Latest release addresses L1TF and Foreshadow vulnerabilities

Sep 18, 2018 19:35 GMT  ·  By  ·  Comment  · 
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Google released today the Chrome OS 69 operating system for Chromebook devices, a major release that follows in the footsteps of the Chrome 69 release, which arrived earlier this week with a new look on all supported platforms and major feature updates.

Chrome OS 69 is the first release of the Linux-based operating system that enables support for running Linux apps on Chromebooks. However, the Linux app support is still in development and it's presented to users in a beta form, available only on select devices due to hardware restrains. A complete list with the Chromebooks supporting Linux apps is available here.

"While we would like to be able to bring this work to all Chromebooks, the required kernel and hardware features limit where we can deploy this," says Google in the blog announcement. "A lot of features we use had to be backported, and the further back we go, the more difficult & risky it is to do so. We don't want to compromise system stability and security here."

Night Light, revamped Files app, and security fixes

Besides implementing initial support for running Linux apps, the Chrome OS 69 operating system introduces some much-anticipated features like Night Light, which lowers the blue light of your Chromebook's screen to improve your sleep quality and reduce eye strain, global text-to-speech settings, dictation support into any text field, and Tablet Mode behavior unification.

Chrome OS 69 also comes with a redesigned Files app that not only lets users view files from their installed Android and Linux apps, but also adds native support for Team Drives. Users will now be able to save Google Play app files directly to the Files app via the share sheet. Other improvements include power state alerts for Kiosk apps, faster access to emojis, and the ability to close apps in the Overview mode by swiping.

Last but not least, Chrome OS 69 adds a new video capture service and brings various out-of-body experience visual improvements for a better Chromebook experience. As expected, this release addresses some of the latest security vulnerabilities, including the L1 Terminal Fault (L1TF) speculative execution side-channel cache timing flaw known as Foreshadow. Chrome OS 69.0.3497.95 (Platform version: 10895.56.0) is now rolling out to most Chromebook devices in the stable channel.

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