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Google proposes way for Fuchsia OS to run Android and Linux programs ‘natively’

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One of the bigger issues with making a new operating system, particularly one that’s being built from scratch like Fuchsia, is that people will rightfully want to be able to run their favorite apps on that OS. In the case of Fuchsia, which could theoretically serve as the successor to both Chrome OS and Android, people would likely expect to be able to run both Android apps and Linux apps, along with native Fuchsia apps.

Up to now, the expectation was that Fuchsia could accomplish this in the same way that Chrome OS is currently able to run Linux apps, by running a full instance of Linux in a virtual machine. Chrome OS is even set to use this same strategy for its ability to run Android apps, thanks to a project called arcvm.

However, there are some downsides to the virtual machine approach. For one, managing files between the “host” (Fuchsia, for example) and the “guest” (Android) can be tricky or cumbersome. Additionally, Fuchsia puts an emphasis on security, attempting to keep programs isolated from one another wherever possible. To maintain that level of isolation with Linux apps, Fuchsia would need to run more than one virtual machine, which could bog down performance.

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Could future Chromebooks with native Android and Linux apps...

  • Could future Chromebooks with native Android and Linux apps run on Google's Fuchsia OS?

    Since 2016 when it first appeared, Google’s Fuchsia effort has been shrouded in mystery.

    If you’re not familiar with Fuchsia, Google describes it as a “new open-source operating system” that can be scaled to run on small microcontrollers all the way up to traditional computing devices. Unlike Chrome OS, which runs on a Linux kernel, Fuchsia will have its own microkernel called Zircon.

    Up until now, I didn’t see Fuchsia having much future impact to Chromebooks.

Fuchsia could natively run Android and Linux apps

  • Fuchsia could natively run Android and Linux apps

    Fuchsia has always come across as a somewhat mysterious thing ever since its inception. Google has been secretly working on it since 2016, but it was only in May 2019 that the search giant acknowledged its existence, stating it’s nothing more than an experiment. Unlike Android and Chrome OS, which rely on the Linux kernel, Fuchsia uses a new microkernel called Zircon. Google describes Fuchsia as an open-source OS that’s “secure, updatable, inclusive, and pragmatic”.

    Multiple theories are floating around what Google plans to accomplish with Fuchsia, with one of the most popular being Fuchsia eventually replacing both Android and Chrome OS. Seeing how this OS is still in its infancy compared to the established Android platform, that’s unlikely to happen anytime soon, though. However, if a new Google proposal (via Thurrott) is anything to go by, it appears that Fuchsia could add support for running native Android and Linux apps.

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