With the right tools, Google’s Chromebooks make for cheap Linux development machines, but it takes a bit of work to get there. Nitrous.IO, which offers a fully cloud-based development environment for writing Ruby, Ruby on Rails, Node.js, Go, and Python/Django apps, launched its packaged app for Chrome today. This app turns any Chromebook into a full-blown development environment with an IDE, full terminal access and collaboration tools for pair programming.
This packaged app, the Nitrous.IO team tells us, is the “first Packaged App available in the Google Chrome Web Store that offers a full web-based IDE and linux terminal.” It’s worth noting that you can always install the packaged app on Windows or OS X, too (and on those systems, you now get Chrome’s new app launcher to start these apps, too).
Nitrous.IO provides developers with a fully cloud-hosted development environment with the ability to provision new “boxes” — that is, virtual machines for development — at will. The service offers a free tier with 384MB of RAM and 750MB of storage for basic apps or developers who just want to dip their toes into the environment (or a new language). Additional memory and storage, of course, costs extra.