Connect to Remote Servers Using SSH on Your Chromebook

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Connect to Remote Servers Using SSH on Your Chromebook

SSH is the most convenient technique to connect to a remote server. Users using Chromebooks may also utilize SSH to connect to remote Linux servers, which many people are unaware of.

Setting up SSH on a Chromebook is simple and requires just a few steps.

Using the Chrome SSH Extension

Installing the Secure Shell addon is the easiest method to configure SSH on your Chromebook. The Chrome SSH app has been superseded by this addon. While the latter is still accessible on the Web Store for Chromebook users, it will be phased down for normal users in 2021 and business users in 2022.

Install the Secure Shell Chrome addon instead. It functions similarly to the previous program and any other remote terminal software, such as PuTTY, that you may have used on other operating systems, such as Windows. Any SSH keys produced in the Chromebook Linux environment may also be used. More on it later.

To connect, click the Secure Shell logo, and a menu will appear. Select Connect Dialog from the menu. A menu will open, prompting you to input the settings you’ll need to connect to your server, such as the server’s address and your username. You may import an SSH key established on another machine by using the Import button.

Once you’ve entered your credentials and successfully signed in to your remote server, you may begin your connection at any moment by selecting it from the menu.

Mosh sessions are also supported by this plugin. Mosh is great since it allows you to remain connected even if your wifi connection stops or you shut your laptop. Simply choose the styled Mosh option, and a screen identical to the connection setup menu will appear. Simply provide the same information as before, and you’ll have a Mosh connection from your browser.

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Using SSH Under Linux

If your Chromebook supports it, using SSH under Linux is a more versatile choice. You won’t have to depend on a browser plugin to connect to a distant server this way.

If you haven’t previously configured the Linux environment on Chrome OS, go to Settings > Developers > Linux Development Environment (beta).Chrome OS will install Crostini, a Debian Linux environment.

Chrome OS 103 and later have an interface for launching the terminal as well as additional tabs for configuring frequently-used servers.

To add a server, just click Add SSH and provide your login, server address, and other details in the relevant areas. If you have an SSH key, you can add it just as you do with the extension.

If you produced a key in the Linux environment, it may be found in Files under My Files > Linux >.ssh > id rsa. If you don’t see anything beginning with “.”, click More (the three-dot icon), then Show Hidden Files. Select a key from the drop-down menu to use it.

If you haven’t already done so, follow the steps in the following section.

Once the SSH server connection is established, you may initiate an SSH session by clicking on it.

You may also launch SSH directly from the Chromebook Linux command line. This is suitable for one-time SSH sessions. To launch the shell, choose Penguin from the menu. Then, much like any other Linux command line, you may log in:

ssh user@server

Simply replace user and server in the preceding command with your username and the address of the server to which you’re attempting to connect. If your username on your local system and the distant machine are the same, you may remove the username since SSH will presume that your local username is also the remote server’s username.

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Mosh may also be launched in the same manner, albeit it must be installed separately under Linux:

sudo apt install mosh

Once that’s done, you can just run Mosh from the command line:

mosh user@server

Generating an SSH Key on Chromebooks

One of SSH’s most useful features is the ability to produce a public/private key pair, which allows you to connect in to your remote server more securely than using a password alone or not logging in at all.

The key pair operates on the basis of a private and public key. The private key is unique to your computer and remains on it. You should keep it secret, as the name says. You may, however, copy the public key to distant servers.

To generate a key, type:


This will result in the creation of the key pair. You’ll also be asked to provide a password. It should be more difficult to guess than a password. Alternatively, you can leave it empty.

Use the ssh-copy-id command to copy the public key to the server:

ssh-copy-id server user@server

On the remote server, you may also manually copy and paste your public key. Your public key may be found at.ssh/id Copy the contents of this file to the remote server’s.ssh/authorized keys file. Using ssh-copy-id instead of manually transferring the key pair is considerably simpler and quicker.

You will then be able to access the server using your password. You may log in without a password if you left the passphrase field blank.

You Can SSH From Your Chromebook

You now know how to use SSH to connect to a remote server from a Chromebook using either a browser extension or the normal SSH client in Linux.

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You may use Mosh and Tmux together to unleash the true potential of remote sessions. This not only makes remote computing simpler, but it also allows you to run terminal programs without having to worry about them too much.

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