How to Connect to SSH

Written on April 08, 2015. Updated on November 05, 2017

SSH is a protocol for secure remote login and other secure network services over an insecure network. On our Google Cloud plans here at Kinsta we provide SSH access to your sites. SSH access allows you to log into a command prompt, perform common sysadmin tasks, and execute commands just as if you were sitting at the server itself. You also have the ability to run additional tools such as Git, Composer, npm, WP-CLI, etc. Follow the directions below on how to connect to SSH on your WordPress site.

SSH should be used by advanced users only. Running improper commands via SSH could easily break your site. If you are not comfortable doing this, please check with a developer or our support first.

SSH Access Login Info

To connect to SSH you’ll need the following pieces of information:

  • server address (usually an IP address)
  • username
  • password
  • port (we take security seriously here at Kinsta, each site uses a different port)

Kinsta customers can find this information under the site’s Info tab within your My Kinsta dashboard (as seen below)

how to connect to ssh login information

connect to ssh – MyKinsta login information

How to Connect to SSH on Windows

For those of you running Windows you will need a terminal client to connect to SSH.

Step 1

We recommend downloading the free PuTTY client.

Step 2

Launch PuTTY and input your host name (Kinsta IP Address) and the unique port number. Then click “Open.”

ssh putty client

Putty Client

Step 3

If this is your first time connecting you will most likely see a rsa2 key prompt. Go ahead and click “Yes” which will trust the host in the future.

putty security alert rsa2 key

Putty Security Alert

Step 4

You will need to input your Kinsta username and press Enter.

login putty username

Putty Login

Step 5

You will then be prompted to enter your password. Then press Enter.

ssh password login

Putty Password

You are now connected via SSH to your WordPress site.

login successful ssh

Putty Successful Login

You can then run commands such as “ls” or “cd” to list items and navigate throughout your site’s directory. WP-CLI is also installed by default on all sites.

run ssh commands

Navigating Putty

How to Connect to SSH on Mac/Linux

On Mac or Linux it is actually a lot easier to connect to SSH because the OS already has a terminal built into it.

Step 1

All you need to do is open the terminal. Navigate to Applications > Utilities and double-click on Terminal.

Step 2

Then enter the command in the following form (You can copy/paste this directly from your My Kinsta dashboard):

ssh username@hostname -p portnumber

If you have trouble connecting, you might need to reset your SSH password or delete entries from your known_hosts file.

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