How to SSH into your Shared Hosting Server

Your shared hosting account gives you the ability to connect to an account via SSH, using SSH Keys. If you are using a  shared hosting account this guide is for you.

First you must generate an SSH key, then convert and download it, and finally connect using an SSH client such as PuTTY.


How to Generate an SSH Key

Step 1: Login to the cPanel that you want to connect to using SSH.
Step 2: Under Security click SSH Access.
Step 3: Click the Manage SSH Keys button.
Step 4: Then click on the button labeled +Generate a New Key.
Step 5: Type in a strong password, then click in the field below it and type the password again.


SSH key A

Step 6: Click the Generate Key button, then you will see a Key Generation Complete! message.


How to Authorize an SSH Key

Once you have generated the SSH Key, you will need to Authorize it, before you are able to use it.

Step 1: Login to the cPanel that you want to connect to using SSH.
Step 2: Under Security click SSH Access.
Step 3: Click the Manage SSH Keys button.
Step 4: On the next screen, locate the key you just created under the Public Keys section. Then click the Manage(wrench icon)  link (under the Actions column) next to your new key.
Step 5: You will see a message stating:

“The key with the name “id_dsa” is currently “not authorized” for use when connecting to this account.

Click the Authorize button. You will then see a message stating:

The key “id_dsa.pub” has been authorized.


Convert and Download the SSH Key

Step 1: Login to the cPanel that you want to connect to using SSH.
Step 2: Under Security click SSH Access.
Step 3: Click the Manage SSH Keys button.
Step 4: Under Private Keys click View/Download next to the Private key you want to use.
Step 5: On the next screen, scroll down to the Convert the “id_dsa” key to PPK format: section. Enter the passphrase used to generate the SSH key in the Enter the passphrase to unlock the “id_dsa” key for conversion: field.
Step 6:  Click the Download Key button.


SSH using PuTTY

Step 1: Open PuTTY, under Connection click SSH, then Auth.


Step 2: Click Browse under Private key file for authentication, then select the private key you downloaded in the last section, and click Open.
Step 3: Click Session and under port enter: 2222
Step 4: For the Host Name, enter your domain name, or shared IP address, then click the Open button to connect. If you see a PuTTY Security Alert, click Yes.


Step 5: You will see “Login As”. Please enter your cPanel username and then hit Enter.
Step 6: Then, enter the password for your key file and hit enter. For security reasons, PuTTY will not show anything when you type your password, this is normal. You will then be logged into your account via SSH.


Congratulations, now you know how to connect to a Shared server or cPanel account using SSH!


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