Options Rider Review: Managed binary options investment?

How to prevent customer cancellations

Customer retention is a goal every business owner should be obsessed with. At the end of the day it's cheaper to retain an existing customer than it is to acquire a new one.
But how do you ensure that your customers keep using your service?
Are there any simple, yet effective ways to reduce or even prevent churn?
As it turns out there's one simple strategy you can use to keep your customers around even if they're about to leave your platform. Let's explore what it is and why it works.

Why you should obsess over customer retention

As already stated in the introduction it's important to focus on customer retention when building a sustainable business.
Acquiring customers can be an expensive endeavour. If you're not (yet) in a position where your product grows through Word-of-Mouth you're likely spending a good portion of your revenue on paid ads and marketing to drive traffic to your service. Only a few of your thousands of visitors will eventually try your product and convert to become a paying customer.
Optimizing this marketing and sales funnel is a tricky and costly activity. Think about it for a minute. Who finances your learnings and tweakings of such funnel? Correct, your existing customers.
That's why keeping your users happy and around is one of the most important business objectives.

Why customers are churning

If you think about it, there's really only one reason why your customers are leaving your platform:
Your product isn't a crucial part of their life anymore
While this sounds harsh I'd like you to think about all the services you're currently subscribing to. Now imagine that you can only keep one. What would you cancel? Probably everything except the one you can't live without.
Of course, the preferences are different from person to person and they change over time. And that's the exact reason why people cancel their subscription with your service: Their preferences have changed and they might want to take a pause from your service or need something else entirely.

"Churn Baby Churn"

Now that we know why your customers churn, it's time to get into their shoes and think about ways to keep them around.
One of the "industry" standards is to send out a survey once they're about to leave to gather feedback and convince them to stay. Some services offer coupon codes if for example the user has clicked on the "it's too expensive" option in the survey.
Other tactics are more on the "dark patterns" side of things. Hiding buttons, asking double negative questions or using other techniques to make it nearly impossible to leave. Needless to say that customers of businesses practicing such tactics aren't the ones who spread the word on how awesome the product is. Quite the opposite.
But let's take a step back for a minute and ask ourselves why this "should I stay or should I go" question has to be binary in the first place. Isn't there something "right in the middle"? Something where a user can stay but somehow go at the same time?

"Wait a minute... or a month..."

The solution to this dilemma is dead simple and obvious, yet rarely used: Make it possible to pause the subscription.
Yes, it's that simple. Just offer a way to pause a subscription and get back to it once your users current circumstances have changed.
Now you might think that it's a really bad idea to let users pause their subscription. They'll pause and never come back. So essentially it's a "passive churn" as they haven't left the platform yet but might never use it again. The stale user data is sitting in the database and your dashboards are still showing hockey-stick growth. Furthermore it's a huge implementation effort as pausing and resuming subscriptions isn't something considered business critical and hence wasn't implemented just yet.
Those are all valid concerns and some of them might turn out to be true even if you have a "pause- and resume your subscription" system in place. But let's take a seconds to look at the other side of the equation.

