Google To Test the Fuchsia OS on the Pixelbook

By this time, we may have heard about the new mysterious operating system rolling around “Fuchsia”. This in-development OS is making its debut to the Google Pixelbook.

https_%2f%2fblueprint-api-production-s3-amazonaws-com%2fuploads%2fcard%2fimage%2f685765%2f832bc5fe-db32-4adc-94fb-f0160590eb91Google already released the documentation that shows the process to install the new operating system on the Pixelbook. So, Pixelbook Owners can directly try out this experimental OS. Before peeping into further details let us have a quick look at what Fuchsia is all about?

Google’s Fuchsia OS

Fuchsia is an operating system that is in development process since 2016. This takes third place after Chrome OS and Android. Unlike Linux kernels foundation in chrome and Android, Fuchsia is built off the Google-developed Microkernel Zircon which was formerly called as Magenta. There is no in detail information about this OS, but the development documents suggest the OS target “Modern Phones and Modern Personal Computers”.

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Explaining about the Fuchsia OS, Dave Burke, the VP of Android engineering says

“Fuchsia is an early-stage experimental project. We, you know, we actually have lots of cool early projects at Google. I think what’s interesting here is its open source, so people can see it and comment on it. Like lots of early-stage projects, it’s gonna probably pivot and morph”.

It is quite interesting that Google preferred its own Pixelbook to experiment on. In addition to the Pixelbook, the Fuchsia OS also supports Acer Switch Alpha 12 Chromebooks and Intel NUCs. The Fuchsia can also run on QEMU, but the graphics stack requires it to have a Vulkan support. Since QEMU doesn’t come up with Vulkan support, this emulator cannot get the Fuchsia platform.

As Google is planning to expand the testing to more Chromebooks, there is a speculation rolling around about even the mysterious “Andromeda”.

Fuchsia Installation on Pixelbook

Previously, the system UI was able to pack up as an APK file and thus supports Android phone. But now the install process has changed completely and the current version will not run on the smartphones.

The installation process is unique as it requires a USB drive to install. But the media creation process is “destructive”. So you need to sacrifice your USB for installing and running this OS on your Pixelbook.

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For Android, it took around 5 years to come live as a real product. If Fuchsia follows the same path and survives the development process then we can expect this to become a real-time product probably around 2020. All in all, Google isn’t revealing much information about this secret yet deep-in development program. It is not even suggesting or insisting the users try out their new Fuchsia OS. This is quite surprising! Isn’t it?

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