ChromeOS might soon decouple the Chrome browser for faster updates

Chrome logo on a Lenovo Chromebook
(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • The alternative to Google Chrome is likely to come to Chromebooks soon.
  • The mention of Lacros is seen on the latest ChromeOS 116 update through various code changes and flags.
  • Switching to the Lacros browser should enable faster browser updates, and the transition likely won't bring any noticeable visual changes.

Google has been trying to separate Chrome browser from ChromeOS for the past couple of years under a project dubbed Lacros. It will reportedly be the default browser on ChromeOS devices, reports About Chromebooks, and the change may soon be underway.

The Lacros is built on Linux, and recent code findings from ChromeOS 116 hint at the browser coming to more Chromebooks soon. The idea behind the new move from Google is to quickly roll out browser changes in Chromebooks without having to wait for a full ChromeOS update, notes About Chromebooks.

The ChromeOS 116 update also includes a flag "lacros-only" flag that enables the Lacros browser on Chromebook. After enabling it, the existing Chrome browser is said to have been replaced with the Lacros browser. The updated browser looked identical to the Chrome browser despite the change in version number.

Previous attempts at getting the Lacros browser on a Chromebook would enable the browser in addition to the built-in Chrome browser.

As stated, the Lacros has been in the works for quite some time now. For the unaware, the Lacros is a shortened form for Linux And Chrome OS. It was first spotted back in 2020, featuring a flag dubbed "#lacros-support" in Chrome browser. Aside from faster updates, AboutChromebooks imagines this could increase the lifespans of Chromebooks.

Years of testing the Linux-based browser and the latest data suggest that Chromebooks may switch from the built-in Google Chrome to Lacros sooner rather than later, which should bring a smooth transition without any noticeable visual changes to the end user.

Vishnu Sarangapurkar
News Writer

Vishnu works as a freelance News Writer for Android Central. For the past four years, he's been writing about consumer technology, primarily involving smartphones, laptops, and every other gizmo connected to the Internet. When he is away from keyboard, you can see him going on a long drive or chilling on a couch binge-watching some crime series.