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Q&A

How can I ssh to a remote server from my Chromebook?

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How can I ssh to a remote server from my Chromebook?

A lot of the work I do involves ssh'ing to a remote web server, running software on that remote command shell, and testing things using a web browser.

A lightweight Chromebook seems like it would support that.

A lot of old documentation implies that I should be able to do Ctrl + Alt + T to start the crosh shell (which still works), then type "ssh", but that doesn't work for me -- I get a "ERROR: unknown command: ssh" error.

Some more recent web pages suggest installing the Secure Shell extension from Google Secure Shell Developers, which I have done. Then they suggest downloading a private key from some other computer -- but IT security people seem to recommend generating a private key (if I don't already have one) on the local laptop, and never copying the private key to any other machine, only sharing the public key.

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Perhaps Chrome OS' Linux sandbox could help... (1 comment)

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The Secure Shell extension is perfectly appropriate here.

SSH keys come in two parts: a private key and a public key. The public key is placed on the destination server(s), in (for example) ~/.ssh/authorized_keys.

The important thing about a private key is that it remains private to you. You can transfer it just as you would any other file, but you will want to delete any copies in insecure places -- so if you generate a key pair on a machine and copy it to a USB stick, you need to watch that USB stick carefully until it is destroyed. It is therefore easier on many systems to generate the key pair on the system which will use the private key -- but it is not necessary.

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