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Category: Chrome OS

An update on Chrome OS XPRT benchmark development

In July, we discussed the Chrome OS team’s decision to end support for Chrome apps, and how that will prevent us from publishing any future fixes or updates for CrXPRT 2. We also announced our goal of beginning development of an all-new Chrome OS XPRT benchmark by the end of this year. While we are actively discussing this benchmark and researching workload technologies and scenarios, we don’t foresee releasing a preview build this year.

The good news is that, in spite of a lack of formal support from the Chrome OS team, the CrXPRT 2 performance and battery life tests currently run without any known issues. We continue to monitor the status of CrXPRT and will inform our blog readers of any significant changes.

If you have any questions about CrXPRT, or ideas about the types of features or workloads you’d like to see in a new Chrome OS benchmark, please let us know!

Justin

XPRT possibilities with ChromeOS Flex

Recently, Tom’s Guide published an interesting article about how they used ChromeOS Flex to turn a ten-year-old Apple MacBook Pro into a functioning Chromebook by replacing the laptop’s macOS operating system with ChromeOS. ChromeOS Flex is a free Google tool that allows users to create a bootable USB drive that they can then use to install ChromeOS on a wide variety of hardware platforms that traditionally run other operating systems such as macOS or Windows. Because ChromeOS is a cloud-first, relatively low-overhead operating system, the ChromeOS Flex option could breathe new life into an old laptop that you have lying around.

Never having encountered a MacBook Pro with ChromeOS, we were interested to learn about Tom’s experience running XPRT benchmarks in this new environment. WebXPRT 4, WebXPRT 3, and the CrXPRT 2 performance test apparently ran without any issues, but we have not yet seen a CrXPRT 2 battery life result from a ChromeOS Flex environment. We plan to experiment with this soon.

We were happy to publish the results on our site, and will consider any ChromeOS Flex results we receive for publication. If you submit results from ChromeOS Flex testing, we ask that you use the “Additional information” field in the results submission form to clarify that you ran the tests in a ChromeOS Flex environment. This will prevent any possible confusion when we see a submission that lists a traditional macOS or Windows hardware platform along with a ChromeOS version number.

Do you have experience running CrXPRT or WebXPRT with ChromeOS Flex? We’d love to hear about it!

Justin

An update on Chrome OS support for CrXPRT

In March, we discussed the Chrome OS team’s plan to end support for Chrome apps in June and instead focus their efforts on Chrome extensions and Progressive Web Apps. After receiving feedback on their published timeline, the Chrome OS team decided to extend Chrome app support for Enterprise and Education account customers through January 2025. Because we publish our Chrome app (CrXPRT) through a private BenchmarkXPRT developer account, and because we have not seen any further updates to the support timeline, we don’t assume that the support extension will apply to CrXPRT.

Since June has come and gone, and the support extension probably does not apply to our account, we do not expect to be able to publish any future fixes or updates for CrXPRT. As of now, and up through Chrome 105, the CrXPRT 2 performance and battery life tests are still working without a hitch. We will continue to run the benchmark on a regular basis to monitor functionality, and we will disclose any future issues here in the blog and on CrXPRT.com. We hope the app will continue to run both performance and battery life tests well into the future. However, given the frequency of Chrome updates, it’s difficult for us to predict how long the benchmark will remain viable.

As we mentioned back in March, we hope to begin development of an all-new Chrome OS XPRT benchmark by the end of this year. We’ll discuss that prospect in more detail in future blog posts, but if you have ideas about the types of features or workloads you’d like to see in a new Chrome OS benchmark, please let us know!

Justin

CrXPRT 2 on FydeOS!

Recently, a tester contacted us with details from a CrXPRT 2 performance test run that they’d successfully completed on… an Apple MacBook Pro! Because CrXPRT 2 is a Chrome Web App that we designed for Chrome OS, it was quite a surprise to hear that it is now possible to run CrXPRT 2 on non-Chrome OS platforms by using FydeOS.

FydeOS is an operating system based on a fork of the Chromium OS project. Developers originally intended FydeOS to be a Google-independent, Chrome-like alternative for the Chinese educational market, but FydeOS is now available to the English-speaking consumer and enterprise markets as well. FydeOS users can run a Chrome-like OS on something other than a Chromebook or a Chromebox, such as a PC, Mac, virtual machine, or even a Raspberry Pi device. Additionally, FydeOS supports Android, Chrome OS, and Linux apps, and users can run those apps at the same time on the same screen.

We have not yet conducted any testing with FydeOS in our lab, but we wanted to pass along this information to any readers who may be interested. If the OS operates as described, it may provide a way for us to experiment with using CrXPRT 2 in some interesting cross-platform tests.

Justin

Chrome OS support for CrXPRT apps ends in June 2022

Last March, we discussed the Chrome OS team’s original announcement that they would be phasing out support for Chrome Apps altogether in June 2021, and would shift their focus to Chrome extensions and Progressive Web Apps. The Chrome OS team eventually extended support for existing Chrome Apps through June 2022, but as of this week, we see no indication that they will further extend support for Chrome Apps published with general developer accounts. If the end-of-life schedule for Chrome Apps does not change in the next few months, both CrXPRT 2 and CrXPRT 2015 will stop working on new versions of Chrome OS at some point in June.

To maintain CrXPRT functionality past June, we would need to rebuild the app completely—either as a Progressive Web App or in some other form. For this reason, we want to reassess our approach to Chrome OS testing, and investigate which features and technologies to include in a new Chrome OS benchmark. Our current goal is to gather feedback and conduct exploratory research over the next few months, and begin developing an all-new Chrome OS benchmark for publication by the end of the year.

While we will discuss ideas for this new Chrome OS benchmark in future blog posts, we welcome ideas from CrXPRT users now. What features or workloads would you like the new benchmark to retain? Would you like us to remove any components from the existing benchmark? Does the battery life test in its current form suit your needs? If you have any thoughts about these questions or any other aspects of Chrome OS benchmarking, please let us know!

Justin

Updated system configuration recommendations for CrXPRT 2 battery life tests

Recently, we heard from a BenchmarkXPRT Development Community member who was testing Chromebooks in their lab. On a few of the Chromebooks, they saw sporadic CrXPRT 2 battery life test failures where CrXPRT 2 would successfully complete a battery life test and produce a result for the initial run, but then fail at the end of later runs.

After a considerable amount of troubleshooting, they determined that the issue seemed to be related to the way some systems automatically shut down before the battery is completely exhausted, and the way some systems will automatically boot up once the tester plugs in the power adapter for charging. This member found that when they added a few system configuration steps before battery life tests and made slight changes to their post-test routine, the systems that had previously experienced consistent failures would successfully complete battery life tests and produce results.

The added steps are quick and straightforward, and we decided to add them to the Configuring the test device and Running the tests sections of the CrXPRT 2 user manual. We hope this updated guidance will help to prevent future frustration for CrXPRT 2 testers.

If you have any questions or comments about the CrXPRT 2 battery life test, please feel free to contact us!

Justin

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