Wondering what’s happening on your Google Cloud VM? Take a screenshot!

Google Cloud Platform (GCP) has introduced a new feature – Screenshot. This can be very handy during troubleshooting when your VM doesn’t respond, stuck at a blue screen, or waiting for some inputs.

It supports Windows and Linux, both, and the good news is you can capture a screenshot on-demand through GCP console or API.

Note: screenshot is different than snapshot which I explained earlier.

When you log in to GCP and go to VM instance, you will notice a Screenshot tab.

As you can make out with the above image, it is not enabled by default. But it doesn’t take more than a minute to activate this feature.

Let’s see how.

VM must be in the stop state. If not, please do so.

  • Navigate to the VM instance and click Edit
  • Scroll to the Display device and select “Turn on display device”

  • Save the settings and start the VM.

Let’s see how the screenshot looks like of CentOS.

And for Windows.

Imagine how useful this can be when the server is stuck at boot, patching, or hardware failure, and you can’t log in. I find this super helpful.