Tuesday, December 20, 2022

I Never Really Do Get Away From Google ...

... and various events over the last few days (including a warning that Chrome apps are about to stop working in Linux) got me thinking about going back from my beloved Raspberry Pi 4B to a Chromebox.

Even after switching to the Pi, my browser was Chromium, my text editor was the Caret Chrome app, my main email continued to be Gmail, and I really didn't make much use of other software, so why not?

BUT! Pricing on Chromeboxes with at least 8Gb of RAM still isn't very attractive (I get this urge every so often and check).

Then I remember that Google now does something called "ChromeOS Flex," which allows you to turn older machines into Chromeboxes/Chrombooks. But when I went to have a look at that, I found that it only supports Intel and AMD processors. The Pi runs on an ARM CPU.

Again, BUT! There's a version of ChromiumOS for the Pi. So I burned it and am running it.

So far, so good -- and if I decide I don't like it after all, I've still got my Manjaro/xfce install sitting on an SD card, so it's as simple as shut down, change SD cards, restart to revert.

Update, 12/21/22, 7am: Well, ChromiumOS is mostly pretty sweet on a Pi, but there are some problems. 

One is that it tells me I'm low on disk space even though the install resides on a 128Gb SD card, the OS only takes up 2 or 3 gigs, and my files total less than on megabyte. Presumably a partitioning problem, but I'm not sure how I'd solve it since it's, you know, ChromeOS. I can research that.

Another is that it didn't like my audio setup. Had to plug in external speakers instead of running it through my monitor/TV audio. No biggie, and maybe I can figure that one out too.

The big one is that the build seems to dislike particular web sites. One, Minds.com, it didn't want to let me log out of (although that seemed to fix itself later). The other is MailChimp, without which I simply cannot do. I could log in, etc., but when I clicked "create," it never moved on to letting me set up the day's Rational Review News Digest. I finally had to shut down, swap SD cards, and go back to Manjaro to get the day's email out.

If I have time over the next few days, I'll try to troubleshoot all that, because ChromiumOS is fast and probably doesn't consume nearly the resources. But I gotta get my work done.

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