June 20, 2012

Beginner

How To Create Your First DigitalOcean Droplet Virtual Server

Intro


DigitalOcean calls its virtual servers, droplets; each droplet that you spin up is a new virtual server for your personal use.

The setup is very easy— the entire process can take almost as little as a minute!

This tutorial will walk you through creating and accessing your new server.

Step One—Log In


To create your first droplet go to https://www.DigitalOcean.com/droplets and log in with your email and password.

If you’ve never created a droplet before, the button will be right there on the first page: click on “Create a New Server.”

Otherwise, click on the “Servers” link at the top of the left hand sidebar and press the “Create a New Server” button.

Step Two—Name your Droplet


Once you have started the process to create a droplet, choose your server's name: it can be from 1 to 256 characters without spaces or symbols.

The name you choose will then be your machine’s hostname. Make sure it is a FQDN that points to the droplet (e.g. droplet1.yourdomain.com where droplet1.yourdomain.com points to your droplet's IP address).

Step Three—Select your Droplet's Type and Size


Depending on your server's needs and budget, you can select the droplet option that works best for you.

There is a wide spectrum for prices and power. The smallest and least expensive option starts at 512MB with 1CPU. The droplets grow larger from there, all the way up to a 96GB. Should your needs change at a future point, you can adjust your droplet, scaling up or down rapidly.

Step Four—Select Your Droplet Location


You may choose the most effective region for your droplet location. Although equally powerful, the best region to choose is the one nearest to you and your customers or other possible users. Selecting a more distant server location may increase your server latency without serving any practical purpose.

Step Five—Select the Droplet Image


You can create your droplet image from 4 possible options:

  • Operating System: The "Standard OS Images" tab lets you use one of several Linux operating systems, such as Fedora, Ubuntu, CentOS, or Debian.

  • Applications: The "Applications" tab provides you with pre-installed and configured programs that will get your droplet off to a strong start.

  • Snapshots: The "My Images" tab allows you to start up a droplet using a snapshots from a previous one, letting you create backup copies or scale quickly.

  • Backups: The "My Backups" tab helps you set up a new server with a previously automatically generated backup, an option that you can enable on each droplet individually with the "Backups" button

32-bit vs. 64-bit systems

A 32-bit operating system is recommended for cloud servers with less than 3 GB of RAM -- this is especially true for servers with 1 GB, or less, of RAM. Processes can require significantly more memory on the 64-bit architecture. On servers with a limited amount of RAM, any performance benefits that one might gain from a 64-bit operating system would be diluted by having less memory available for buffers and caching.

Step Six—Create Your Droplet


Once you have selected all of your preferred options, click on "Create Droplet." In the minute that follows, the root password will arrive in your inbox and the droplet will be set up.

With that, the server is ready for you!

Step Seven—Log In To Your Droplet


The process is slightly different for Mac and Windows Computers:

How to Log In With a Mac


  1. To log in on a Mac computer, open the terminal program (in the utilities folder) and type in the following command, logging in with the ip address from the welcome email:
    ssh root@your_ip_address

  2. Type "yes" when the prompt asks if you want to connect to the host. When prompted, type in the root password that was emailed to you and press enter. Although the password is entered when you type, it does not show up on the screen for security reasons.

You will then be connected to your DigitalOcean Droplet

How to Log In With Windows


To log into your droplet on windows, you will need to have PuTTY, an SSH client, installed on your computer.

  1. You can download the program here. Choose the windows installer.

  2. Once PuTTY is downloaded and installed, starting the program will take you to the configuration screen.

  3. Fill in the “Host Name (or IP address)” field with the Droplet IP address from the welcome email, make sure the port number is 22, and the connection type is SSH.

  4. Additionally, click on the sidebar entry, SSH, and select “2 only” as the preferred SSH protocol version.

  5. Once everything is configured, you can name and save these preferences for the future by clicking on Session in the side bar and typing a title into the Saved Sessions field. Then click save.

  6. Double click on the session name to connect, and accept the subsequent pop up that asks if you want to connect to the host. After PuTTY starts up, type in the root password that was emailed to you.

You will then be connected to your DigitalOcean Droplet

See More

Once you have installed a droplet, you can start to set it up for your needs. We have tutorial covering the initial server setup for Ubuntu, Arch, or CentOS.

By Etel Sverdlov

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109 Comments

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  • Gravatar about 1 year

    The link to the initial server setup for Arch is broken.

