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Connecting with OpenSSH

For connecting to your VM with OpenSSH you'll need to open a terminal. How you do this varies between operating systems and window managers, but generally:

  • Linux: Search Terminal or press CTRL+ALT+T;
  • MacOS: Search Terminal;
  • Bash on Windows: Search Bash. If you don't have Bash on Windows, use PuTTY instead.

Once the terminal is open, enter the following SSH command. Make sure to substitute in your VM's IP address after the @. If you're using CoreOS, Rancher, or FreeBSD, the username is core, rancher, or freebsd instead of root, respectively.

ssh root@

If you have multiple SSH keys, you may need to specify the path of your private key using the -i flag, as in:

ssh -i /path/to/private/key username@ 

The very first time you log in, the server isn't identified on your local machine, so you'll be asked if you're sure you want to continue connecting. You can type yes and then press ENTER.

The authenticity of host ' (' can't be established.
ECDSA key fingerprint is SHA256:IcLk6dLi+0yTOB6d7x1GMgExamplewZ2BuMn5/I5Jvo.
Are you sure you want to continue connecting (yes/no)? yes

Next, a host key fingerprint is saved to your local machine and you'll receive this confirmation:

Warning: Permanently added '' (ECDSA) to the list of known hosts.


You may receive an intimidating-looking remote host identification warning:

Someone could be eavesdropping on you right now (man-in-the-middle attack)!
It is also possible that a host key has just been changed.

This happens most often when you've destroyed a VM immediately before creating and trying to connect to a new one. If the new VM gets assigned the same IP address as the VM that was destroyed, the host key of the old server is stored and conflicts with the new host key.

If this happens, you can delete the old VM's host key from your local system with the command:

ssh-keygen -R


The next part of the connection process is authentication. If you've added SSH keys, you'll connect to the VM immediately (or after entering the passphrase for your key pair).

If you haven't added SSH keys, you'll be prompted for your password:

root@'s password:

When you enter your password, nothing is displayed in the terminal, so it can be easier to paste in the initial password.

Pasting into text-based terminals is different than other desktop applications and is also different from one window manager to another:

  • For Linux Gnome Terminal, use CTRL+SHIFT+V.
  • For macOS, use SHIFT-CMD-V or the middle mouse button.
  • For Bash on Windows, right-click on the window bar, choose Edit, then Paste. You can also right-click to paste if you enable QuickEdit mode.

Once you've entered the password, press ENTER.

Changing password

E-mailed passwords aren't secure, so the first time you log in with the default password, you are immediately prompted to change it.

. . .
Changing password for root.

To do that, first re-enter the current password, then press ENTER. Nothing displays on the screen when you type.

(current) UNIX password:

After that, enter your new password and press ENTER. Again, nothing displays on the screen as you type.

You'll be asked to supply the new password a second time to confirm that you've typed it accurately.

Enter new UNIX password:
Retype new UNIX password:

When you've successfully logged in, you'll receive an operating system-specific welcome screen.

If you're having trouble connecting to your VM with SSH, you can troubleshoot the SSH errors or try connecting with the VM console to recover normal SSH access.