18 Crosh Terminal Instructions All Chromebook Customers Ought to Know

Did you know that Chromebooks have a built-in terminal? Known as the Chrome OS Developer Shell – or Crosh for short – this terminal gives you access to a command line interface that you can use to debug your computer, run tests, or just poke around for fun.

So let's take a look at some terminal commands all Chromebook users should know to improve productivity and troubleshooting.

Important Crosh Terminal commands for Chromebooks

We'll explain all of this in more detail, but here is the TL; DR version:

  1. Open cross: Ctrl + Alt + T

  2. Ring: ping (domain)

  3. Test memory: Memory test

  4. Configure modem: Modem help

  5. Chrome OS rollback: Rollback

  6. Stop a process in Crosh: Ctrl + C

  7. Open Task Manager: above

  8. Battery manager: Battery test (seconds)

  9. Developer mode commands: Sleeve, systrace, Packet capture

  10. User and operating time: Operating time

  11. Time settings: set the time

  12. Network diagnostics: network_diag

  13. Network trace: Trail path

  14. Help: help, help_advanced

  15. Storage information: for free, meminfo

  16. Switch to the canary channel: live_in_a_coal_mine

  17. Automatic updates via cellular networks: update_over_cellular (enable | disable)

  18. Quit Crosh: exit

1. Open Crosh

You won't find Crosh in the regular list of apps in your Chromebook's app drawer.

To open Crosh, you have to press Ctrl + Alt + T, which opens the terminal window in a new browser tab.

Note: Your Chromebook doesn't need to be in Developer Mode to access Crosh.

2. Perform a ping test

Type ping (domain) to ping your Chromebook. To check your network connection with ping, enter the following command:

ping google.com

In case you didn't know, ping tests are an important tool when trying to diagnose network problems. It shows you how fast the traffic is between your computer and a web server. It also notifies you of dropped packets.

3. Test your Chromebook's memory

While you can use third-party plug-ins to view information about your Chromebook's storage (see our article on reviewing your Chromebook's specs to learn more), it may not be enough for some users. If you want more detailed information, use Crosh. Just enter the following and press Enter:

Memory test

4. Configure your modem

A critical part of troubleshooting your network is making sure that your modem is configured correctly.

Enter the below mentioned command into the Chromebook's terminal. You are given access to a number of options, including settings to activate your modem, connect your modem, change the modem firmware, reset your modem to factory settings, and more.

Modem help

5. Reinstall a previous version of Chrome OS

If a recent Chrome OS update wreaked havoc on your computer, you can easily undo the changes and use Crosh to revert to a previous version of the operating system.

All you have to do is type and hit the following command in Crosh Enter:

Rollback

RELATED: What Do You Do If Your Chromebook Won't Turn On?

6. Stop any process in Crosh

Suppose you want to stop a background process like a ping or memory test in Crosh. You can do this by pressing Ctrl + C. This method is better and safer than closing the Crosh window completely.

7. A better task manager

Few people know that Chrome OS (and the Chrome browser on other operating systems) has its own task manager. It shows you which processes are eating up your CPU and memory. You can find it by opening Chrome and going to. walk More (three vertical dots)> More Tools> Task Manager.

Even fewer people know, however, that Chrome OS has a secondary task manager hidden in Crosh. You can use it to learn about low-level processes that are not shown in the main Task Manager app. You can access it by simply typing:

above

8. Battery management

Again, you can see the headline battery stats by simply looking in the lower right corner of your Chromebook's screen.

However, if you want more information, please give Battery test (seconds) in Crosh (replace (Seconds) with number). You can test this command by typing the following into the terminal:

Battery test 10

Crosh shows you exactly how much battery power your device has used over the specified period, as well as feedback on your remaining battery life and the general health of your battery.

9. Developer mode commands

You don't have to be a developer to use Crosh. However, once you've enabled Developer Mode, there are three new commands available to you:

  • Sleeve: Opens a full bash shell
  • systrace: Starts a system trace
  • Package_Erquisition: Captures and logs data packets

Related: Reasons You Should Choose a Chromebook Over Windows Laptop

10. User and Uptime

When was the last time you turned off your Chromebook? There can be days or even weeks between reboots.

You can use the command mentioned below to see how long your computer has been running since it was last shut down. The results also provide information about the currently logged in users.

Operating time

11. Change the time

Are you having issues with your device's display time? Perhaps you live on a time zone boundary or have an Internet connection with an IP address that moves frequently.

Enter set the time in Crosh, and you can override the operating system's time settings. For example, run the following command to change the time:

set_time February 10, 2021 11:21 am

12. More network diagnostics

If you've pinged your modem and tried to configure your modem but you're still having problems, enter this command for full diagnostics on your network:

network_diag

The output is saved as a TXT file in your Chromebook's memory.

13. Follow the package route

The last Crosh network command on this list allows you to trace the route of the received data packets over a network. Run this command to check the packet route for google.com:

tracepath google.com

14. Get command line help

If you're looking for a command that isn't on this list, you can get a short or full list of all of the Crosh commands available to you.

Here's a short list of commands:

help

For a full list of commands, type:

help_advanced

15. Storage information

If you want information about your Chromebook's memory usage, you can use either of the two Crosh commands below.

To overview:

for free

For detailed information:

meminfo

16. Switch to the Canary Canal

You can subscribe to different channels depending on the type of updates you want on your Chromebook. There are four main channels available.

  • Stable is for reliable and tested updates.
  • With beta, you get tested and fairly reliable latest features.

  • Dev Channel provides the latest updates that may not be very reliable.
  • Then there is that canary Channel that offers experimental updates with state-of-the-art functions but very low reliability.

The name of this experimental channel is derived from the saying "canary in a coal mine". You can switch to that channel and live on the edge with the following command:

live_in_a_coal_mine

17. Automatic updates via cellular networks

By default, Chrome OS does not update the system while on a cellular network. It's the same as Android. If using the mobile Internet is not a problem for you, you can use these commands to enable or disable automatic updates via cellular networks:

Activate update_over_cellular
Deactivate update_over_cellular

18. Leaving Crosh

When you're done exploring and want to close the shell, just type:

exit

As simple as that.

Make backups before you start

It goes without saying that if you change settings in the Chrome OS Developer Shell without knowing what you are doing, you can render your system unusable.

Fortunately, Chromebooks are remarkably easy to restore, but you would lose all of your locally stored data. So make sure you take backups before you poke around too much.

Have fun exploring your Chromebook by tinkering with the Crosh commands listed above.

All Chromebook Keyboard Shortcuts: The Chrome OS Cheat Sheet

Our mega list of Chromebook keyboard shortcuts will help you complete everyday tasks while using Chrome OS.

Continue reading

About the author

Dan price
(1601 published articles)

Dan joined MakeUseOf in 2014 and has been Partnerships Director since July 2020. Contact him with any questions about sponsored content, affiliate agreements, promotions, and other forms of partnership. You can also find him in the showroom every year at CES in Las Vegas. Say hello when you come with me. Prior to his writing career, he was a financial advisor.

More
By Dan Price

Subscribe to our newsletter

Subscribe to our newsletter for tech tips, reviews, free e-books, and exclusive offers!

Click here to subscribe

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *