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Open CMD/PowerShell on Chromebook

Hi all, today in this article we will show you how to open CMD/PowerShell on Chromebook. PowerShell is an extremely popular and powerful tool built into Windows 11, with applications for enterprise, development, automation, and more. But PowerShell is also cross-platform and open source, with versions available for Mac OS and Linux Distros as well. So without further delay, let’s get started.

In many operating system, including Linux, Windows, and Mac, a command prompt is where you enter commands into a command line interpreter application. Simply put, you enter commands in the command prompt, and then the interpreter command prompt executes those commands.

The commands you can enter perform the full range of automation tasks, administrative functions, troubleshooting, debugging, and beyond. For those familiar with the Command Prompt, it’s easier and faster to do things with commands than with user interfaces which can be cumbersome. Once you’ve learned how to use Command Prompt for your operating system of choice, you’ll find that you can complete most tasks much faster.

The “command prompt” takes a different form depending on the operating system. Since it’s not immediately obvious how to access it on a Chromebook or other devices running Chrome OS, it’s not uncommon for people to assume it’s just not there.

Command Prompt exists on a Chromebook, but not in the sense that it exists as something you do in a separate app like on a Windows or Mac computer, where it’s known as the Terminal. However, it doesn’t take much to get to a command prompt on a Chromebook.

We’ll walk you through how you can access the Command Prompt on your Chromebook, which can make it much easier to complete tasks on your computer once you get the hang of it. You might be new to Chromebooks or the Chrome OS, but when you’ve gotten used to being able to use the Command Prompt, don’t worry. We’re here for you. Before proceeding, we recommend you to update Chrome OS

How to Open CMD/PowerShell on Chromebook

Command Prompt – Chrome Shell (crosh)

The Command Prompt on a Chromebook can be accessed from the Google Chrome web browser, which is preinstalled. Okay, so, you’re probably thinking “well, how can I do this?” It’s actually quite simple: you issue commands using the crosh shell. A “shell” is an interface to the operating system that allows you to enter commands, run applications, and so on.

Access the crosh shell

Just press ctrl + alt + T and it takes you to what’s called the crosh shell (command prompt or terminal) on a Chromebook. The crosh shell will now launch in a separate tab in the Chrome browser. Once the crosh shell is launched, you type “shell” to access the root Linux shell from your Chrome browser.

To use the shell, you must be in “developer” mode; We also recommend that you know what you are doing so that things don’t go wrong and you don’t break your Chromebook. Or at the very least, find a guide you can trust.

This Chromium OS documentation page is fairly beginner-friendly and easy to understand, so you won’t need to wade through eight pages of impenetrable technobabble just to understand your own Chromebook.

To see the basic crosh shell commands available on the Chromebook, you must type “help” after the crosh command prompt. When you need more advanced commands, type “help_advanced” instead. Advanced commands are used for debugging purposes.

The crosh helper command

Why would you want to use command prompt or crosh shell on your Chromebook? Well, if you’re just curious and want to dig around on your Chromebook device, there are a few commands you can run to check things out. Like what? In the basic help part of crosh, you can use the ping command or the top command.

The “top” command shows you system information and all running processes during the current session. This is what it looks like when we type the “help” command in crosh on our Chromebook;

Help_advanced command

To do more advanced research, yes that’s right, you will need to type the help_advanced command and choose one of the commands listed on your Chromebook to verify these details.

Even if you’re not a developer and don’t plan on debugging the system, crosh is useful for getting an update on the status of your Chromebook.

Some of the commands you might want to run check your Chromebook’s battery information. You can make sure your battery firmware is up to date and trigger an update from crosh if you want.

You can also test your battery to make sure it has no health issues and is working properly. Do you have connectivity issues? Along with help_advanced, you’ll find a command to let you see what your Chromebook’s connectivity state is and work on getting things back on track.

There are some useful debugging commands like the ones listed above, but most of the crosh commands are primarily intended for developers, but can be useful for advanced Chromebook users as well.

Examples of crosh commands

The crosh commands are generally quite intuitive. Here are a few examples to get you started, but be sure to run help and help_advanced.

  • help – As mentioned above, run this command to get help using crosh.
  • help_advanced – And, again, as mentioned above, this is the advanced help command.
  • Connectivity – Displays the status of your connectivity, which can be useful if you are having problems with your local area network or internet connectivity.
  • battery_test – This command displays the battery discharge rate for a number of seconds that you specify. For example, you can configure it to test the battery for 600 seconds: battery_test 600
  • memory_test – Tests the free memory on your Chromebook.
  • top – Indicates which plugins, extensions, tabs, etc. Chrome are using resources.
  • ping – The standard ping command which is useful for network troubleshooting.
  • sound – This command records audio using your Chromebook’s microphone, then plays the sound for you, and you can save the audio as a file.
  • ssh – If you need ssh in your web server or something, you can do it from your Chromebook using the ssh command.

This article covers the basics of the Chromebook crosh command prompt and the commands that can be used to perform basic information verification. Any Chromebook user might want to learn more about the basics and learn how to use the Chromebooks command shell, whether it’s for nothing else out of curiosity or just because they can.

Plus, gaining a deeper understanding of the technology you use every day probably won’t be a bad thing. Don’t be reckless with this; the other more advanced commands should be used by those who are very familiar with what they’re doing or as intended by the developers.

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James Hogan
James Hogan is a senior staff writer at Bollyinside, where he has been covering various topics, including laptops, gaming gear, keyboards, storage, and more. During that period, they evaluated hundreds of laptops and thousands of accessories and built a collection of entirely too many mechanical keyboards for their own use.


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