Starting Cloud Shell

This page describes how to start a new Google Cloud Shell session.

Before you begin

Select or create a Cloud Platform project.

Go to the Projects page

Starting a new session

Click the Activate Google Cloud Shell button at the top of the Google Cloud Platform Console.

Activate Google Cloud Shell

A Cloud Shell session opens inside a new frame at the bottom of the console and displays a command-line prompt. It can take a few seconds for the shell session to be initialized.

Cloud Shell session

When you start Cloud Shell, it provisions an f1-micro Google Compute Engine virtual machine running a Debian-based Linux operating system. Cloud Shell instances are provisioned on a per-user, per-session basis. The instance persists while your Cloud Shell session is active and terminates after a hour of inactivity.

After you have started Cloud Shell, you can start to use the pre-installed tools and commands immediately from the command line. You can also install additional tools in your home directory in persistent disk storage as needed.

Opening multiple sessions

Click the Add Cloud Shell Session Add Session Button button at the top of the Cloud Shell window to open additional sessions. Each session connects to the same virtual machine instance. When you open a new session, it appears in a new tab at the bottom of the console.

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Cloud Shell