Persist files in Azure Cloud Shell

Cloud Shell utilizes Azure File storage to persist files across sessions.

Set up a clouddrive file share

On initial start, Cloud Shell prompts you to associate a new or existing file share to persist files across sessions.


Bash and PowerShell share the same file share. Only one file share can be associated with automatic mounting in Cloud Shell.

Create new storage

When you use basic settings and select only a subscription, Cloud Shell creates three resources on your behalf in the supported region that's nearest to you:

  • Resource group: cloud-shell-storage-<region>
  • Storage account: cs<uniqueGuid>
  • File share: cs-<user>-<domain>-com-<uniqueGuid>

The Subscription setting

The file share mounts as clouddrive in your $Home directory. This is a one-time action, and the file share mounts automatically in subsequent sessions.

In Bash, the file share also contains a 5-GB image that is created for you which automatically persists data in your $Home directory.

Use existing resources

By using the advanced option, you can associate existing resources. When the storage setup prompt appears, select Show advanced settings to view additional options. The drop-down menus are filtered for your assigned Cloud Shell region and the locally redundant storage and geo-redundant storage accounts.

In Bash, existing file shares receive a 5-GB image created for you to persist your $Home directory.

The Resource group setting

Restrict resource creation with an Azure resource policy

Storage accounts that you create in Cloud Shell are tagged with ms-resource-usage:azure-cloud-shell. If you want to disallow users from creating storage accounts in Cloud Shell, create an Azure resource policy for tags that are triggered by this specific tag.

Supported storage regions

Associated Azure storage accounts must reside in the same region as the Cloud Shell machine that you're mounting them to.

To find your assigned region you may:

  • View the note on the "Advanced storage settings" dialog
  • Refer to the name of the storage account created for you (ex: cloud-shell-storage-westus)
  • Run env and locate the variable ACC_LOCATION

Cloud Shell machine exist in the following regions:

Area Region
Americas East US, South Central US, West US
Europe North Europe, West Europe
Asia Pacific India Central, Southeast Asia

How Bash in Cloud Shell storage works

Bash in Cloud Shell persists files through both of the following methods:

  • Creating a disk image of your $Home directory to persist all contents within the directory. The disk image is saved in your specified file share as acc_<User>.img at<User>.img, and it automatically syncs changes.
  • Mounting your specified file share as clouddrive in your $Home directory for direct file-share interaction. /Home/<User>/clouddrive is mapped to


All files in your $Home directory, such as SSH keys, are persisted in your user disk image, which is stored in your mounted file share. Apply best practices when you persist information in your $Home directory and mounted file share.

Use the clouddrive command

With Bash in Cloud Shell, you can run a command called clouddrive, which enables you to manually update the file share that is mounted to Cloud Shell. Running the "clouddrive" command

Mount a new clouddrive

Prerequisites for manual mounting

You can update the file share that's associated with Cloud Shell by using the clouddrive mount command.

If you mount an existing file share, the storage accounts must be:

  • Locally redundant storage or geo-redundant storage to support file shares.
  • Located in your assigned region. When you are onboarding, the region you are assigned to is listed in the resource group name cloud-shell-storage-<region>.

The clouddrive mount command


If you're mounting a new file share, a new user image is created for your $Home directory. Your previous $Home image is kept in your previous file share.

Run the clouddrive mount command with the following parameters:

clouddrive mount -s mySubscription -g myRG -n storageAccountName -f fileShareName

To view more details, run clouddrive mount -h, as shown here:

Running the `clouddrive mount`command

Unmount clouddrive

You can unmount a file share that's mounted to Cloud Shell at any time. Since Cloud Shell requires a mounted file share to be used, you will be prompted to create and mount another file share on the next session.

  1. Run clouddrive unmount.
  2. Acknowledge and confirm prompts.

Your file share will continue to exist unless you delete it manually. Cloud Shell will no longer search for this file share on subsequent sessions. To view more details, run clouddrive unmount -h, as shown here:

Running the `clouddrive unmount`command


Although running this command will not delete any resources, manually deleting a resource group, storage account, or file share that's mapped to Cloud Shell will erase your $Home directory disk image and any files in your file share. This action cannot be undone.

List clouddrive

To discover which file share is mounted as clouddrive, run the df command.

The file path to clouddrive will show your storage account name and file share in the URL. For example, //

justin@Azure:~$ df
Filesystem                                          1K-blocks   Used  Available Use% Mounted on
overlay                                             29711408 5577940   24117084  19% /
tmpfs                                                 986716       0     986716   0% /dev
tmpfs                                                 986716       0     986716   0% /sys/fs/cgroup
/dev/sda1                                           29711408 5577940   24117084  19% /etc/hosts
shm                                                    65536       0      65536   0% /dev/shm
// 5368709120    64 5368709056   1% /home/justin/clouddrive

Transfer local files to Cloud Shell

The clouddrive directory syncs with the Azure portal storage blade. Use this blade to transfer local files to or from your file share. Updating files from within Cloud Shell is reflected in the file storage GUI when you refresh the blade.

Download files

List of local files

  1. In the Azure portal, go to the mounted file share.
  2. Select the target file.
  3. Select the Download button.

Upload files

Local files to be uploaded

  1. Go to your mounted file share.
  2. Select the Upload button.
  3. Select the file or files that you want to upload.
  4. Confirm the upload.

You should now see the files that are accessible in your clouddrive directory in Cloud Shell.

Next steps

Bash in Cloud Shell Quickstart
Learn about Microsoft Azure Files storage
Learn about storage tags