When comparing GNU+Linux vs ChromeOS, the Slant community recommends GNU+Linux for most people. In the question“What are the best alternatives to Windows 10?” GNU+Linux is ranked 4th while ChromeOS is ranked 10th. The most important reason people chose GNU+Linux is:
It is a Unix clone.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
It is a Unix clone.
Pro Many different desktops to choose
Just use whatever you want. Some are lightweight, others are full of extravagant features. There is a flavor for each taste.
Uses the same userland as other GNU variants.
You don't have to pay anything.
Pro “Just a web browser”
On the other hand it’s pretty difficult to mess up “just a web browser”. You might get a few less phone calls from your elderly relatives about how they broke their fancy new email and internet machine.
Pro Android apps
Android apps add basic offline functionality.
Pro Booting & updating
Chrome OS boots from power off in about 7 seconds. So you don't need to leave it on and consuming power when it's not in use. You NEVER download and update any apps, although the OS does update itself. Web apps live on servers, so they're always up to date and virus free.
Pro Full laptop form-factor
Unlike tablets, the home of most hyper user friendly operating systems, Chromebooks come on an array of devices that don’t require you to buy any flimsy keyboard attachments.
Pro Pushes oneself to use (and learn how to use) cloud based solutions
With this ChromeOS also eliminates the time needed to configure the local environment.
Con GNU Copyleft
The coplyleft in the GNU licenses make it unattractive to many developers. It s also impossible to port GPLed Linux improvements to other more open operating systems like BSD or Haiku.
Con Many distributions
There are just too many of them to know.
Con Often limited by decisions of the Kernel developers
Support for the latest features in Linux is often limited by their kernel developers, for example, Nvidia once had added patches to support Optimus on Linux, however, the kernel developers rejected those patches resulting in still no official Optimus support for Linux.
Con Frankenstein OS
The whole OS is mixed together with software from different sources.
Con No interface Guidelines
Since there are plenty of X11-Desktop environments and two big Widget Toolkits, every app works and feels differently.
Con Most Distributions are not LSB-conform
The most Distributions don't follow the Linux Standard Base which results in different package formates, package management tools, bootloaders, init-systems or even filesystem hierarchy standards.
Con Most 3D drivers are not as fast as their Windows counterparts
The only display driver that comes close to their Windows counterpart is the nvidia driver. Both AMD and Intel drivers miss a Control Panel on Linux to adjust more settings than just your resolution they also usually much slower than their Windows counterparts.
Con A big mess
10-15 years ago I had everything working on my linux system bluetooth, graphic driver desktop etc.
Nowadays it is just a big mess: Distributions force me to use systemd a system I don't like since it is terrible to debug, KDE and GNOME(and its siblings) have moved even further away from each other no unlike years ago when they used freedesktop to unify things. There are now dozens of different GUI toolkits o choose every one with they own themes and usability(not to mention all the different minor versions like gtk2, 3,4 whatever that look and work all differently). in 2005 i could use bluetooth audio with alsa and no issues on every DE or WM nowadays you need pulseaudio to get it working some applications even need it to play audio. All distributions use different packaging formates (but they do and work all the same). You have now traditional apps and flatpaks, snaps and appimages. There are desktops/distributions that come with wayland preinstalled and the majority still uses X.org.
It's only a clone and some things work differently.
Con Not secure
Linux is actually the least secure OS and it is a security nightmare. Windows, MacOS, and ChromeOS are all far more secure.
Con No graphical user-interface
As the most unix systems this also comes without a graphical user interface by default.
Con “Just a web browser”
There aren’t really any applications you can get on ChromeOS. If you can do it via Chrome you can do it on a Chromebook, but not much else.
Con No icons on desktop
Chrome OS does not allow to place icons or shortcuts on the desktop, only the background picture can be changed.
Con You might need a cloud printer
If you don’t live in the paperless world yet and you haven’t bought a new printer in the last three years you may need money up for a new cloud enabled printer.