Google is working hard to turn Chrome OS into more than just a browser, but a real, functional operating system for consumers of all kinds. Most recently, they’ve invited developers to the platform with Linux app support that enables all of their tools, including Android Studio, to work as expected. Soon, your Chrome OS and Google Drive files will be even more accessible to your Linux apps.
As Linux apps support is still in beta, features are constantly being added to improve the user experience, like sharing individual folders and files, including from your Google Drive, with your Linux apps. This allowed you to work on your Chrome OS and Google Drive files with Linux apps, without having to specifically move or copy your files into the Linux container.
Unfortunately, this sharing was only possible for sub-folders and individual files in Downloads and Google Drive, which means every new file in Downloads or Google Drive that wasn’t in a folder needs to be shared manually.
According to a new commit on the Chromium Gerrit, that’s all about to change. The commit primarily pertains to a new dialog that will be shown when sharing ‘root’ folders like My Drive or Downloads with your Chrome OS Linux apps (internally known as Crostini) container. The dialog is intended to forewarn you that sharing a root folder is a bit more serious than just sharing a sub-folder, and to be sure you know what you’re doing.
Confirmation message shown when a user shares the root of a volume such as Downloads with the crostini container.
Give Linux apps permission to open files in the Downloads folder
Confirmation message shown when a user shares the root of a Drive volume (My Drive, Team Drives, Computers) with the crostini container.
Give Linux apps permission to open files in your Google Drive. Changes will sync to your other devices.
The commit also indicates being able to share all of your Computers, as managed by Google Drive’s Backup and Sync app, and Team Drives, a feature exclusive to G Suite, with the Linux apps container. Sharing individual Computers and Team Drives was already possible, but now you’ll be able to share them all together as a folder.
Humorously, this is also the first official way to keep your Google Drive synced to Linux, as neither Drive Stream nor Backup and Sync yet have Linux compatibility.
Making the entire Downloads folder accessible will turn Linux apps into a first-class citizen on Chrome OS and will dramatically help with file organization and ease of use. I look forward to turning on this feature as soon as I can.