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Google’s Francois Beaufort has revealed in a post on Google+ that Chrome OS users can now run Linux on their machines in a desktop window. This means that developers don’t have to switch back and forth between operating systems, but rather can run them side by side. This capability is made possible by the Crouton Chrome extension, which is available on the Chrome Web Store for free.

Users who want to run Linux in a window on their desktop need the Crouton extension and to be in developer mode; there are also a few shell commands that need to be run. Beaufort breaks down the entire process in his announcement post on Google+.

The ability to run Linux on Chrome OS has been there for a while, but users have never been able to run Linux in its own window, alongside Chrome OS. From Beaufort’s post on Google+:

Google Intern has added support to run Crouton in a Chrome OS Window. Thanks to a 4,471 lines patch, fearless people can now run their favorite Linux distributions on their Chrome Devices in a nice window without jumping between Virtual Terminals as before.

The Crouton Chrome extension is available on the Chrome Web Store for free and set-up instructions can be found here.

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