Chrome OS to get a Canary channel?

Alan Buckingham
Apr 2, 2013

If you use Chrome, as in the web browser, then you likely are already familiar with  Canary, which is a cutting edge build of the software for those who think beta versions are simply too boring. The Canary version of Chrome runs two version numbers ahead of the final release and one above the beta. It can also run side by side with Chrome stable and beta, meaning you do not have to commit to making a potentially unstable piece of software your main browser.

Now it seems that those of you who use a Chromebook, which seems to be a growing number these days, can also live your computer life on the dangerous side. References have been found that indicate the Chrome operating system will also be getting a Canary channel.

The Chromium site reports that "We're adding support for moving between all channels including canary-channel. We need the appids of the board in order to switch from canary to non-canary channel. Similarly, we need the canary-channel's appid in order to switch from non-canary to canary channel. This CL adds these two values while preserving the existing semantics of CHROMEOS_RELEASE_APPID".

There is, of course, a rather obvious flaw in this. While those who simply use the web browser can freely switch back and forth between stable and developer builds, the operating system seems to have no way to handle such a thing, meaning customers would have to choose and those who opted for Canary would be running a potentially unstable OS. However, the above statement seems to indicate that Google may have a solution for this in the works. For now, though, it is just a wait and see game.

At this point we not have any real answers for this question or any other. We also have no time frame for a release. For now Google seems to be offering no explanations or additional information, so this is merely something to keep an eye on,.


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  1. PCnotPC said on April 2, 2013 at 10:47 pm

    Funny, but my now antique Cr-48 Chromebook has always had three channels: stable, beta and developer. You could pick and run any one, but if you wanted to go backwards from dev to beta or from beta to stable, you had to wait for the version to catch up or do a system reset.

  2. Gonzo said on April 2, 2013 at 5:01 pm

    ChromeOS is very interesting. There are many people who I would recommend it to based on their usage. However, without a clearly defined product lifecycle and the fact that you must purchase specialized hardware for it means it’s destined to remain obscure. Judging by Android fragmentation, I’m very leery and haven’t been recommending it as much as I’d like to.

    I wish their was a way to install a stable version with hw acceleration on a typical x86 machine. I’d gladly pay for it (assuming it will receive more than 2 years of support). It seems like it could be a good fit for all those XP spec machines. Oh well….

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