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Table of Contents

Google Cloud Shell is a Google Cloud Platform interactive shell interface. It allows you to manage your projects and resources directly from the browser, without the need to install the Google Cloud SDK or any other tools on your computer.

A variety of utilities are already installed in the online Cloud Shell Editor such as Bash, GCP SDK, Nano, Composer, Git, Docker and many more.

Google Cloud Shell is a counterpart of Azure Cloud Shell, and it can be used to develop, test, debug, and deploy cloud-based instances. App development can be performed from the browser itself, and a host of different options are available for users to optimize their processes.

Activate and use GCP Cloud Shell

Activate Google Cloud Shell

  • Go to the top navigation bar, and click the square button at the right of the search bar. A highlighted text pops up with the words Activate Cloud Shell

Cloud Shell Terminal min

  • A terminal window is presented after a few seconds. Your Cloud Shell is now ready to use. You already have a small instance Google Compute Engine virtual machine running a Debian-based Linux operating system when Cloud Shell is activated. If left unused for over an hour, the instance is automatically terminated.

CLoud Shell Terminal View Projects List

  • Type gcloud projects lists in the terminal to view a list of all the available GCP environments associated with your account. If you are doing this for the first time, an identity authorization prompt appears, simply click ‘Authorize’ to proceed.
  • If you have multiple projects visible, you can type gcloud set project <#Project ID#> in the terminal and control that specific project.

Cloud Shell Clone Repository

For more in-depth documentation on the different functionalities of Google Cloud Shell, you can access the GCP documentation.

Google Cloud Shell Commands List

Here is a list of the basic  commands to get you started with the Cloud Shell CLI.

1)    List the active account name

gcloud auth list

2)   List the project ID

gcloud config list project

3)    Create a new instance using Gcloud shell

gcloud compute instances create [INSTANCE_NAME] --machine-type n1-standard-2 --zone [ZONE_NAME]

4)    SSH into the machine

gcloud compute ssh [INSTANCE_NAME] --zone [YOUR_ZONE]

5)    Create a Storage bucket

gsutil mb gs://[BUCKET_NAME]

6)    Copy a file in to the bucket

gsutil cp [FILE_NAME] gs://[BUCKET_NAME]

7)    List the compute engine instances created:

gcloud compute instances list

8)    Stop a Compute Instance

gcloud compute instances stop [INSTANCE-NAME]

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Conclusion

Google Cloud Shell is a wonderful package than allows you to manage your GCP resources with the flexibility of a Linux shell. Being able to interface with your resources on any remote browser offers an advanced level of accessibility. Having a host of different yet essential tools already pre-installed and updated saves a lot of time and efforts. Finally, having options to work on multiple instances simultaneously massively increases productivity, enabling users to maintain multiple workflows and collaborate with different teams from the same platform.

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