18 Crosh Terminal Commands All Chromebook Users Should Know

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18 Crosh Terminal Commands All Chromebook Users Should Know

If you’re thinking, “What is Crosh?” it’s a terminal that Chromebooks have built-in. This terminal, known as the Chrome OS Developer Shell (or Crosh for short), provides access to a command-line interface that you can use to troubleshoot your system, perform tests, or just play around with.

So, let’s have a look at and put to the test a few terminal commands that all Chromebook users should be aware of for increased productivity and troubleshooting.

Essential Crosh Terminal Commands for Chromebooks

We’ll go through all of these Crosh commands in more depth later, but here’s the TL;DR version:

Command DescriptionCommand
Open CroshCtrl + Alt + T
Pingping [domain]
Test memorymemory_test
Configure modemmodem help
Rollback Chrome OSrollback
Stop a process in CroshCtrl + C
Open Task Managertop
Battery Managerbattery_test [seconds]
Developer Mode commandsshell, systrace, packet_capture
Users and uptimeuptime
Time settingsset_time
Network diagnosticsnetwork_diag
Network tracetracepath
Helphelp, help_advanced
Memory informationfree, meminfo
Switch to the canary channellive_in_a_coal_mine
Auto-updates over cellular networksupdate_over_cellular [enable|disable]
Exit Croshexit

1. Open Crosh

Crosh will not appear in the standard list of applications in your Chromebook’s app drawer. To access Crosh, use Ctrl + Alt + T, which will open the terminal window on a new browser tab.

Crosh may be accessed without enabling Developer Mode on your Chromebook.

2. Run a Ping Test

To conduct a ping test on your Chromebook, type ping [domain]. To test your network connection using ping, use the Crosh command:

ping google.com

Ping tests, in case you didn’t know, are a vital tool for diagnosing network difficulties. It will tell you how fast traffic is moving between your machine and a web server. It will also notify you if any packets are dropped.

3. Test Your Chromebook’s Memory

Although third-party plugins may provide information on your Chromebook’s RAM (for more details, see our article on how to check your Chromebook’s specs), it may not be sufficient for certain users. Crosh can provide you with more thorough information. Simply type and press Enter the following:

memory_test

4. Configure Your Modem

Making sure your modem is properly set is an important component of troubleshooting your network.

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In the Chromebook’s terminal, enter the following command. You will have access to a variety of choices, such as settings to activate your modem, connect your modem, alter the firmware of your modem, factory reset your modem, and more.

modem help

5. Reinstall an Earlier Version of Chrome OS

If a recent Chrome OS update has messed up your machine, you can simply reverse the modifications and revert to an earlier version of the operating system by utilizing Crosh.

Simply enter the following Crosh command and press Enter:

rollback

6. Stop Any Process in Crosh

Assume you wish to stop any background process in Crosh, such as a ping or a memory test. Ctrl + C will allow you to do so. This option is preferable than shutting the Crosh window entirely.

7. A Better Task Manager

Few people are aware that Chrome OS (as well as the Chrome browser on other operating systems) has its own task manager. It displays which processes are using your CPU and RAM. Open Chrome and go to More (three vertical dots) > More Tools > Task Manager.

Even fewer people are aware that Chrome OS has a secondary task manager concealed in Crosh. It may be used to learn about low-level processes that are not visible in the main task management software. You may get to it by just entering the following Crosh command:

top

8. Battery Management

Again, glance to the bottom right-hand corner of your Chromebook’s screen to view headline battery statistics.

If you need additional information, enter battery test [seconds] into Crosh (replace [seconds] with a number).You may put this command to the test by putting the following into the terminal:

battery_test 10

Crosh will display you how much battery power your computer consumed in the provided period, as well as data on your remaining battery time and the general health of your battery.

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9. Developer Mode Commands

Crosh does not need you to be a developer. However, if you enable Developer Mode, you will have access to three more commands:

  • shell: Launches a complete Bash shell.
  • systrace: Begin a system trace.
  • packet capture: This function captures and records data packets.

10. Users and Uptime

When was the last time you shut your Chromebook down? Reboots might take days or even weeks.

To find out how long your computer has been operating since its previous shutdown, use the command shown below. The findings will also include information on the current users who are logged in.

uptime

11. Change the Time

Do you have issues with the display time on your machine? Perhaps you reside on a time zone boundary or have an internet connection with a changing IP address.

You may alter the operating system’s time settings by entering set time into Crosh. To alter the time, for example, use the following command:

set_time 02 May 2022 11:21am

12. More Network Diagnostics

If you’ve conducted a ping test and tried setting your modem but are still having problems, use the following command to perform a full network diagnosis:

network_diag

The result will be stored as a TXT file in the storage of your Chromebook.

13. Trace the Packet Route

The last Crosh networking command on our list allows you to track the path of data packets received over a network. To inspect the packet route for google.com, use the following command:

tracepath google.com

14. Get Command-Line Help

If you need a command that isn’t in this list, you can acquire a brief or complete list of all the Crosh commands accessible to you.

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To get a brief list of commands:

help

To get a full list of commands, type:

help_advanced

15. Memory Information

If you want to see how much memory your Chromebook is using, use one of the two Crosh commands listed below.

For an overview:

free

For detailed information:

meminfo

16. Switch to the Canary Channel

Depending on the kind of updates you want for your Chromebook, you may subscribe to several software delivery channels. There are four primary channels to choose from.

  • Stable updates are those that have been thoroughly tested.
  • With Beta, you receive the most up-to-date and somewhat dependable features.
  • The dev channel provides the most recent changes, which may or may not be valid.
  • The Canary channel, on the other hand, provides experimental updates with cutting-edge features but very low stability.

The phrase “canary in a coal mine” inspired the name of this experimental channel. You may use the following command to switch to this channel and live on the edge:

live_in_a_coal_mine

17. Auto-Updates Over Cellular Networks

Chrome OS does not update the system by default when connected to a cellular network. It is the same as it is on Android. If you don’t mind utilizing mobile internet, you may switch on or off automatic updates through cellular networks using the following commands:

update_over_cellular enable
update_over_cellular disable

18. Exit Crosh

When you’re done exploring and want to exit the shell, just type:

exit

It’s as simple as that.

Make Backups Before You Start Using Crosh Commands

It goes without saying that changing settings in the Chrome OS Developer Shell without understanding what you’re doing may make your machine useless.

Fortunately, Chromebooks are quite straightforward to recover, although any locally stored data would be lost. As a result, before you do too much tinkering, make a backup. So, have fun exploring your Chromebook with the Crosh commands given above.

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