Why pausing is a good idea

They very first thing that comes to mind is the COVID-19 pandemic we're currently in. A lot of business scaled back and hence had to cancel subscriptions to their favorite SaaS tools to cut costs. A common "save the customer tactic" used here was to get in touch with the business owner and offer heavy discounted year long subscription plans. That way businesses could reassess if they should really quit and leave the huge discount on the table or just go with it and double down to benefit from the sweet, discounted multi-year subscription deal.
Letting business put their subscription on hold would be another strategy that could be used to help retain and eventually reactivate your users during this pandemic. Put yourself into your customers shoes again for a minute. Wouldn't you want to pay it back in the future if your supplier lent you a helping hand and wasn't "forcing" you out the door?
Even if your customers pause their account you still have their E-Mail address to reach out to them and keep them informed about your product. In fact you should use this opportunity to stay in touch, ask them how they're doing and providing something of value along the way. That way you keep the communication "warm" and your business stays on "their radar". There's a higher likelihood that they think about your service when times have changed and they're about to scale things up again.
Having a way to pause a subscription is an action that's usually taken with some level of consideration. If your customer wants to quit (s)he'll just cancel the subscription anyway. Offering a way to pause for the time-being is another option your users might just not have right now, so they're forced to make a very binary decision and therefore they just quit.
What you should also think about is that pausing a subscription doesn't necessarily mean that you'll lose revenue for sure. There are different and very creative ways in which you can implement the pause. My gym for example simply extends my membership for the amount of months I put my membership on hold. In the summer I make use of this feature since I do my workouts outside anyways. However those 3-4 months I "save" are simply "added" to my contract. I just have a little bit more control about how and where I spend my time with sports. You can get really creative here and invent other ways for this mechanism to work if you really want to ensure that you don't lose revenue.
A last, important point is that you can use this functionality as a competitive advantage and "marketing material". Be sure to add the fact that people can pause their subscription to your list of product benefits. Add it to the copy right next to your "Subscribe Now" button. Addressing objections and concerns right before the call-to-action is about to happen will drastically increase your conversion rates.

Things to keep in mind when going down that path

Now you might be excited and eager to implement this strategy in the near future but before you do so I'd like to call out a couple of things you should keep in mind when implementing it.
First of all: Keep it simple. There's no need to jump right into code and implement this functionality end-to-end. Do it manually in the beginning. Update the database records and the subscription plans for people who want to pause their subscription by hand. Maybe you find out that very few people want to make use of this feature. What you definitely want to put in place is your new copywriting. As discussed above you should ensure that your marketing website is updated and reflects the recent change you just introduced.
Next up you want to have an automated follow-up E-Mail sequence / Drip campaign setup for pausing customers. Keep in touch. Ask for problems they had with your software and help them succeed in whatever they're up to right now. You might want to jump on a quick call to gather some feedback as to why they paused and understand what needs to be in place for them to come back. If you do this, please ensure that you're genuinely interested in the communication. There's nothing worse for a user than composing a reply and shooting the E-Mail into the marketing void.
A very important, yet often overlooked step is to have a tool in place which deals with "passive churn". Such a system ensures that the credit cards on file are up to date and chargeable. There could be an overlap between your users pausing their subscription and their credit cards expiring. You don't want to make them look bad because of that. You could even think about a "concierge service" which onboards them in person once they'll come back. Combine this with a quick update on all the new features / updates they missed and are not yet familiar with.
Lastly you absolutely don't want to make it hard for your users to pause their subscription. As mentioned above, avoid dark patterns at all costs. And more importantly: Don't penalize them for pausing. Messages such as "We'll retain your data for the next 60 days" are inappropriate in the day and age of "Big Data" and access to Petabytes of storage for a nickel and dime.

Your challenge

I'd like to challenge you to think about adding the possibility to pause a subscription. Is it suitable for your business? Would it help you retain and reactive more customers (especially in the current situation we're in)?
If you're about to add it, keep in mind that it doesn't have to be complicated. Start with a simple E-Mail form your users can fill out to let you know for how long they want to pause. Just make sure that you follow the best practices outlined above and that you advertise that it's now possible for your customers to pause their subscriptions.

Conclusion

Customer retention is one of the most important metrics every business owner should focus on. It's the existing customers who finance the Customer Acquisition Costs that are necessary to bring new users into the door.
It's almost always cheaper to keep your existing customers happy than to lose them and acquire brand new ones.
Unfortunately a lot of SaaS services only offer a very binary option for their subscription plans. As a user you're either in or you're out. You stay or you leave. But what if a user wants to take a pause for a few months because of current changes in life circumstances?
Offering a way to pause a subscription is a simple, yet effective way to retain and eventually reactive your existing customers. Remember that a pause is temporary. If you follow-up with them on a continuous basis and help them succeed they'll eventually come back. Maybe even as a raving, more loyal fan of your brand.
I hope that you enjoyed this article and I'd love to invite you to subscribe to my Newsletter if you're interested in more, action-oriented posts like this.
Do you have any questions, feedback or comments? Feel free to reach out via E-Mail or connect with me on Twitter.
This post was originally published on philippmuens.com
submitted by pmuens to indiebiz [link] [comments]

