Do you find it difficult to connect to your google cloud VM via SSH using ssh keys  and  you have to login to google cloud console frequently to start  and stop your VM instances ?.

Google Cloud SDK productive tools come in handy not only to manage APIs and websites deployment but also to manage Google Cloud servers.

Many of us  connect to google vm instances using several methods like connecting through a  browser and access cloud instance directly from google console  or connect to it using a SSH client  with password authentication ( not secure and not recommended)  and connect using  generated and uploaded SSH keys to google console.  But to take control of complete cloud instance management  such as creating a cloud instance or starting a cloud instance etc., ,   one needs to login to google console or use google-cloud-sdk APIs.


Generating SSH keys and connecting to  cloud servers  using default MacOsX terminal  may not be that convenient.   I use iTerm2 in conjunction with  google-cloud-sdk on my mac  to manage google cloud services.  Google-cloud-sdk can be installed on a mac OsX  by downloading the package from google directly or with home brew command line utility .


Now let us see step by step procedure to install and configure google-cloud-sdk to manage cloud instances .

1.Install Home Brew package manager for mac osx

Installing homebrew is a straightforward process. It is as easy as just copy&paste a single line command in MacOsx terminal .

/bin/bash -c “$(curl -fsSL”


2.Install GoogleCloud SDK using brew

The next step  is installing google-cloud-sdk .  Google-cloud-sdk can be installed by directly downloading the package from google or with homebrew . I installed it using homebrew as I have already brew installed on my macosx .

brew install –cask google-cloud-sdk

gcloud init 

gcloud init  initiates  google-cloud-sdk  environment  on mac OSX . If you encounter

gcloud : command not found error then you may have to copy below line in your ~/.bash_profile  to let your mac OSX  know  the executable path . If you do not see  .bash_profile in your home directory . You can create one and paste the line.

vi ~/.bash_profile

export PATH=/usr/local/Caskroom/google-cloud-sdk/latest/google-cloud-sdk/bin:$PATH


It may prompt for your google cloud login credentials for once .


3.Install and use iTerm SSH Terminal (optional)

Now we can connect to google cloud instances from your favourite terminal ( I use iTerm2) .

Let us see some of the  commands  to manage google cloud instance .


Useful Google Cloud Commands To manage VM instances

To connect to a cloud instance using ssh , enter below command .

gcloud compute ssh YourInstanceName

Start a VM instance  with this command.

gcloud compute instances start YourInstanceName

you can start multiple instances at once .

gcloud compute instances start YourInstanceName1 YourInstanceName2 

and to stop google cloud instances use the following command .

gcloud compute instances stop YourInstanceName1 YourInstanceName2





Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.