Limitations and restrictions

Cloud Shell, as of the latest release, has the following known limitations and restrictions.

Custom installed software packages and persistence

The virtual machine instance that backs your Cloud Shell session is not permanently allocated to a Cloud Shell session and terminates if the session is inactive for 20 minutes. After the instance is terminated, any modifications that you made to it outside your $HOME are lost.

Consider customizing your environment if you'd like to have your configurations persist across sessions.

VS Code extensions

Cloud Shell does not support the installation of additional VS Code extensions for use in the Cloud Shell editor. However, the Cloud Shell editor comes with a set of essential extensions already installed and kept up-to-date.

.bashrc content

Cloud Shell may produce errors if the .bashrc file is modified or deleted. It should at least contain the following:

  if [ -f "/google/devshell/bashrc.google" ]; then
    source "/google/devshell/bashrc.google"
  fi

Slow connection performance

Connecting to a Cloud Shell for the very first time involves creating your home disk and can currently take up to 25 seconds. Subsequent connections to existing virtual machine instances take about five seconds. However, if you haven't used Cloud Shell for a week, connection performance will be slower since the home directory needs to be restored from an archive.

Browser support

Cloud Shell supports the latest versions of Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge, Microsoft Internet Explorer 11+ and Apple Safari 8+. Safari in private browser mode is not supported.

Private browsing and disabled third-party cookies

The Cloud Shell Editor cannot load in Cloud Shell if third-party cookies are disabled. Some browsers have third-party cookies disabled by default and most browsers' Incognito or Private Browser modes block these cookies as well.

With third-party cookies disabled, you can still use the Cloud Shell Editor in its own window by clicking the Open in New Window button accessible when you open an editor session Code Editor Button.

Alternatively, you can navigate directly to port 970 via Web Preview Web Preview Button.

Editor panel explaining that the code editor could not be loaded because of third-party cookie blocking, with link to Open the editor in a new window

Tip: If you're using Google Chrome, you can enable third-party cookies by clicking on the Third-party cookie blocking icon in your address bar Third-party cookie blocking icon, selecting Site not working?, clicking Allow cookies, and reloading your page.

Large file transfer

File transfer will sometimes be slow for large files. It's recommended to use gcloud beta cloud-shell scp or the editor to transfer large files.

Usage limits

Cloud Shell inactivity: If you do not access Cloud Shell for 120 days, your home disk will be deleted. You will receive an email notification before its deletion and simply starting a session will prevent its removal. Please consider a different solution on Google Cloud storage for sensitive data you wish to store long term.

Non-interactive usage: Cloud Shell is intended for interactive use only. Non-interactive sessions will be ended automatically after a warning. Note that Cloud Shell sessions are capped at 12 hours, after which sessions are automatically terminated. You can use a new session immediately after.

Weekly usage: Cloud Shell also has weekly usage limits. If you reach your usage limit, you'll need to wait until the specified time (listed under Usage Quota, found under the three dots menu icon) before you can use Cloud Shell again.

Restoring a session after a service limit violation: If your session is terminated or cannot be established because you exceeded a service limit, Cloud Shell will display an error with a link to a form that allows you to appeal the limit violation. Click the feedback link and submit the form with more information about the tasks you were performing before your session was terminated.

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