How to prevent customer cancellations

Customer retention is a goal every business owner should be obsessed with. At the end of the day it's cheaper to retain an existing customer than it is to acquire a new one.
But how do you ensure that your customers keep using your service?
Are there any simple, yet effective ways to reduce or even prevent churn?
As it turns out there's one simple strategy you can use to keep your customers around even if they're about to leave your platform. Let's explore what it is and why it works.

Why you should obsess over customer retention

As already stated in the introduction it's important to focus on customer retention when building a sustainable business.
Acquiring customers can be an expensive endeavour. If you're not (yet) in a position where your product grows through Word-of-Mouth you're likely spending a good portion of your revenue on paid ads and marketing to drive traffic to your service. Only a few of your thousands of visitors will eventually try your product and convert to become a paying customer.
Optimizing this marketing and sales funnel is a tricky and costly activity. Think about it for a minute. Who finances your learnings and tweakings of such funnel? Correct, your existing customers.
That's why keeping your users happy and around is one of the most important business objectives.

Why customers are churning

If you think about it, there's really only one reason why your customers are leaving your platform:
Your product isn't a crucial part of their life anymore
While this sounds harsh I'd like you to think about all the services you're currently subscribing to. Now imagine that you can only keep one. What would you cancel? Probably everything except the one you can't live without.
Of course, the preferences are different from person to person and they change over time. And that's the exact reason why people cancel their subscription with your service: Their preferences have changed and they might want to take a pause from your service or need something else entirely.

"Churn Baby Churn"

Now that we know why your customers churn, it's time to get into their shoes and think about ways to keep them around.
One of the "industry" standards is to send out a survey once they're about to leave to gather feedback and convince them to stay. Some services offer coupon codes if for example the user has clicked on the "it's too expensive" option in the survey.
Other tactics are more on the "dark patterns" side of things. Hiding buttons, asking double negative questions or using other techniques to make it nearly impossible to leave. Needless to say that customers of businesses practicing such tactics aren't the ones who spread the word on how awesome the product is. Quite the opposite.
But let's take a step back for a minute and ask ourselves why this "should I stay or should I go" question has to be binary in the first place. Isn't there something "right in the middle"? Something where a user can stay but somehow go at the same time?

"Wait a minute... or a month..."

The solution to this dilemma is dead simple and obvious, yet rarely used: Make it possible to pause the subscription.
Yes, it's that simple. Just offer a way to pause a subscription and get back to it once your users current circumstances have changed.
Now you might think that it's a really bad idea to let users pause their subscription. They'll pause and never come back. So essentially it's a "passive churn" as they haven't left the platform yet but might never use it again. The stale user data is sitting in the database and your dashboards are still showing hockey-stick growth. Furthermore it's a huge implementation effort as pausing and resuming subscriptions isn't something considered business critical and hence wasn't implemented just yet.
Those are all valid concerns and some of them might turn out to be true even if you have a "pause- and resume your subscription" system in place. But let's take a seconds to look at the other side of the equation.

