Google-chrome – use a chromebook as a ssh workstation?


For my work I develop and run a lot of software on remote clusters. Mostly I'm just using bash/vim over ssh and run only a terminal emulator and web browser locally. I was considering getting a lightweight chromebook for travel, etc. However, I've never actually used one and don't know anyone who owns one.

Does anyone know if a chromebook would be a suitable option, given the following requirements?

  • Can ssh into a remote machine with a fully-capable terminal
  • Can connect to a remote VNC server
  • (bonus) supports X11 forwarding over ssh
  • (bonus) has a local terminal emulator that can e.g. run bash and do some basic linux filesystem manipulation

As to the last point, I'd prefer if there was a local terminal that allowed me to define aliases, run ssh, etc; as opposed to having a completely separate ssh client like PuTTY.

Is the chromebook right for my use case? Or should I just get a cheapo normal laptop?

Best Answer

The chrome book can support your use case natively, but it is a bit limited. There are some apps you can install that give more full features.

Inside the browser you can install a ssh client or use a limited, built-in shell by doing CTRL+ALT+T to open up a CROmium SHell (CROSH for short) . The terminal can only ssh into other machines and a few other things, a lot of the things that you expect from your standard bash are definitely missing.

That said, the chrome book is great for web browsing and just ssh-ing to other computers

Some Crosh commands