Cloud Shell

Cloud Shell is an interactive shell environment for Google Cloud Platform that works directly in the browser. Cloud Shell has many commonly used CLI tools preinstalled, including gcloud. Almost all the tasks/examples on this site can be done in Cloud Shell, so you don't need to install any CLIs!

Select a Project

After you logged into the Google Cloud console, make sure you have selected a project in the top bar, by clicking Select a project.

Select a project

From the Select a project dialog, select a Google Cloud Project to use. This will help pre-configure Cloud Shell to use that project as the default project.

Activate Cloud Shell

On the top right, click the Activate Cloud Shell icon.

Activate Cloud Shell icon

If it's your first time using Cloud Shell, in the introduction dialog, click Start Cloud Shell to continue. Wait for the Cloud Shell machine to provision (it may take a few minutes).

Make sure your Cloud Shell is configured with the current project by checking the current Project ID configured for gcloud:

gcloud config get-value project

Home Directory

The Cloud Shell instance is ephemeral, but your home directory will persist and its contents will be carried to future Cloud Shell sessions. Any data/binaries stored outside of the home directory may be lost.

If you want to install any additional binaries, make sure to store them inside your home directory, maybe under a bin directory.

mkdir $HOME/bin
echo 'export PATH="$HOME/bin:$PATH"' >> $HOME/.bashrc

Boost Mode

When working with Java applications and running heavier workloads in Cloud Shell, it'll be useful to enable Boost Mode. In the Cloud Shell's More menu, click Boost Cloud Shell.

Boost Cloud Shell

This will re-provision your Cloud Shell instance and replace the original e2-small (0.5 vCPU, 2GB of memory) machine type with a larger e2-medium (1 vCPU, 4GB of memory) machine type.

See Compute Engine Machine Types documentation for more details on the machine types.

Multiple Tabs

You can open new Cloud Shell tabs by clicking the + icon.

Open a new tab + icon

Code Editor

Cloud Shell comes with common text editing tools, such as vi, emacs, nano. It also has a built-in web-based text editor. You can open the web-based editor by clicking Open Editor.

Open Editor

This will launch an embedded editor where you can open and edit text files. You can switch back to the terminals by clicking Open Terminal.

Open Terminal

Default Zone and Region

You can specify the default zone or region with a gcloud command. If you primarily operate within a single zone or region, set the default zone and default region.

gcloud config set compute/region us-central1
gcloud config set compute/zone us-central1-c
gcloud config set run/region us-central1

See the complete list in Regions and Zones documentation.