Why pausing is a good idea

They very first thing that comes to mind is the COVID-19 pandemic we're currently in. A lot of business scaled back and hence had to cancel subscriptions to their favorite SaaS tools to cut costs. A common "save the customer tactic" used here was to get in touch with the business owner and offer heavy discounted year long subscription plans. That way businesses could reassess if they should really quit and leave the huge discount on the table or just go with it and double down to benefit from the sweet, discounted multi-year subscription deal.
Letting business put their subscription on hold would be another strategy that could be used to help retain and eventually reactivate your users during this pandemic. Put yourself into your customers shoes again for a minute. Wouldn't you want to pay it back in the future if your supplier lent you a helping hand and wasn't "forcing" you out the door?
Even if your customers pause their account you still have their E-Mail address to reach out to them and keep them informed about your product. In fact you should use this opportunity to stay in touch, ask them how they're doing and providing something of value along the way. That way you keep the communication "warm" and your business stays on "their radar". There's a higher likelihood that they think about your service when times have changed and they're about to scale things up again.
Having a way to pause a subscription is an action that's usually taken with some level of consideration. If your customer wants to quit (s)he'll just cancel the subscription anyway. Offering a way to pause for the time-being is another option your users might just not have right now, so they're forced to make a very binary decision and therefore they just quit.
What you should also think about is that pausing a subscription doesn't necessarily mean that you'll lose revenue for sure. There are different and very creative ways in which you can implement the pause. My gym for example simply extends my membership for the amount of months I put my membership on hold. In the summer I make use of this feature since I do my workouts outside anyways. However those 3-4 months I "save" are simply "added" to my contract. I just have a little bit more control about how and where I spend my time with sports. You can get really creative here and invent other ways for this mechanism to work if you really want to ensure that you don't lose revenue.
A last, important point is that you can use this functionality as a competitive advantage and "marketing material". Be sure to add the fact that people can pause their subscription to your list of product benefits. Add it to the copy right next to your "Subscribe Now" button. Addressing objections and concerns right before the call-to-action is about to happen will drastically increase your conversion rates.

Things to keep in mind when going down that path

Now you might be excited and eager to implement this strategy in the near future but before you do so I'd like to call out a couple of things you should keep in mind when implementing it.
First of all: Keep it simple. There's no need to jump right into code and implement this functionality end-to-end. Do it manually in the beginning. Update the database records and the subscription plans for people who want to pause their subscription by hand. Maybe you find out that very few people want to make use of this feature. What you definitely want to put in place is your new copywriting. As discussed above you should ensure that your marketing website is updated and reflects the recent change you just introduced.
Next up you want to have an automated follow-up E-Mail sequence / Drip campaign setup for pausing customers. Keep in touch. Ask for problems they had with your software and help them succeed in whatever they're up to right now. You might want to jump on a quick call to gather some feedback as to why they paused and understand what needs to be in place for them to come back. If you do this, please ensure that you're genuinely interested in the communication. There's nothing worse for a user than composing a reply and shooting the E-Mail into the marketing void.
A very important, yet often overlooked step is to have a tool in place which deals with "passive churn". Such a system ensures that the credit cards on file are up to date and chargeable. There could be an overlap between your users pausing their subscription and their credit cards expiring. You don't want to make them look bad because of that. You could even think about a "concierge service" which onboards them in person once they'll come back. Combine this with a quick update on all the new features / updates they missed and are not yet familiar with.
Lastly you absolutely don't want to make it hard for your users to pause their subscription. As mentioned above, avoid dark patterns at all costs. And more importantly: Don't penalize them for pausing. Messages such as "We'll retain your data for the next 60 days" are inappropriate in the day and age of "Big Data" and access to Petabytes of storage for a nickel and dime.

Your challenge

I'd like to challenge you to think about adding the possibility to pause a subscription. Is it suitable for your business? Would it help you retain and reactive more customers (especially in the current situation we're in)?
If you're about to add it, keep in mind that it doesn't have to be complicated. Start with a simple E-Mail form your users can fill out to let you know for how long they want to pause. Just make sure that you follow the best practices outlined above and that you advertise that it's now possible for your customers to pause their subscriptions.

