How to connect to your web server via SSH

SSH or Secure Shell is a UNIX-based network protocol that allows data to be exchanged using a secure channel between two networked devices. SSH is actually a suite of three utilities – slogin, ssh, and scp – that are secure versions of the earlier UNIX utilities, rlogin, rsh, and rcp.

SSH commands are encrypted and secure in several ways. Both ends of the client/server connection are authenticated using a digital certificate, and then the passwords are protected by encryption.

Nowadays you find SSH connections on most of the Linux web hosting services which allows you to connect to your server securely and perform command-line operations.

Enable SSH on your server

Enable SSH on your server and get your SSH login details. You can do this by going to the settings / administration area on your hosting. In most of the cases the login details are same as what you use to login to your hosting account or the main FTP account.

Connecting to the server

You will have to select your SSH client to login to your server.

  • If you are using MAC OSX or Linux distributions you have SSH client on your Terminal.
  • If you are on Windows you will have to use a 3rd party SSH client. I personally prefer using Download PuTTY

If you have got your SSH client ready its time to get into your server.

Open your SSH client

ssh [email protected]
This should get you to the server <username> @ <your site name> or <server IP address>

If you have typed your username/host and if it is the first time you trying SSH it should prompt the following.

The authenticity of host ' (' can't be established. RSA key fingerprint is 3c:6d:5c:99:5d:b5:c6:25:5a:d3:78:8e:d2:f5:7a:01. Are you sure you want to continue connecting (yes/no)?

Just type ‘yes’ and hit enter and it will ask for your password.

This might feel a bit different specially for windows users, when you type your password it will not move the cursor or give any indication that the password is been typed. but once you type just hit enter or return on your keyboard.


If you had followed the steps you would get the welcome message from your hosting provider or default welcome message from the Linux distribution.

The programs included with the Debian GNU/Linux system are free software; the exact distribution terms for each program are described in the individual files in /usr/share/doc/*/copyright.

Debian GNU/Linux comes with ABSOLUTELY NO WARRANTY, to the extent permitted by applicable law.

[email protected]:~$

Once you get there you can perform actions on your web server.

PS. Beware that you cannot reverse when you perform most of the commands. Unless you remember what you did and perform the actions on top of it to bring back to how it was. Make sure to have a backup of your website just in case 😉



Share this post