SSH Access from Chrome OS

Date: 22 December 2010

I’ve been playing with this Chrome OS notebook today since it’s seeming surprisingly stable given the problems I had with it last night. I’m beginning to wonder if the battery charge indicator was lying to me. Anyway, besides Chrome, the app I most use on my laptop is ssh. I use it to get into my server at home and to log into work if there are problems that I can fix from home. It’s a tool that I can’t really live without. Fortunately, I don’t have to.

First, I started playing with Shell In A Box. It’s a daemon that runs on a server which provides an AJAX-based terminal emulator. I can access the daemon over SSL and get a shell inside a Chrome tab. You can also configure it to ssh into a remote box which would let me get into my machine at work.

I was impressed by Shell In A Box’s terminal emulation. It was even able to deal with the screen+mutt+irssi combo I run at work.

Shell in a Box was a reasonable workaround but it wasn’t quite what I was looking for. I really wanted to be able to ssh into anything. Fortunately, there is a solution. Hitting ctrl+alt+t brings up a terminal window with the crosh shell. Crosh is extremely limited but it does have an ssh command which does exactly what I want.