Conclusion

Customer retention is one of the most important metrics every business owner should focus on. It's the existing customers who finance the Customer Acquisition Costs that are necessary to bring new users into the door.
It's almost always cheaper to keep your existing customers happy than to lose them and acquire brand new ones.
Unfortunately a lot of SaaS services only offer a very binary option for their subscription plans. As a user you're either in or you're out. You stay or you leave. But what if a user wants to take a pause for a few months because of current changes in life circumstances?
Offering a way to pause a subscription is a simple, yet effective way to retain and eventually reactive your existing customers. Remember that a pause is temporary. If you follow-up with them on a continuous basis and help them succeed they'll eventually come back. Maybe even as a raving, more loyal fan of your brand.
I hope that you enjoyed this article and I'd love to invite you to subscribe to my Newsletter if you're interested in more, action-oriented posts like this.
Do you have any questions, feedback or comments? Feel free to reach out via E-Mail or connect with me on Twitter.
This post was originally published on philippmuens.com
submitted by pmuens to Entrepreneurship [link] [comments]

Full container/vm documentation available (unreleased but copied/pasted here)

Sourced from here but copied/pasted here for ease of view. It's not merged yet but we will be able to find it here when finished.

Running Custom Containers Under Chrome OS

Welcome to the containers project where we support running arbitrary code inside
of VMs in Chrome OS.
This is a heavily-technical document, but more user-friendly information will be
coming in the future.
We won't get into technical details for specific projects as each one already
has relevant documentation.
We instead will link to them for further reading.
[TOC]

Overview

There are many codenames and technologies involved in this project, so hopefully
we can demystify things here.
Crostini is the umbrella term for making Linux application support easy to use
and integrating well with Chrome OS.
It largely focuses on getting you a Terminal with a container with easy access
to installing whatever developer-focused tools you might want.
It's the default first-party experience.
The Terminal app is the first entry point to that environment.
It's basically just crosh.
It takes care of kicking off everything else in the system that you'll interact
with.
crosvm is a custom virtual machine monitor that takes care of managing KVM,
the guest VM, and facilitating the low-level (virtio-based) communication.
Termina is a VM image with a stripped-down Chrome OS linux kernel and
userland tools.
Its only goal is to boot up as quickly as possible and start running containers.
Many of the programs/tools are custom here.
In hindsight, we might not have named it one letter off from "Terminal", but so
it goes.
Maitred is our init and service/container manager inside of the VM, and is
responsible for communicating with concierge (which runs outside of the VM).
Concierge sends it requests and Maitred is responsible for carrying those
out.
Garcon runs inside the container and provides integration with
Concierge/Chrome for more convenient/natural behavior.
For example, if the container wants to open a URL, Garcon takes care of
plumbing that request back out.
Sommelier is a Wayland proxy compositor that runs inside the container.
Sommelier provides seamless forwarding of contents, input events, clipboard
data, etc... between applications inside the container and Chrome.
Chrome does not run an X server or otherwise support the X protocol; it only
supports Wayland clients.
So Sommelier is also responsible for translating the X protocol inside the
container into the Wayland protocol that Chrome can understand.
You can launch crosh and use the vmc command to create new VMs manually.
It will only run Termina at this point in time.
You can use [vsh] to connect to a VM instance and use LXC to run
containers.

Quickstart

Here's a quick run down of how to get started.
If you're interested in Android Studio, check out their documentation.

Runtime Features

OK, so you've got your container going, but what exactly can you expect to work?

Missing Features

There's a lot of low-hanging fruit we're working on fleshing out.
There are more things we're thinking about, but we're being very
careful/cautious in rolling out features as we want to make sure we aren't
compromising overall system security in the process.
The (large) FAQ below should hopefully hit a lot of those topics.

Security

While running arbitrary code is normally a security risk, we believe we've come
up with a runtime model that addresses this.
The VM is our security boundary, so everything inside of the VM is
considered untrusted.
Our current VM guest image is also running our hardened kernel to further
improve the security of the containers, but we consider this a nice feature
rather than relying on it for overall system security.
In this model, the rest of the Chrome OS system should remain protected from
arbitrary code (malicious or accidental) that runs inside of the containers
inside of the VM.
The only contact with the outside world is via crosvm, and each channel
talks to individual processes (each of which are heavily sandboxed).

