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20 basic Chrome OS CROSH commands you should know
Are you trying to troubleshoot your Chromebook? You could go through the usual troubleshooting tips, but if you really want to dig deeper into the system it might be better to use Chrome OS CROSH commands.
What are Chromebook CROSH commands?
CROSH stands for “Chrome Shell.” This is a command shell terminal that allows you to interact directly with Chrome OS, Google’s Linux-based operating system. You can use specific commands to run diagnostics, analyze the state of the operating system and its components, and more.
This is technically a Chromebook’s equivalent to Windows’ Command Prompt or MacOS’ Terminal. Similarly, Chromebooks don’t come with a list of commands or a straightforward guide to use them. This is why we’ve decided to compile the best ones in this list of the Chrome OS CROSH commands.
How to launch the CROSH terminal
Before we jump into the fundamental Chrome OS CROSH commands you should know, we need to show you how to use them.
- On your Chromebook, press these keys: Ctrl + Alt + T.
- CROSH will launch.
- Type the command, and hit Enter.
Now, let’s move on to our favorite CROSH commands.
The best CROSH commands you should try
Check a website’s ping
We have a list of things you can do if your Chromebook has internet issues. You can also use a quick CROSH command to see how well Chrome OS can access websites, though. The ping test can help you figure out how fast online data from specific websites is reaching your Chromebook.
- CROSH Command: ping <website>
Just replace the <website> part in the command above with any website of your choosing. For example, if you’re using Google.com, it would be ping google.com.
Change modem settings
If you’ve found your internet is having issues, your best bet would be to check on your router. Most times, a simple restart will do. If you need to dig deeper into the settings, you can do so using Chrome OS CROSH commands. You can actually do quite a bit from here. Some options include checking its status, activating it, factory resetting it, checking the eSIM, and more. All you have to do is enter the CROSH command below, and you will get a list of secondary commands you can use.
- CROSH Command: modem help
If you want to use one of the secondary commands, just write modem <command>.
Test the memory
Those who believe the memory on their Chromebook is having issues have a simple tool they can use, without the need for third-party services. It’s pretty simple to run a diagnostics test on CROSH. This will let you know if all systems are operational, and will also tell you if there are any memory failures in your system.
- CROSH Command: memory_test
Set the time
You can easily change a Chromebook’s time from the settings, but those who want a bit more control can also use Chrome OS CROSH commands. You can change the date and time by using the command below.
- CROSH Command: set_time <date> <month> <year> <time>
Just replace the optional sections with actual times. For example, you could do something like set_ time 25 December 2023 12:00am.
Go back to previous Chrome OS versions
While it is always recommended to keep your Chromebook up to date, some software updates can bring issues along. A bug may have slipped through, or maybe a feature was removed. Regardless of your reasoning, there is a command you can use to go back to the previous version.
Just keep in mind this will trigger a powerwash, also known as a factory data reset.
- CROSH Command: rollback
Check battery usage
You can check a Chromebook’s battery in the status bar and the settings, but you can also access this info quicker through the CROSH terminal. This command will pull up information such as whether the computer is running on battery or charging, the battery’s health, and how much the Chromebook is discharging.
- CROSH Command: battery_test <running time in seconds>
The Chromebook will run a test for specific seconds, determined by you. So, if you want to run the test for 30 seconds, the command would be battery_test 30.
Usually, recording audio on a Chromebook would require a third-party app or website. But did Chrome OS offers this functionality using CROSH commands? Just keep in mind this feature doesn’t work on all Chromebooks and Chrome OS versions. Might as well give it a try, though!
- CROSH Command: sound record <running time in seconds>
So, if you want to record 30 seconds, the command would be sound record 30. You will find the audio file in your Downloads folder.
Find your IP address
Knowing your IP address is important for certain configurations, and while you can find it in the settings, you get many more details from CROSH.
- CROSH Command: ipaddrs
If you want to get more specific, you can also use ipaddrs -6 for the IPv6 address or ipaddrs -4 for the IPv4 address
Update software over cellular data
Those with a Chromebook with cellular data capabilities will know that updating through cellular data is off by default. You can control this with a simple CROSH command. Just be conscious of your data plan, as using more data may incur extra fees!
- CROSH Command: update_over_cellular enable
If you want to turn this feature off, you can also use update_over_cellular disable.
