Google Cloud Shell

What is Google Cloud Shell?

If you’re a developer, you know how important it is to have a reliable and efficient environment for coding. Google Cloud Shell is a web-based development environment that provides developers with a fully managed instance of the Google Cloud Platform. It allows you to access a virtual machine that includes pre-installed tools and libraries for development without installing anything on your local device. With Cloud Shell, developers can easily manage their projects, run commands, and edit files securely and conveniently.

In this article, we’ll explore the features of Google Cloud Shell, how to access it, the Cloud Shell environment, running commands, customizing it, pricing, and its benefits.

GCP cloudshell

Cloud Shell

Google Cloud Shell is a shell environment running on the Cloud Platform. It provides a web-based command line interface (CLI) to manage your resources, which includes tools such as gcloud, kubectl, and git. Cloud Shell is free to use and comes with 5GB of persistent disk storage, which means you can store your files and data in your home directory, and they will persist across sessions.

Cloud Shell also has a built-in web preview feature that allows you to preview your application in a web browser without deploying it to a production environment. This feature helps test and debug your code before deploying it.

Another feature of Cloud Shell is the ability to create and manage virtual machines from the command line. You can create, start, stop, and delete virtual machines using gcloud commands, which makes it easy to manage your infrastructure from one place.

Accessing Cloud Shell

Accessing Cloud Shell is easy. All you need is a Google Cloud Platform account, free to create if you don’t have one already. Once you have an account, you can access Cloud Shell by clicking on the Cloud Shell icon in the top right corner of the Google Cloud Console. Alternatively, you can open Cloud Shell in your web browser at https://console.cloud.google.com/cloudshell.

When you first access Cloud Shell, initializing your virtual machine will take a few moments. Once it’s ready, you’ll see a command prompt in your web browser, and you can start using it immediately.

Cloud Shell Environment

The Cloud Shell environment is a Linux-based virtual machine with many pre-installed tools and libraries for development. It includes tools such as Docker, Kubernetes, and Git and programming languages such as Python, PHP, and Ruby. You can also install additional tools and libraries if you need them.

The Cloud Shell environment also includes a web-based text editor called Cloud Shell Editor. This editor allows you to edit files directly in the web browser, and it supports features such as syntax highlighting auto-completion, and version control integration.

One of the benefits of the Cloud Shell environment is that it’s fully managed by Google, which means you don’t have to worry about managing the underlying infrastructure. Google takes care of updates, security, and availability so you can focus on coding.

Running Commands

Running commands in Cloud Shell is straightforward. You can use the built-in command line interface or the Cloud Shell Editor to run commands in a terminal window.

To run a command in the built-in command line interface, type the command into the terminal window and press enter. For example, to list the files in your home directory, you can order:

Bash
ls

Press enter. The output will be displayed in the terminal window.

To run a command in the Cloud Shell Editor, open a file and press Ctrl + Shift + P to open the command palette. Select the “Run Command” option, type in your command, and press enter. The output will be displayed in a terminal window within the editor.

Cloud Shell Editor

The Cloud Shell Editor is a web-based text editor that allows you to edit files directly in the web browser. It supports many features that you would expect from a modern text editor, such as syntax highlighting, auto-completion, and version control integration.

The editor also supports multiple tabs, so you can work on multiple files simultaneously. You can also split the editor into various panes, allowing you to view numerous parts of the same file or files simultaneously.

One of the benefits of the Cloud Shell Editor is that it’s fully integrated with the Cloud Shell environment. This means you can run commands directly within the editor and access your Cloud Shell environment variables and functions from within your code.

Customizing Cloud Shell

Customizing the Cloud Shell environment is easy. You can install additional tools and libraries using the built-in package manager or customize your shell environment with your configurations.

You can use the built-in package manager to install additional tools and libraries. For example, to install Node.js, you can type:

Bash
sudo apt-get install nodejs

Press enter. The installation process will begin, and you’ll be prompted to enter your password if necessary.

To customize your shell environment, you can edit your shell configuration file. The default shell for Cloud Shell is Bash, and the configuration file is located at ~/.bashrc. You can add your own aliases, functions, and environment variables to this file, which will be loaded every time you start a new session.

Cloud Shell Pricing

Cloud Shell is free to use and has 5GB of persistent disk storage. This means you can store your files and data in your home directory, which will persist across sessions.

However, you can purchase additional storage space if you need more storage. The pricing for extra storage is based on the amount of storage you need and the region in which your Cloud Shell instance is located.

Google Cloud Shell

Google Cloud Shell is a powerful and convenient development environment that provides developers with a fully managed instance of the Google Cloud Platform. With Cloud Shell, developers can easily manage their projects, run commands, and edit files securely and conveniently. Google fully collects the environment, so you don’t have to worry about managing the underlying infrastructure.

Google Cloud Shell is a command line interface to integrate you with the Google Cloud experience. It is available in several versions for Windows, Linux, and browsers.

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Cloud Shell is a temporary Compute Engine VM with 5GB of persistent disk storage ($home dir). It comes installed with several applications such as Cloud SDK, Java, Python, etc.

gcloud commands are broken up into the following :

Bash
gCloud | Service | Resource | Verb</strong>

There are some important concepts to remember:

  • Cloud shell is tied to the account, not the project
  • The server is not persistent.
  • Resources in $home are available after reboot, but all other resources are preemptive.
  • Cloud Shell can respond to JSON API requests.
  • APIs can be queried with the API Explorer (Swagger)
  • Temporary Compute Engine VM
  • Command-line access to the instance via a browser
  • 5 GB of persistent disk storage ($HOME dir)
  • Pre-installed Cloud SDK and other tools
  • gcloud: for working with Google Compute Engine and many GCP services
  • gsutil: for working with Cloud Storage
  • kubectl: for working with Google Container Engine and Kubernetes
  • bq: for working with BigQuery
  • Language support for Java, Go, Python, Node.js, PHP, and Ruby
  • Web preview functionality
  • Built-in authorization for access to resources and instances

After 1 hour of inactivity, the Cloud Shell instance is recycled. Only the /home directory persists. Any changes made to the system configuration, including environment variables, are lost between sessions.

Richard.Bailey

Richard Bailey, a seasoned tech enthusiast, combines a passion for innovation with a knack for simplifying complex concepts. With over a decade in the industry, he's pioneered transformative solutions, blending creativity with technical prowess. An avid writer, Richard's articles resonate with readers, offering insightful perspectives that bridge the gap between technology and everyday life. His commitment to excellence and tireless pursuit of knowledge continues to inspire and shape the tech landscape.

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