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Google Cloud Shell

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Google Cloud Shell
Initial release2016
Written inC, Java, C++, Python, Go, Ruby
Operating systemDebian Linux

Google Cloud Shell is an online, browser-based command-line environment provided by Google Cloud Platform (GCP). It is a Debian-based virtual machine with a persistent 5 GB home directory, allowing users to manage their GCP resources and projects directly from their web browser.[1][2][3]

Cloud Shell is available to all Google Cloud users, including those on the free tier, at no additional cost. It can be accessed directly from the Google Cloud Console or through the Google Cloud SDK.


  • Persistent Storage:

Cloud Shell provides 5 GB of persistent storage in the user's home directory, enabling them to store files, scripts, and configurations that persist across sessions.[1][2]

  • Integrated Development Tools:

The Cloud Shell environment comes pre-installed with a variety of development tools and utilities, including the Google Cloud SDK (gcloud), Git, Docker, and various programming language runtimes and tools.[4]

  • Web-based Code Editor:

Cloud Shell features a web-based code editor based on Eclipse Theia, allowing users to develop, build, debug, and test their applications directly from the browser.[1][4]

  • Secure Remote Access:

Cloud Shell supports OpenSSH for secure remote access, enabling users to connect to their Cloud Shell instance from various devices and locations.Automatic [1][4]

  • Project and Authentication:

When a user launches Cloud Shell, it automatically sets the active GCP project and authenticates the user, streamlining the process of managing cloud resources.[1][2]


While Cloud Shell provides a powerful and convenient development environment, it has some limitations:

  • The root file system is volatile, meaning that any changes made outside the user's home directory will be lost when the session ends.
  • Users cannot expand the persistent storage beyond the default 5 GB allocation.
  • Cloud Shell instances are automatically terminated after an hour of inactivity, and users must manually restart the session if needed.


  1. ^ a b c d e "Cloud Shell". Google Cloud. Retrieved 2024-07-10.
  2. ^ a b c "How Cloud Shell works". Google Cloud. Retrieved 2024-07-10.
  3. ^ Amed, Moin Uddin (2024-05-30), marufmoinuddin/google-cloud-shell-debian-de, retrieved 2024-07-10
  4. ^ a b c "Introduction to Google Cloud Shell and commands list". blog.economize.cloud. 2022-02-20. Retrieved 2024-07-10.