How-To: Getting a command prompt on your Chrome OS Device

This is a discussion on How-To: Getting a command prompt on your Chrome OS Device within the Chrome OS FAQ's & HOWTO's forums, part of the Chrome OS Forum category; Getting to a command prompt If you're a Linux hacker, you probably know that Google Chrome OS is built on top of Linux and you're ...

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    How-To: Getting a command prompt on your Chrome OS Device

    Getting to a command prompt

    If you're a Linux hacker, you probably know that Google Chrome OS is built on top of Linux and you're wondering how you can jailbreak your device so you can get to a command prompt. It turns out: there's no need. The command prompt is built in to your device!

    IMPORTANT NOTE: Before following these instructions, remember to put your device into Developer Mode (see above).

    Get the command prompt through VT-2

    One way to get the login prompt is through something called VT-2, or "virtual terminal 2". This is probably familiar to the Linux hackers out there. You can get to VT-2 by pressing:
    [ Ctrl ] [ Alt ] [ => ]
    ...where the [ => ] key is the right-arrow key just above the number 3 on your keyboard.

    Once you have the login prompt, you should see a set of instructions telling you about command-line access. By default, you can login with the chronos user with no password. This includes the ability to do password-less sudo. The instructions on the screen will tell you how you can set a password. They also tell you how to disable screen dimming.

    The instructions do tell you how to get back to the browser, but because it's so important, I'll also put it here. Just press:
    [ Ctrl ] [ Alt ] [ <= ]
    ...where the [ <= ] key is the left-arrow key just above the number 1 on your keyboard.

    SIDE NOTE: For the technical-minded, you may realize that the top-rows of the keyboard on a Chrome OS Notebook are actually treated by Linux as the keys F1 through F10. Thus, the [ => ] key is actually F2 and the [ <= ] key is actually F1.

    SIDE NOTE: If you're fooling around, you might also notice that kernel messages show up on VT-8.

    Getting the command prompt through crosh

    Because you booted into developer mode, you also have an alternate way to get a terminal prompt. I'll mention this as well, since the alternate shell is a little nicer (in the very least, it keeps your screen from dimming on you), even if it is a little harder to get to. To use this alternate way:
    Go through the standard Chrome OS login screen (you'll need to setup a network, etc) and get to the web browser. It's OK if you login as guest.
    Press [ Ctrl ] [ Alt ] [ T ] to get the crosh shell.
    Use the shell command to get the shell prompt. NOTE: even if you set a password for the chronos user, you won't need it here (though you still need it for sudo access)

    Note that entering the shell this way doesn't give you all the instructions that VT-2 does (like how to set your password). You might want to follow the VT-2 steps once just to get the instructions.

    If you want to get back to the browser without killing the shell, you can do it with [ Alt ] [ Tab ].

    SIDE NOTE: You can actually create as many shells as you want. Just hit [ Ctrl ] [ Alt ] [ T ] again and a second shell will be opened. You can [ Alt ] [ Tab ] between them. - Your Google Chrome OS Forum

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