User Data In The Container

With the shift to cloud services, current security thinking highlights the fact
that getting account credentials (e.g. your Google/Facebook passwords) is way
more interesting than attacking your desktop/laptop.
They are not wrong.
The current VM/container Chrome OS solution does not currently improve on
this.
Put plainly, anything entered into the container is the responsibility of the
user currently.
So if you run an insecure/compromised container, and then type your passwords
into the container, they can be stolen even while the rest of the Chrome OS
system remains secure.

Persistence

Linux apps do not survive logout (since they live in the user's encrypted
storage).
They also do not automatically start at login (to avoid persistent attacks),
nor can they automatically run at boot (without a login session) since they
wouldn't be accessible (they're in the user's encrypted storage).

Lifecycles

Once you've got the Terminal installed (which takes care of installing all
the other necessary components like Termina), the system is ready to use.
By virtue of having things installed, nothing starts running right away.
In that regard, when you log out, everything is shutdown and killed, and when
you login, nothing is automatically restarted.
When you run the Terminal, the Termina will be started automatically,
and the default Crostini container will be started in that.
You can now connect to the container via SSH or SFTP (via the Files app).
Similarly, if you run a Linux application diretly (e.g. pinned to your shelf
or via the launcher), the Termina will be started automatically, and
the container that application belongs to will be launched.
There's no need to run Terminal manually in these situations.
When you close all visible appliations, the VM/containers are not shutdown.
If you want to manually stop them, you an do so via crosh and the vmc
command.
Similarly, if you want to spawn independent VMs, or more containers, you can
do so via crosh and the vmc and vsh commands.

Device Support

While we would like to be able to bring this work to all Chromebooks, the kernel
and hardware features required limit where we can deploy this.
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.

Supported Now

The initial platform is the Google Pixelbook (eve) running an Intel processor
(x86_64) with Linux 4.4.

Hardware Requirements

We are not planning on requiring a minimum amount of RAM, storage, or CPU speed,
but certainly the more you have of each of these, the better off things will
perform.
You will need a CPU that has hardware virtualization support.

Glossary

FAQ

Where can I chat with developers?

All Chromium OS development discussions happen in our
chromium-os-dev Google Group.
Feel free to ask anything!

Where can I file feature requests?

As a nascent project, we've got a lot on our plate and planning on releasing,
so it'd be nice to hold off for now and check back in after a few Chrome OS
releases.
Feel free to chat/ask on the mailing list above in the meantime.
Once we are in a more stable place, you can use our issue tracker.
See the next question for details.

Where can I file bugs?

Please first make sure you're using the latest dev channel.
A lot of work is still ongoing.
Next, please make sure the issue isn't already known or fixed.
You can check the existing bug list.
If you still want to send feedback, you can [file a feedback
report]feedback-report and include #crostini in the description.
Feedback about any part of Chrome OS can be filed with "Alt-Shift-i".
If you still want to file a bug with the developers, use this link to
route to the right people.

Can I boot another OS like Windows, macOS, Linux, *BSD, etc...?

Currently, no, you can only boot our custom Linux VM named Termina.
See also the next few questions.

Can I run my own VM/kernel?

Currently, no, you can only boot Termina which uses our custom Linux kernel
and configs.
Stay tuned!

Can I run a different Linux distro?

Of course!
The full LXD command line is available, and the included images remote has lots
of other distros to choose from.
However, we don't test with anything other than the default container that we
ship, so things may be broken when running another distro.

I'm running , how do I get {gui apps, launcher icons, etc...}?

Sommelier and Garcon binaries are bind-mounted into every container, so no
need to install or cross-compile.
The systemd units and config files from cros-container-guest-tools will start
these daemons in a systemd user session.
It's also a good idea to run loginctl enable-linger to allow these to
remain running in the background.

Am I running Crostini?

If you're using the Terminal app, or programs in the default container we
provide that includes our programs to ease integration (e.g. Sommelier), then
yes.
If you're running your own container or VM, then no.

How do I share files between Chrome OS & the container?

Using Secure Shell, you can set up a SFTP mount to the remote container and
then browse via the Files app.
Work is on going to automate this step by default.