  • Gravatar Moisey 11 months

    Been fixed thanks =]

  • Gravatar adam 10 months

    When creating a new Ubuntu 13.04 instance in Amsterdam on the smallest droplet type, I got the login credential email before ssh authentication was available (or maybe you guys have some sort of firewall rule that changes?) Anyway, I was trying to login unsuccessfully and then was doing ssh -v to do some diagnostics and then went to this page and in that time, when I tried again, it worked.

  • Gravatar Kamal Nasser 10 months

    @adam: Login credentials are sent before the droplet is fully set up. You should be able to login after you have been redirected to your droplet's page instead of the progress bar.

  • Gravatar faz1 10 months

    Loving how easy and quick it is to (re)create images! Price is right too! :) No surprise to hear of "The Meteoric Rise of DigitalOcean" from Netcraft, well deserved guys, well done!

  • Gravatar Kamal Nasser 10 months

    @faz1 Thank you for the awesome feedback :] Glad to have you on board!

  • Gravatar geekerati 10 months

    Thank you for this tutorial. :)

  • Gravatar andresmafra 9 months

    Thanks!!

  • Gravatar Frank Li 9 months

    is there any tutorial for debian? Cheers

  • Gravatar Kamal Nasser 9 months

    @imkyaky: We have plenty of Debian articles in our community: https://www.digitalocean.com/community/community_tags/debian

  • Gravatar lijunmail 8 months

    Just buy, is in use, thanks!

  • Gravatar mrmanivasagam 8 months

    hei, i've just Signed up for DigitalOcean, i've created New Droplet > Applications > Wordpress, also added my Domain from Namecheap, Now, i'm unable to log into the server , i opened Putty > Entered the IP Number > Open it Popups > Black screen asking " login as : " now i've given " root " it asked Root Password : i entered the Password you've emailed me .. But it says, ACCESS DENIED .. Please help me on this .

  • Gravatar Kamal Nasser 8 months

    @mrmanivasagam: Did you change the root password? Try resetting your root password using our control panel:

  • Gravatar exode 7 months

    Hey, when I connect to server via ssh, enter ssh root@ip adress and then it asks for password, and at that stage i cant do anything , keyboard is nor working and cant type anything

  • Gravatar Kamal Nasser 7 months

    @exode: The password won't appear on the screen but it's getting sent to the droplet so you can just type it and press enter and it should work :]

  • Gravatar wes 7 months

    I assume "Droplets" are pretty much VM's, and so you could do anything with your Droplet that you can do with a standard Linux install, right?

  • Gravatar Kamal Nasser 7 months

    @wes: Yes, a droplet is a KVM VPS which you get full root access to so you can install anything you like.

  • Gravatar Guillermo Rodas 7 months

    Can I restrict the access for specific IP?

  • Gravatar Kamal Nasser 7 months

    @garethderioth: Yes, take a look at our Firewall articles: https://www.digitalocean.com/community/community_tags/firewall

  • Gravatar phillip 7 months

    Is there a tutorial for mac users?

  • Gravatar Kamal Nasser 7 months

    @phillip: Yes, read the 'How to Log In With a Mac' section of this article.

  • Gravatar ayoubpats 7 months

    Hi am getting acess denied with the root user and the password for the root which was emailed.

  • Gravatar hakimkt 7 months

    Can i install my own open source tools if i purchase ubuntu linux server ?

  • Gravatar Kamal Nasser 7 months

    @ayoubpats: Please open up a support ticket.

  • Gravatar Kamal Nasser 7 months

    @hakimkt: Yes, you get full root access to your droplet.

  • Gravatar alivuw 7 months

    Hi am getting acess denied with the root user and the password for the root which was emailed.

  • Gravatar Kamal Nasser 7 months

    @alivuw: Are you pasting it in correctly?

  • Gravatar king.henri87 7 months

    i was change port from 22 to 443 in putty, then im got message "Network error: Connection refused" i can't access putty anymore ?

  • Gravatar Kamal Nasser 7 months

    @king.henri87: What port did you change and where did you change it?

  • Gravatar phil 7 months

    can a mount a windows images and if so which windows version is recommended to use?

  • Gravatar Kamal Nasser 7 months

    @phil: We do not support Windows.

  • Gravatar akuganteng510 7 months

    putty's say "network connection time out" how about this problem?????

  • Gravatar mike 6 months

    is it possible to create a droplet with gui?

  • Gravatar alex 6 months

    @Mike -- same here! I would be very interested in possibility to create Ubuntu virtual machine with full Desktop GUI, that I can scale up and DOWN and pay by HOURLY. 1gbps should be enough to use attached external disks -- meaning unlimited size storage by stocking multiple free 5Gb disks with WebDAV supports...

