If your local PC is Linux or a Mac then you'll have to use this basic and relatively unsecure connection method, at least once, having first deployed a new Linux distribution on the remote server, so that you can initially access the VPS.
When we're in, over the next few guides, we'll make the connection safer.
If you are using Windows locally and want the fastest and most secure connection method (using PuTTY and hardened SSH) you should skip this guide because it's just not necessary. That is, unless you really only want very occasional, password-based ad hoc access, for instance for a one-time maintenance. Even then PuTTY is really the way to go.
.. so this particular guide is generally going to be used by Linux-to-Linux users wanting to set up their very first connection.
Let's have a look at the basic syntax we use to connect local-to-remote:-
- ssh – a damn fine encryption protocol, safe-guarding data transit. We'll address it in another tutorial
- root – when you first deploy a distribution you only have one user, the all-powerful root user. So we connect with that for now
- @ – root lives in ..
- hostname – is your remote hostname (the name of your ‘host' server) or IP address *
* For a new VPS install you won't have a usable hostname yet but can find out the IP address from the network settings in your VPS manager. Here's a tip:-
Locate Your IP Address on a New VPS
- go to your member login page
- click on your new Linode to enter the Dashboard
- click on Network and…
- in there, there'll be a number sequenced like 126.96.36.199, and labelled, yup, IP Address. Copy that number.
Installing & Testing SSH
Before we make the connection, best check something ..
You need SSH installed on both local PC and remote server. Probably it already is locally, and will be on the server. To check locally, we'll query it using the terminal:-
.. and you'll get some dialogue. Or if you don't, let's install SSH:-
Local to Remote Server SSH Connection
So – and you probably worked this out – if your IP is 188.8.131.52 then you'd connect using:-
.. you'll be presented with a security warning. Just say yes!
.. you'll be prompted for the password you gave when you set up your server distribution, else that has been provided by your provider.
Splendid. You're in.
Onwards & upwards …