How to use the handy SSH management tool in Chrome OS

Lenovo Chromebook on a table.


Chrome OS has become the platform for users of all kinds. Whether you’re a typical user who spends most of his time within an operating system browsing social media, writing ad-hoc papers and checking for the latest trends, or you’re an administrator who spends all day need to work on remote computers, Chrome OS has you covered.

One tool I use quite often comes through Linux. If you’ve already activated Linux, you understand that Chrome OS is much more than just a web browser. With Linux support enabled, you can install a large number of applications to turn Chrome OS into a much more traditional operating system.

Likewise: How I revitalized three old computers with ChromeOS Flex

Adding an SSH connection to the Linux terminal app

Along the way with Linux comes a terminal tool that is much more than a command-line means to an end. You also get a handy Secure Shell connection manager with the Linux terminal in Chrome OS.

Let me show you how it works.


The only thing you need to enjoy this handy SSH management tool is a Chrome book with Linux support enabled. Of course, you also need a remote computer that allows SSH connections. But that’s it. let’s go to work

Open the launcher in the lower-left corner of your Chrome OS desktop. Locate the Terminal app and click on it.

The Terminal entry in the Chrome OS Launcher.

Launch the Terminal app from the Chrome OS launcher.

Image: Jack Wallen

In the Terminal app, click Add SSH.

The Chrome OS Terminal app.

The Terminal app makes it easy to manage your SSH connections.

Image: Jack Wallen

In the resulting popup, enter the details for your new SSH connection in the command section, which will look something like this:

ssh [email protected]

Where USERNAME is the username on the remote server and SERVER is the IP address of the server. For example, the command could look like this:

ssh [email protected]

If your remote server uses a different port for SSH, this command might look something like this:

ssh [email protected] -p 2022

Don’t worry about the Identity or SSH Relay Server Options sections. After configuring the command, click save and your new entry will now be listed in the SSH section of the Terminal app.

The New SSH Connection dialog in Chrome OS.

Enter the SSH details for a new remote connection.

Image: Jack Wallen

Use your new SSH connection

In the Terminal app, under the SSH section, click the remote server you want to connect to.

The first time you connect to a remote server from the Chrome OS Linux terminal, you will be prompted to accept the fingerprint. When prompted, type yes and press Enter on your keyboard.

Chrome OS's SSH fingerprint acceptance popup.

Accepting the SSH key fingerprint is required to establish a connection.

Image: Jack Wallen

You will then be prompted to enter the password for the remote user. After successful authentication, you are in an SSH session on the remote computer, where you can then take care of any necessary administrative tasks.

The SSH password prompt for the Chrome OS terminal.

Enter your remote connection user password and you’re good to go.

Image: Jack Wallen

And that, my admin friends, is all you need to manage your SSH connections in Chrome OS.

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