Google Rolls Out Fuchsia OS to First-Generation Nest Hub

Posted on May 25, 2021 by Paul Thurrott in Google, Hardware, Mobile, Android, Smart Home with 18 Comments

Google confirmed that the latest update for the original Nest Hub replaces the underlying Linux-based OS with its homegrown Fuchsia OS, marking the first time that the firm has deployed Fushcia in a shipping product.

News of the release of Fushcia arrived via 9to5Google, whose users noticed the name, triggering a confirmation from Google. According to the search giant, the Nest Hub was originally running a Linux-based platform called Cast OS. And its replacement with Fuchsia is something that users shouldn’t even notice, in large part because the user interface was created with the cross-platform Flutter framework.

Google has been developing Fuchsia for years, at first secretly and then, more recently, more in the open. It was designed as a replacement for something called Andromeda—no, not the Microsoft Andromeda—that would have combined Chrome OS and Android into a single platform. Fuchsia is designed in large part to sever the firm’s reliance on technologies like Linux and Java that it does not control.

Fuchsia will run Android apps, so many believe that Google’s dream of having its own OS for a variety of device classes remains alive.

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Comments (18)

18 responses to “Google Rolls Out Fuchsia OS to First-Generation Nest Hub”

  1. crunchyfrog

    Fuchsia is itself a Linux variant if I'm not mistaken.

    • F4IL

      Fuchsia and Linux are fundamentally different in more ways than one. Fuchsia is an OS that adopts a hybrid/micro kernel architecture (Zircon) whereas Linux is just a kernel with a purely monolithic design.

      Unlike Linux for example, Fuchsia can have device drivers and filesystems be outside the kernel, meaning that they can run like regular applications in the background. If something crashes, instead of a blue screen and a reboot, the OS will restart whatever crashed and the user will not notice anything. Another benefit is that device drivers and un-trusted closed source software that was previously part of the kernel can now run in containers with limited access to resources and full control of what they can or cannot do.

    • simont

      Nope, it is based on their own custom kernel called zircon. It takes inspiration from Unix but is not Unix/Linux

      • mikeharris123

        Yes it is, it has been developed in public over a number of years. A quick Google search reveals:

        Fuchsia is an open-source capability-based operating system developed by Google. In contrast to prior Google-developed operating systems such as Chrome OS and Android, which are based on the Linux kernel, Fuchsia is based on a new kernel called Zircon. ...

  2. qaelith2112

    I have two of the first generation units. Anybody know how to see if it's running Fushcia or the old Cast OS?

  3. curtisspendlove

    This is pretty impressive. I had no idea they were this close on it. Deploying it to production devices must mean they are pretty confident in it.

  4. huddie

    @thurrott I bet having all your typos pointed out like this just makes your day.

  5. simont

    Typo in paragraph one:  deployed Fushcia in a shipping

    Typo in paragraph two: the release of Fushcia 

  6. navarac

    As there is no edit feature here (shame) I'll correct myself.

    The spelling is Fuchsia. The spelling in the article is all over the place, e.g fushcia.

  7. navarac

    Of course, they cannot spell fuchsia.

  8. dcdevito

    I can’t help but think this is going to be a huge turning point for Google. This OS may reap so many huge benefits for them, I’m surprised they’re so coy about it.