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Old 05-29-2015, 06:56 PM   #1
buffer overflow
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Why Chromebook, Android and GNU/Linux not cross platform operating systems.

hey folks,

I always wonder why many programs from these operating systems are not cross platform? I mean, all three are using a linux kernel.

Sometimes I would like to run a gnu/linux program on an android/chromebook device and an android/chromebook program on gnu/linux. There are a few cross platform programs that I can think of like: Firefox, google chrome browser, and Netflix.

I know very little about android's and the chromebook os's inner workings, but I do know that both have many close source apps and proprietary software and drivers.

What else is on android and the chromebook os that makes it different from gnu/linux? And why do certain companies prefer to port programs to android and the chromebook os over gnu/linux?

Last edited by buffer overflow; 05-29-2015 at 06:58 PM.
Old 05-29-2015, 08:02 PM   #2
buffer overflow
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never mind my first post. It's a dumb question. Carry on.....
Old 05-30-2015, 08:13 AM   #3
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well i'll answer that regardless, because it's not such a dumb question.

the linux kernel is only a small part of the operating system - all your examples build a different sort of GUI on top of that, and are also specialized for particular hardware (esp. android).

the example applications you named are GUI applications.
but many, many applications actually ARE compatible across these operating systems.
open a terminal on your android phone and type some common linux commands - many of them work and are indeed compatible (meaning, there's a good chance that a shell script from your home computer would work on your android phone).
Old 05-30-2015, 11:44 AM   #4
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ChromeOS is even more compatible. It's Linux, although the GUI is tweaked rather radically. You can open a standard bash terminal on a chromebook/chromebox and run any commands you could on a standard Linux installation. But most Linux applications are compiled for a specific GUI system that isn't fully available on a chromebook. You can, however, run a standard Linux distro in a chroot on a chromebook, and it's pretty common. I have Debian Jessie running in a ChromeOS chroot on my ChromeOS devices, and it's very convenient. I have all my usual Linux packages available, and all I have to do is click once to get to it, and once to get back to ChromeOS. ChromeOS is a fork of Gentoo, one of the more obscure Linux distros, but the GUI has been changed so radically that you can't install standard Linux packages. You can, however run standard Android apps in ChromeOS by installing an extension. It's worthwhile for some apps. IMO ChromeOS and Android are going to merge even more closely, if not completely. Google seems to want a similar or even identical user experience across devices. The big difference between Android and Chrome is that Android depends on a touchscreen, which most chrome devices don't have. I think touchscreens will become more common, though. It's possible to run Android apps without a touchscreen, but it's not ideal.
Old 05-30-2015, 01:53 PM   #5
buffer overflow
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Actually, I was aware of some of the stuff both of you mentioned. My main point are the apps from the Google/Chrome Apps store. There are many apps that only run in the android/chromebook os that I wish would be available in gnu/linux. But as mentioned, the linux kernel is just part of it and the other factors.

Thanks for the info fellas...

Last edited by buffer overflow; 05-30-2015 at 02:00 PM.


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