This guide will show you how to configure your server so that you can access your site via SSH. Please note that you will need a VPS or dedicated hosting solution for this: SSH access is not allowed to your shared server.

If you don’t already have one, you’ll need to download an SSH client – we recommend Putty which is available for free here.

1) You’ll need to log into your Plesk Control Panel, find the domain you wish to enable SSH access for and select Manage Hosting.

2) Click “Show More” to reveal the Advanced Settings for your domain.

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3) Select “Web Hosting Access”

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4) From this menu, you can enable SSH access for your domain by updating the option for “Access to the server over SSH” from Forbidden to /bin/bash. You’ll notice that other shells are available from this menu so if you specifically need another shell, select it from here. The Bash shell is the most widely used, so this guide shows Bash specifically.

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5) When you come to connect via SSH, you’ll need to use your default FTP user’s credentials (any additional FTP users you’ve created will not have SSH access).  If you’re unsure of these details or need to reset them, you can reset them from this menu. The FTP user is referred to here as the System user and in this example the username is “meapolka”. If you need to update your password you can enter a new one.

You’ll need to select “OK” when you’re finished to confirm these changes. Please note that you’ll need to do this for each individual domain for which you need SSH access.

6) Following this you’ll need to ensure that SSH access is allowed via your server’s firewall. Browse to Extensions in the left-hand sidebar.

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7) Select “Firewall”

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8) In most cases you’ll find that SSH access is denied.

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9) If SSH access is currently denied in your firewall, you’ll need to update the rule for SSH (secure shell) server to allow access. Start by clicking on “Modify Plesk Firewall Rules” at the top of the page.

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10) From here, you can click on the rule for SSH (secure shell) server to edit it.

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11) You can now choose whether to allow access from all IP addresses or to simply add your current IP to the firewall. For security reasons, we advise against choose the “Allow” option as this will allow access from any IP. If you select “Allow from selected sources, deny from others” you can proceed to add your current IP address (find out your IP by visiting this page.) If you’re not connecting from a static IP address, you’ll need to revisit this menu to update your rule when your dynamic IP address changes to ensure that you’re still allowed access. If you don’t have a static IP address and require one, you could speak to your ISP to see if they can provide you with one or look into procuring a VPN solution.

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12) You can then enter your IP address (or addresses, if you need to allow access for a range or multiple users) then select Add and OK.

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13) Following any change to your firewall, you’ll need to confirm them by clicking on Apply Changes…

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14) … and then on Activate.

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15) Following this your firewall should be updated correctly but you can check that the SSH rule is correct in the following screen (my IP address has been obscured in the following example!)

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16) You should now be able to SSH in using your SSH client of choice (you chose Putty, right?).

 

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