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WHM SSH Access


This interface provides information about how to connect to another web server via the SSH (secure shell) network protocol.

The SSH network protocol allows you to connect to another web server over the internet via a command line interface (CLI). You can use this network protocol to remotely manage your server, configure CGI scripts, and perform other tasks.

If you are under a Cloud Hosting or Dedicated Server subscription, SSH is another way for you to be able to connect and manage your server.

Many Unix-based operating systems include standardized commands. For a list of standardized Unix-based (POSIX) commands, read the GNU Coreutils documentation.

Connect to your server via SSH

To use PuTTY to connect to your server via SSH, perform the following steps:

  1. Download and install the PuTTY client.
  2. From the Windows Start menu, open the client.
  3. In the Session interface, enter the hostname or IP address of the server in the Host Name (or IP address) text box (for example,
  4. Enter the port number in the Port text box (for example, 22).
  5. Select the SSH protocol.
  6. Click Open.
  7. Enter your cPanel account’s username.
  8. Enter your cPanel account’s password.

PuTTY and a private key

To log in to a server via SSH with PuTTY and a public key, perform the following steps:

  1. From the Windows Start menu, open the client.
  2. Navigate to the PuTTY Key Generator interface.
  3. Under the Actions heading, click Generate. PuTTY will generate the key and display the result under the Key menu.
  4. Copy the public key and paste it in the .ssh/authorized_keys file.
  5. Enter a passphrase in the Key passphrase and Confirm passphrase text boxes.
  6. Click Save private key and save the key as a .ppk file.
  7. In the Session interface, from the Saved Sessions menu, select your preferred authorization session and click Load.
  8. Navigate to the Auth interface under the SSH category.
  9. Click Browse, select the private key file to upload, and click Open.
  10. Navigate to cPanel’s Manage SSH Keys interface (Home >> Security >> SSH Access >> Manage SSH Keys) and import the server’s keys.

Manage SSH keys

This section of cPanel’s SSH Access interface allows you to create, import, manage, and remove SSH keys. The system will use these keys when you confirm that a specific computer has the right to access your website’s information with SSH.

Generate a New Key

Use this section of the interface to create new SSH key pairs, which include a public key and a private key.

To generate a new SSH key pair, perform the following steps:

  1. Click Manage SSH Keys.
  2. Click Generate a New Key.
  3. To use a custom key name, enter the key name in the Key Name (This value defaults to id_rsa): text box.
    If you use a custom key name, you must manually specify the SSH key when you log in to the server.
  4. Enter and confirm the new password in the appropriate text boxes.
    • This step is optional if your hosting provider sets the SSH Keys setting to 0 in WHM’s Password Strength Configuration interface (WHM >> Home >> Security Center >> Password Strength Configuration).
    • The system evaluates the password that you enter on a scale of 100 points. 0 indicates a weak password, while 100 indicates a very secure password.
    • Some web hosts require a minimum password strength. A green password Strength meter indicates that the password is equal to or greater than the required password strength.
    • Click Password Generator to generate a strong password. For more information, read our Password & Security documentation.
  5. Select the desired key type.
    • DSA keys provide quicker key generation and signing times.
    • RSA keys provide quicker verification times.
  6. Select the desired key size.
    Greater key sizes provide more security, but they result in larger file sizes and slower authentication times.
  7. Click Generate Key. The interface will display the saved location of the key.
    For the new SSH key to function, you must authorize the SSH key. For more information, read the Manage your keys section.

Import Key

To import an existing SSH key, perform the following steps:

  1. Click Manage SSH Keys.
  2. Click Import Key.
  3. To use a custom key name, enter the key name in the Choose a name for this key (defaults to id_dsa) text box.
    If you use a custom key name, you must manually specify the SSH key when you log in to the server.
  4. Paste the public and private keys into the appropriate text boxes.
  5. Click Import.

Manage your keys

The Public Keys and Private Keys tables display the following information about your existing keys:

  • Name — The key’s name. Public and private keys use the same key name.
  • Authorization Status — Whether you authorized the key.
    You must authorize new keys before you attempt to use them.
    This column only displays in the Public Keys table.
  • Actions — You can perform the following actions:
    • Delete Key — Click to delete the key, and then click Yes to confirm that you wish to delete the key.
    • View/Download — Click to view or download the key. To download the key, save the contents of the Public SSH Key text box to your computer.
    • Manage — Click to manage authorization for the key. A new interface will appear. Click Authorize to authorize the key, or Deauthorize to revoke authorization for the key.
      • You can only perform this action for public keys.
      • After you deauthorize a key, that key’s users cannot log in with the associated private key.
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