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SSH stands for secure shell and provides and secure encrypted method of accessing the command line of your hosting account. Although 99% of what you need to do can be done from cPanel, there are some tasks that people prefer to do from the command line. It can also be used for uploading and downloading files in a secure way.

If you just want a quick way to access the server and run some commands, see our article on using the cPanel terminal.

In order to access the server, you need desktop SSH client. If you are using Linux or Mac then this is built in, for Windows the opensource Putty client is widely used. You can download the latest 64 bit MSI Installer from https://www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~sgtatham/putty/latest.html

1. Download and run the file:

2. Click “Next” through all the options and let it install.

3. The next step is to setup and download the SSH keys from the server:

a. Type “ssh” in the find functions box

b. and click “SSH Access”

c. Click “Manage SSH Keys”

d. Click “Generate a new key”

4. You will end up on the page for generating a key.

a. You can leave the key name at its default unless you have multiple servers, in which case you should name it according to the account it is for.

b. Choose a password, making sure it is at least 5 characters long.

c. Ensure it scores at least 40 on the password strength meter.

d. You can leave the Key Type as RSA

e. You can leave the Key Size as 2048.

f. Click “Generate Key”.

5. It will show a summary of what it has done.

6. You can now click “Go Back”

7. Click “Manage”

8. Now click on “Authorize”

9. The Key is now authorized, and you can click “Go Back”

10. Under private keys click “View/Download”

11. You need to convert the file to “PPK” format.

a. Enter the password you entered when you generated the keys

b. Click “Convert”

12. The key will be displayed in PPK format and you can click “Download Key”.

13. We suggest you save it in your My Documents folder.

14. On your Windows desktop, click start and click on the PuTTY icon:

Enter your domain name in the hostname box.

16. Click on

a. “SSH” and

b. “Auth” box

c. Click “Browse” and select the “ppk” file you saved in your “My Documents” folder.

d. Click “Data” on the left menu

e. Fill in your username from your control panel here.

17. You can find your username on the top line of cPanel

18. You can now save the session details to use in future.

a. Click back to the “Session” tab

b. Type a name in the “Saved Sessions” box

c. Click “Save”

d. You can now click “Open”.

19. The first time you login you can approve the SSH key by clicking YES.

20. Enter the password you generated for the key and then you will be logged into the server.