Can I access files when the container isn't running?

Currently, the container must be running in order to access its content.

Can I install custom kernel modules?

Currently, no, Termina does not include module support.
That means trying to use software that requires building or loading custom
kernel modules (e.g. VirtualBox) will not work.
See the next question too.

Can I mount filesystems?

Currently, no (*).
The containers are implemented using Linux user namespaces and those are quite
restricted (by design).
We're looking into supporting FUSE though.
(*): Technically you can mount a few limited pseudo filesystems (like
memory-backed tmpfs), but most people aren't interested in those.

Can I run a VM inside the VM?

Currently, no, nested KVM is not supported.
You could run qemu-system to emulate the hardware and boot whatever OS you want
inside of that.
Unfortunately, it'll be quite slow as QEMU won't be able to utilize KVM for
hardware acceleration.

Can I run a container inside the container?

Yes!
You'll probably need to install the relevant packages first for whatever
container format you want to run.

What container formats are supported?

Termina currently only supports LXC directly.
We're aware of Kubernetes/DockeOCI/rkt/etc... and hope to make them all easy
to use.
See the previous question for a workaround in the mean time.

What architecture works on my system?

Since everything is all native code execution, it depends on the device you
have.
If you don't know what device you have, you can find this out in two different
ways:
If you see x86_64, you'll be able to run code compiled for Intel/AMD
(32-bit/64-bit/x32 should all work).
If you see arm (or something similar like armv7l) or aarch64, you'll be
able to run code compiled for ARM/ARM64.

Can I run other architectures?

There is currently no integrated support for running e.g. ARM code on an Intel
system, or vice-versa.
You could handle this yourself (e.g. by using qemu-user), but if you're familiar
with qemu-user, then you already knew that :).

How many VMs can I run?

You can spawn as many as your system can handle (RAM/CPU-wise).
They are all independent of each other.

How many containers can I run?

You can spawn as many as your system can handle (RAM/CPU-wise).
Each VM instance can host multiple containers.

Can I run programs that keep running after logout?

Nope!
All VMs (and their containers) are tied to your login session.
As soon as you log out, all programs are shutdown/killed by design.
Since all your data lives in your encrypted home, we wouldn't want that to
possibly leak when you logout.
For more details, see the Security section in this doc.

Can I autorun programs when I login?

Nope!
All VMs (and their containers) need to be manually relaunched.
This helps prevent persistent exploits.
For more details, see the Security section in this doc.

Can I autorun programs when I boot?

Nope!
See the previous questions, and the Security section.

Are my VMs/containers/data synced/backed up?

Currently, no, nothing is synced or backed up.
You're responsible for any data going into the containers.
We hope to improve this situation greatly.

Can I use IPv6?

Unfortunately, only IPv4 is currently supported.
Yes, we're fully aware that everything should be IPv6-compatible in 2018.
We're working on it.

Can I access layer 2 networking?

Currently, no, networking access is only at layer 3 (i.e. IP).
So you won't be able to do any bridging or lower level fun stuff.
It's not clear if/when this will change.
Bridging with the outside world is difficult with WiFi, and not many devices
have Ethernet connections.
We could support layer 2 between containers, but it's not clear how many people
want this in order to justify the effort involved.

Can I access hardware (e.g. USB/Bluetooth/serial)?

Currently, no, but we are working on it.
Stay tuned!

Can I run graphical applications?

Yes, but currently things are unaccelerated.
So if you're looking to play the latest Quake game, it's not going to work well.
See the next few questions.

Can I run Wayland programs?

Yes, and in fact, these are preferred!
Chrome itself deals with Wayland clients heavily, and so you're much more
likely to have things "just work" if you upgrade.

Can I run X programs?

Yes, via our Sommelier helper.
We're still working out some compatibility kinks, and it probably will never be
as perfect as running an X server, but with the community moving to Wayland,
it should be good enough.

Why are windows sometimes tiny/fuzzy?

