CloudReady is Losing Support for VirtualBox and Flatpak

Posted on February 1, 2021 by Paul Thurrott in Chrome OS, Chromebook with 6 Comments

Recently acquired by Google, CloudReady will no longer support Oracle VirtualBox or the Flatpak software deployment and package solution.

“CloudReady will no longer support VirtualBox and Flatpaks after v87,” a CloudReady support article explains. “We will no longer ship CloudReady with these utilities.”

According to CloudReady maker Neverware, support for both of these solutions predates the inclusion of beta Linux capabilities in Chrome OS/Chromium OS, and neither is needed anymore as a result.

“Moving forward we will focus on making Linux (Beta) work on more CloudReady devices,” the support document says. The firm points to the ChromeOS Linux (Beta) website for more information.

The problem, of course, is that Chromium OS, which is used by CloudReady, already lacks some key features found in the official Chrome OS releases, including support for the Google Play Store and Android apps. And some commercial CloudReady customers probably rely on VirtualBox or Flatpak already. Perhaps the situation will improve with Google acquiring CloudReady: It could make these Linux (Beta) support more readily available—along with the Play Store and Android apps—on CloudReady-based devices.

In the short term, CloudReady customers can block updates to prevent the upgrade to Chromium OS 87 and the removal of VirtualBox and Flatpak support. But that will only be tenable temporarily.

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Comments (8)

8 responses to “CloudReady is Losing Support for VirtualBox and Flatpak”

  1. wright_is

    CentOS has just been through something similar.

    It was bought by upstream RedHat and they said everything would remain as it was. Then, a couple of months later, CentOS announced the end of the CentOS Linux distribution and that they would now only release CentOS Stream, a beta channel for RedHat.

    This means the hundreds of thousands of production servers out there that rely on CentOS are suddenly hanging in the wind and will need to find a new distribution, or upgrade to a paid RedHat license...

    This seems to be a recurring theme among these products, they get bought up by the "project" that they branch from, with the promise that nothing will change, only for the whole thing to fall apart after a few months.

    And blocking the update to Chromium OS 87 means that they will be exposed to all the security vulnerabilities that are now known, but patched by 87... Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

  2. F4IL

    Flatpak is LGPL which is not a desirable license for google when it comes to userspace. That said, they might have some alternative technology in store for containers in chromeOS.

  3. jimchamplin

    Is CloudReady going to be hit by the removal of Google Sync, seeing as its a Chromium build?

    Seems at this point that El Goog’s motives are close to being laid bare: Kill it by nerfing it until it’s useless, similar to what wright_is mentioned with CentOS.

  4. illuminated

    I think this is awesome news. What is CloudReady anyway?

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