Clear APN settings
Here’s another one for cellular users. You might have dealt with APN settings in the past, which are essential for connecting you with your carrier network. Did you mess up the settings, or something is suddenly not working as it should? Don’t worry; you can easily clear the APN settings from the CROSH terminal.
- CROSH Command: set_apn – c
Check running tasks
We don’t usually need to check the running tasks on Chromebooks, as the Chrome OS system is pretty good at handling tasks. If you must do this for any reason, though, there are two ways to do this. The simplest method is by pressing the Search + Esc keys. This method works beautifully for most users, but you can also use CROSH commands if you want to get more details about each task.
- CROSH Command: top
Check how long your Chromebook has been running
I usually don’t turn off my Chromebook. It just goes to sleep when I close the lid or stop using it. If you’re curious, or you think it may be time to actually shut down your Chromebook, you can easily check how long it has been turned on.
- CROSH Command: uptime
Run a network diagnosis
Network issues can be a pain to diagnose. You have to check the devices, modem, router, etc. You can get a bevy of details if you use Chrome OS CROSH commands, though. Just run a network diagnosis.
- CROSH Command: netwrok_diag
This is another one of those commands that don’t work with all Chromebooks and Chrome OS versions. It might be worth a try, though.
Check Bluetooth connections
You can control a bunch of Bluetooth options through the CROSH terminal. For example, you can do things like pair devices, scan, block, unblock, view device information, and more. Not only that, but CROSH can actually give you all the commands you need.
- CROSH Command: bt_console
Then, type help and press Enter. You will get a list of all the commands you can use with the Bluetooth console, and a brief description of what it does.
Switch to Canary channel
There are three experiences you can get on a Chromebook. Most of you know and use the Stable channel, which comes with all the stable features that are ready for consumers. Then there is the Beta channel, meant for those of us who like to try new features before they launch, usually about a month before. Dev channel updates about once or twice a week with new features that might be less optimized.
Then, there is the Canary channel. The canary channel has new features that are in the experimental phase. This means it is the most likely to have bugs and stability issues. Of course, Beta and Dev channels may experience this, too, but not as often as Canary. And the thing is, the only way to enable the Canary channel is through CROSH. This one is not in the settings. Also, you will need to enable Developer Mode on the Chromebook first.
- CROSH Command: bt_console
Needless to say, neither of these processes are for the common consumer. Don’t do any of these processes unless you know what you’re doing.
Check input devices
Are you having issues with any of your input devices? You can check their status, as well as other related information, through CROSH commands.
- CROSH Command: evtest
You can then enter the device’s number to inspect it more in depth.
Control peer-to-peer updates
Did you know Chromebooks can get updates from other Chromebooks connected to the same network? This might be helpful to avoid bandwidth congestion, but now everyone likes this feature. Luckily, you can turn it off through CROSH commands.
- CROSH Command: p2p_update disable
Of course, you can also use p2p_update enable to turn it back on.
Manage Wi-Fi Power Saver Mode
By default, Chromebooks will turn off Wi-Fi when the device is sleeping or idle. This can get annoying if you need a constant connection, though. Just turn it off with this CROSH command! Just keep in mind this command will not persist after a full system restart.
- CROSH Command: wifi_power_save disable
You can use wifi_power_save enable to turn the feature back on. We also have a guide on what to do when your Chromebook is having Wi-Fi problems.
Ask CROSH for commands
What else can you do with Chrome OS CROSH commands? A lot, actually! And while we gave you some of the best ones already, there are a bunch of other commands to discover. Luckily, CROSH isn’t leaving you in the dark and has a specific command for learning about all the commands available.
- CROSH Command: help or help_advanced
The basic help presents you with the most common or simpler CROSH commands. If you want a full list, go with help_advanced.
Cancel CROSH process
Some CROSH commands can take a long time. This is especially the case when you run diagnostic tests. There is a CROSH solution in case you want to interrupt a process and run a new task. All you have to do is press Ctrl + C. This will end any running process in CROSH and allow you to enter a new command.
It’s generally safe to use the Chrome OS CROSH terminal. Most of these just provide information, or do things you can do in the settings anyways. There are some CROSH commands that can affect your experience, though. Just be careful with the commands you use. In either case, there is nothing a factory reset won’t fix. Here’s our guide to factory resetting Chromebooks, if you need help.
Yes, you can use CROSH on any Chromebook or channel. That said, not all commands are available to everyone. Some require specific Chrome OS versions, devices, or you may need to use a specific channel.