SSH Access

The following procedure is used for obtaining SSH Access to cPanel Account. It can also be applied for other servers, the only difference is how to generate SSH key. The SSH client setup process is the same for all.

In the SECURITY section, click the SSH Access link or icon.

Click the Manage SSH Keys button.

Generate SSH Keys

Click the Generate a New Key button.

The following entries are required to generate the key pair:

  • Key Name – defaults to “id_rsa,” typically there is no need to change the default value.

  • Key Password – use a strong password or passphrase.

  • Key Type – should default to RSA, typically there is no need to change the default value.

  • Key Size – should default to 2048, we recommend leaving the default value.

Enter a password or passphrase and click the Generate Key button.

The keys will be generated and shown.

To authorize SSH access using the private key you just created, click the Go Back link or icon.

In the Public Keys section, click the Manage link or icon.

Click the Authorize button.

Download private keys

Click the Go Back link or icon to get back to the Manage SSH Keys page.

In the Private Keys section of the Manage SSH Keys page, click the View/Download link or icon.

You have a few options here: click the Download Key button, copy/paste the provided key, or convert the key into PuTTY’s PPK format using the Convert option.

If you click the Download Key button, the key will be saved on your computer with the name id_rsa

For this tutorial, we’re going to use the PuTTY SSH program so in the Convert the “id_rsa” key to PPK format: section, enter the password or passphrase you specified during key generation, and click the Convert button.

The key will be saved on your computer with the name id_rsa.ppk

To follow along from this point on, you’ll need PuTTY, so if you don’t already have it, download and install PuTTY.

Open the PuTTy folder on your computer and run puttygen.exe

In the PuTTY Key Generator menu, select the “File” tab and click Load private key.

Select the PPK format key that you saved in cPanel.

Enter the password or passphrase you specified during key generation and click the OK button.

In the PuTTy folder on your computer, run putty.exe.

In the Session category, enter your server hostname into the Host Name field. Port is 22 unless stated otherwise by your service provider.

Go to the Connection > SSH > Auth category. Select the PPK format key that you saved in cPanel and click the Open button.

A shell window will open. The login as username is your cPanel username, and the password is the password or passphrase you specified during key generation.

Exercise caution when accessing your account via the command line. Incorrect or incorrectly used commands can permanently change or delete permissions and files.