While Chrome supports high DPI displays, many Linux applications don't.
When a program doesn't properly support DPI scaling, poor results follow.
Currently we expose the native resolution and DPI directly to applications.
If they show up tiny or fuzzy, it's because they don't support scaling properly.
You should report these issues to the respective upstream projects so that,
hopefully someday, it'll "just work".
In the mean time, Sommelier exposes some runtime settings so you can set the
scale factor on a per-program basis to workaround the misbehavior.
Check out Sommelier's documentation for more details.
If you're applying a system wide zoom or otherwise changing the default display
resolution, we attempt to scale the application output to match.
This can lead to blurry results.
You can adjust the resolution of your display, or tweak things via Sommelier
(see above for more details).

Can I run Windows programs?

Sure, give WINE a try.
Compatibility will largely depend on WINE though, so please don't ask us for
support.

Can I run Steam?

Sure, give Steam a shot.
Just remember that without accelerated graphics or sound, it's probably not
going to be too much fun.

Can I run macOS programs?

Probably not.
You could try various existing Linux solutions, but chances are good that they
are even rougher around the edges.

Can I develop Android apps (for ARC++)?

Check out the Android Studio site for more details on this.

Why implement crosvm from scratch (instead of using QEMU/kvmtool/etc...)?

We have nothing against any of these other projects.
In fact, they're all pretty great, and their designs influenced ours.
Most significantly, they did more than we needed and did not have as good a
security model as we were able to attain by writing our own.
While crosvm cannot do everything those other projects can, it does only what
we need it to.
For more details, check out the crosvm project.

Why run VMs? Aren't containers secure?

While containers often isolate themselves (via Linux namespaces), they do not
isolate the kernel or similar system resources.
That means it only takes a single bug in the kernel to fully exploit the system
and steal your data.
That isn't good enough for Chrome OS, hence we put everything inside a VM.
Now you have to exploit crosvm via its limited interactions with the guest,
and crosvm itself is heavily sandboxed.
For more details, see the Security section in this doc.

Don't Android apps (ARC++) run in a container and not a VM?

Unfortunately, yes, Android apps currently run only in a container.
We try to isolate them quite a bit (using namespaces, seccomp,
alt syscall, SELinux, etc...), but at the end of the day, they have direct
access to many syscalls and kernel interfaces, so a bug in there is reachable
via code compiled with Android's NDK.

If Android apps are in a container, why can't users run code too?

We don't usually accept a low security bar in one place as a valid reason to
lower the security bar everywhere.
Instead, we want to constantly raise the security bar for all code.

Are Android apps (ARC++) going away?

There are no plans to merge the two projects.
We share/re-use a lot of the Chrome bridge code though, so it's not like we're
doing everything from scratch.

Don't VMs slow everything down?

It is certainly true that VMs add overhead when compared to running in only
a container or directly in the system.
However, in our tests, the overhead is negligble to the user experience, and
well worth the strong gains in system security.
For more details, see the Security section in this doc.

Why run containers inside the VM? Why not run programs directly in the VM?

In order to keep VM startup times low, we need Termina to be as slim as
possible.
That means cutting out programs/files we don't need or are about.
We use SquashFS to make the image smaller and faster to load, but it means
the image/root filesystem is always read-only.
Further, the versions of programs/libraries we ship are frequently newer than
other distros (since we build off of Gentoo), and are compiled with extra
security flags.
It would also make it more difficult to have a stateless image that always
worked and would be immune from user mistakes.
Altogether, it's difficult to support running arbitrary programs, and ends
up being undesirable.
Forcing everything into a container produces a more robust solution, and
allows users to freely experiment without worry.
Also, we love turtles.

Can I disable these features?

Administrators can control access to containers/VMs via the management
console, so enterprise/education organizations that want to limit this can.
Initially there is a "Linux (Beta)" option under the standard Chrome OS
settings, but the long-term plan is to remove this knob so things work
on-demand.
At which point, there will be no knob for unmanaged devices.
submitted by -nbsp- to Crostini [link] [comments]

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