I write many of these posts from a 10 year old desktop that sits in my office these days. It does a very fine job running all of the things I need it to for my side work, but sometimes I want a mobile setup. I don't really want to spend the $$ on a new laptop just for the few times I want to be somewhere else in the house. What I do have though is a chromebook.

I've tried to get the chromebook into my workflow in the past, but have failed. Much because by the time I got all of my tools up and running in the linux vm it was taking up quite a bit of space on the device and made it harder for others to use as a chromebook.

Today I am giving it a second try, but this time with ssh.

Checking for existing sshd

Before doing anything I checked to see if sshd is already running. Using the following command.

sudo service ssh status
# or
pgrep -l sshd

Both returned nothing so I know that its not running.

setting up sshd

just apt install it

Next install the openssh-client and openssh-server

sudo apt install openssh-client -y
sudo apt install openssh-server -y

After this I can see that its now running by checking its status once again.

sudo service ssh status

Gives me the result.

 ssh.service - OpenBSD Secure Shell server
     Loaded: loaded (/lib/systemd/system/ssh.service; enabled; vendor preset: enabled)
     Active: active (running) since Tue 2022-03-08 08:17:05 CST; 12min ago
       Docs: man:sshd(8)
    Process: 181185 ExecStartPre=/usr/sbin/sshd -t (code=exited, status=0/SUCCESS)
   Main PID: 181189 (sshd)
      Tasks: 1 (limit: 19119)
     Memory: 2.8M
        CPU: 96ms
     CGroup: /system.slice/ssh.service
             └─181189 sshd: /usr/sbin/sshd -D [listener] 0 of 10-100 startups

Accessing the desktop

I have already enabled the Linux terminal on my chromebook, so I just opened the terminal, and ran the following.

ssh <username>@<ip-address>

It prompted for my password and I was in. I had all of my vim, tmux, and zsh comforts that I enjoy without installing anything. It worked so well that this whole post was written from my chromebook.


This does limit me to being on the same network as my desktop, which these days is almost always true.

ssh keys

Out of the box I am just using passwords to get in, but if this were public I would lock down to requiring an ssh key to enter. I'll likey do this in a future post.