly reduces their limitations.

Just a few months in the past, I wrote {that a} $99 Chromebook with Gallium OS put in is so a lot better. That was simply an editorial with a “the best way to” although and I didn’t present any in-depth experimentation or proof, in order that’s what we’re going to do on this article.

I purchased two refurbished $60 Lenovo N22 Chromebooks and put in Gallium OS on considered one of them whereas letting the opposite one replace itself to the most recent model of Chrome OS 80. This is after I acquired them un-enrolled from Google’s Enterprise Management in fact.

You can watch the above video to see the complete outcomes of this experiment together with changing one of many Chromebooks to Gallium Linux, organising the Chrome OS Chromebook, testing Linux apps, testing a Linux sport, and operating some Android apps. There are some long-wait sections the place operating sure applications will get actually sluggish, and I saved these in there so you would see the precise pace comparisons.


First off I needed to start out with a comparability of DNS queries. Both Chromebooks have been linked to my WiFi community which is configured to route DNS queries by means of my very own DNS server in order that I can see (and management) what’s occurring. As one would count on, the Chrome OS Chromebook makes many calls to Google, and naturally you may count on that every one of those calls are saved as a part of the Google account which is required to make use of the gadget. Well, it may be used as visitor mode, however then you may’t set up any Linux or Android apps. There are additionally some privateness controls within the settings, however I didn’t hassle checking how these modified the DNS queries for the reason that injury was already achieved because of the Gmail log in requirement.

With Gallium OS put in, there are extra calls to open supply repositories as it might appear to be checking for updates, however no cloud-based account ID is required to make use of the gadget, and that’s an enormous benefit since there’s much less of a dependency on exterior servers. Plus with full Linux, I’ve far more management over what data will get despatched the place.

Application efficiency

When it involves Linux apps operating on these Chromebooks, Gallium OS is far a lot sooner. It’s like day and night time. Linux applications are extraordinarily sluggish to load on Chrome OS (at the least with these explicit Chromebooks) as a result of they have to be run inside a digital machine. Even after they load, the efficiency is horrible. Scribbling in GIMP, is extraordinarily laggy in Chrome OS, however nearly immediately responsive in Gallium Linux.

The Chromium browser included with Gallium Linux is simply nearly as good efficiency smart in comparison with the Chrome browser in Chrome OS, so on the internet browser stage, the 2 are virtually the identical. However, Firefox put in on Gallium Linux is far a lot better than Firefox put in on Chrome OS (through Crostini or Android, each.)

Game efficiency

I additionally examined just a little gaming efficiency utilizing the open-source Minecraft clone referred to as “Minetest”. On Chrome OS, the sport was barely usable. I couldn’t even go searching easily. On Gallium Linux, nonetheless… the efficiency is sort of usable even on such cheap {hardware}. It’s surprisingly spectacular!

Android apps

Of course, Chrome OS has some benefits over Gallium Linux. For one, it comes pre-installed and also you don’t have to determine the best way to get it to work. You don’t have to fret about driver issues or updates because the {hardware} was designed to work with Chrome OS. Another benefit is that Chrome OS now permits you to run Google Android apps. That’s fairly good… once they truly work. Unfortunately, many Android apps barely ever work on Chrome OS. The just one that I discovered to be pretty fast and dependable was Microsoft’s Remote Desktop shopper.


There are many benefits to operating a full Linux distribution like Gallium OS on cheap Chromebook {hardware}. First of all, the efficiency is massively higher than the identical Linux applications operating on Chrome OS’s native Linux assist. Everything is extra environment friendly: much less disk area used, much less RAM used, higher use of the processor. Accessing exterior drives is a bit simpler as properly.

Chrome OS has some benefits too. It’s in all probability already put in on the Chromebook, so that you don’t need to put any effort into modifying issues. Linux applications are run in a digital machine container in order that they and you may’t by accident screw up the first Chrome OS system. The reality which you can run Linux applications and find out about Linux applications with out worrying about messing up your Chromebook is a big benefit so long as you may tolerate the slowness. Android apps are additionally supported even thought they’re awfully sluggish and principally unusable. Chrome OS can be simpler to handle and lock-down in an Enterprise setting in case you’re a enterprise.

In my opinion, full Linux on a laptop computer is a lot better for studying about know-how and the long run is fully about software program and know-how.






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