ChromeOS update frequency demystified

If you follow this blog, you already know that ChromeOS updates roll out every 4 weeks. You should also know that there are 6 different channels available and as a ChromeOS admin there may be a need for you to use more than one channels in your organization.

While all channels officially progress every four weeks, they all have varying update frequency. For example the Extended release channel on ChromeOS is expected to last 6 months and they will only be updated if a serious security issue is identified. On the other end of the spectrum we have the Canary channel which is updated almost every other day automatically without any human intervention.

Thanks to a new feature I released in Chrome update tracker you can now visualize how these different channels are getting updated over time for every ChromeOS board available. Note that the data collection started only couple of weeks ago, so it doesn’t have enough history to go with.

ChromeOS update tracker

Note that the tracker shows changes in red and green as the channels move forward and backward in builds. Seeing the green changes was expected, but I didn’t see anything in red. The reason why its red here is because the “Stable” channel for this device moved form M106 to M105 within a day of the release. This typically happens when they notice and issue which requires a pause in rollout until the issue is fully identified or until a fix is available.

Note how frequently the canary channel is getting updated. This pattern should be clearer once the tool collects more data over time.





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