VPS Basics

How do I log into my VPS as root via SSH?

There are times when you may need to log into your VPS as root via SSH (also known as shell access) to upload files, change system configurations, or investigate problems. Working on the command line is not as hard as it seems. There are plenty of good tutorials and books available. This article will show you how to log into your server to access the shell environment.

Important Note: Root access comes with tremendous power. Mistakes can break software and delete files. This is why root SSH login is disabled by default on ServInt VPSes (learn more about how and why root access to SSH is disabled here). If you need root administrative powers you can achieve this without enabling direct root SSH logins. The process is outlined here. If you still need to log into your server directly as root, please fill out a support ticket in your customer portal, and the MST will be happy to help.

To log into your VPS from an Intel-based (newer) Mac:

  1. Open the Terminal application (Utilities).
  2. On the command line, enter the SSH command followed by your server’s name and the user you will login as (in this case, root):
My-MacBook:~ User$ ssh root@yourserver.com
  1. When prompted, enter your server’s root password. (You set this password when you ordered your server. If you do not have this in your records, fill out a support ticket to request your password be reset or given to you.)

That’s it, you’re in.

To log into your VPS from a Windows machine:

  1. You will need a program that supports SSH protocol such as PuTTY or XShell. Download and install your chosen application.
  2. Open program.
  3. Enter either your server name or IP address in the Host Name field.
  4. Select SSH as the protocol. (The default SSH port is 22.)
  5. Click Open.
  6. A terminal window opens with a login prompt. Enter “root” for the username.
  7. When prompted, enter your server’s root password. (You set this password when you ordered your server. If you do not have this in your records, fill out a support ticket to request your password be reset or given to you.)

You are in your server now.

To log into your VPS from a Linux distribution, such as Ubuntu:

  1. Open a terminal/console application.
  2. On the command line, enter the SSH command followed by your server’s name and the user you will log in as (in this case, root): user@localhost:~$ ssh root@yourserver.com
  3. When prompted, enter your server’s root password. (You set this password when you ordered your server. If you do not have this in your records, fill out a support ticket to request your password be reset or given to you.)

You are now logged into your server as the root user.

To exit:

Simply type “exit” on the command line and hit Enter.

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