About GalliumOS

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GalliumOS is a fast and lightweight Linux distro for ChromeOS devices.

Why Linux?

More applications

Linux can run many different types of applicatons. No matter what you're trying to do, an application exists for Linux. ChromeOS is very limited. Sure, NaCl (Native Client) brings the ability to run native code to ChromeOS, but that's a hack at best, and there's still no good software to take advantage of it. With Linux you can install any Linux compatible software, totally natively. Firefox, Transmission (BitTorrent), LibreOffice, Steam, VLC Media Player, Kodi Media Center, the GIMP, VirtualBox, and many more are available on Linux to do things that simply aren't possible on ChromeOS.

More flexibility

  • Change the desktop's appearance
  • Configure the desktop to your liking
  • Change the desktop
    • Note: the default desktop has many fixes for ChromeOS devices
  • Install development tools and write some code
  • Replace the kernel with a different version

Why GalliumOS as opposed to other Linux distros?

GalliumOS focuses on providing a stable and well performing Linux system. The changes are mostly under the hood.

Below are some examples of the improvements/changes that are in GalliumOS compared to standard Xubuntu. This is not a comprehensive list and it continues to change.

Improved Performance

GalliumOS includes optimizations that greatly reduce system stalls and improve overall responsiveness.

  • Alternative kernel schedulers to prevent system stalls
    • BFS for process scheduling
    • BFQ for I/O scheduling
  • Removed some services to improve the boot time and reduce memory usage
  • Zram for swap, which is a much faster swap than to disk
  • Removed unnecessary kernel features/modules
  • Compton as the compositor for tear free compositing
    • Performs better than enabling Tear Free in the Intel graphics driver with a compositor

Improved Battery Life

  • As of beta2, disabled the Intel pstate driver and instead use the standard ondemand cpu frequency governor
    • The Intel pstate driver was not scaling the cpu frequency correctly most of the time. We verified this with multiple tests.
  • Miscellaneous changes: disabled the watchdog timer, disabled drm polling, reduced the minimum gpu frequency

Improved Touchpad

Integrated ChromeOS mouse driver provides a touchpad experience similar to ChromeOS

Faster boot up

Boot up time is faster than other Linux distros due to less services, a smaller kernel, and lxdm.

Built on Xubuntu

A fast, lightweight, beautiful, and fully functional desktop

Bug Fixes

Fixes for issues that affect ChromeOS devices and are not found in standard distros

  • XFCE Power manager issues
  • HDMI issues
  • Media keys
  • Kernel patches for Chrome OS hardware
  • Other bugs