  • Gravatar Kamal Nasser 6 months

    Yes, it is possible! Choose a 'Desktop' image while creating a droplet and you should have a desktop environment up and running.

  • Gravatar alex 6 months

    I've created 'Desktop' image but can't connect. I tried "Apple Remote Desktop", "JollysFastVNC", "vnc://server's_ip" in Funder. I tried with SSH and without any security, I tried ports 5900 and 5901... I tried with a root as a user, I created another user and add that user to sudoers... Still can't.

  • Gravatar Kamal Nasser 6 months

    @alex: Did you install a VNC server on your droplet? See https://www.digitalocean.com/community/articles/how-to-setup-vnc-for-ubuntu-12

  • Gravatar e2xbEGqsDYT21hfC 6 months

    Is it possible to have the equivalent of a console while the droplet is booting? How? In particular, can I install, and control a boot loader in the same way I use the console in an old fashioned physical server? I would like to be able to choose between the default, and other (Linux) kernels?

  • Gravatar Kamal Nasser 6 months

    @e2xbEGqsDYT21hfC: I believe that won't work using our VNC console which is run through the hypervisor.

  • Gravatar srikanth 6 months

    @alex I want to know about the 5gb webdav drives you mentioned to be mounted on my system

  • Gravatar jaqsparow 6 months

    Why there are so many network issues/outages at Digital ocean as found in network status page. its around 7-10 issues for 1-3 hours each in October'13 itself??

  • Gravatar Kamal Nasser 6 months

    @jaqsparow: Unfortunately we have been having networking issues in our NYC2 datacenter and are working hard to fix them.

  • Gravatar sammwaura4t5 6 months

    Can i Install glassfish to run my Java Service on digital Ocean

  • Gravatar Kamal Nasser 6 months

    @sammwaura4t5: Yes.

  • Gravatar sammwaura4t5 6 months

    @Kamal Nasser Thanks noted and on it ..Digital Ocean truly made for developers..

  • Gravatar dionisiusr 6 months

    How to install bukkit plugin on my minecraft server. Thanks! :D

  • Gravatar Kamal Nasser 6 months

    @dionisiusr: See if this helps: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PoNTEMO1SM8

  • Gravatar Pablo of vDevices.com 6 months

    Two additional steps should be added to this guide: Step 5.a.) Add optional SSH Keys (w/a hyperlink to How To Use SSH Keys with DigitalOcean Droplets; Step 5.b.) Select optional Settings, e.g. Private Networking

  • Gravatar sfahmad2kf 5 months

    @Kamal Nasser: I am not able to login to ssh via terminal, i followed the tutorial things went perfect after exiting, i am unable to login again, error is " ssh: connect to host port 22: Connection refused. I changed the port to 25000, i don't know how to try with port? "

  • Gravatar Kamal Nasser 5 months

    @sfahmad2kf: Add -p 25000 after ssh as an argument.

  • Gravatar admin 5 months

    Hello I am not a coder and new to cloud hosting. I opened this account so I could transfer my website to the cloud. How can I access Cpanel and such? I may have chosen the wrong service.... Please help any suggestions

  • Gravatar Kamal Nasser 5 months

    @admin: We do not offer shared hosting, but virtual private servers. That does not mean, however, that it's hard to get started and move your website to a VPS. We have plenty of articles in our community section. You can also install cPanel on your droplet, but keep in mind that a cPanel license costs about $15/mo from most resellers (or even more directly from cPanel themselves). Let me know if you have any other questions :]

  • Gravatar yougane.dev 5 months

    Is there any way to create our custom images ? For instance, I want to try OSv on digitalocean.

  • Gravatar fgutierrez84 5 months

    we can use for a pbx voip?

  • Gravatar macriroberto81 5 months

    I'm unable to connect everytime this message appared: "Network error: Connection refused" you have some solution? thanks

  • Gravatar Kamal Nasser 5 months

    @macriroberto81: Please open up a support ticket.

  • Gravatar Kamal Nasser 5 months

    @fgutierrez84: If you can install that program on linux, then yes!

  • Gravatar Kamal Nasser 5 months

    @yougane.dev: Unfortunately that is not possible currently.

  • Gravatar Pablo of vDevices.com 5 months

    @fgutierrez84: Yes! Check out How To Install FreePBX on CentOS 6.4 | DigitalOcean.

  • Gravatar Pablo of vDevices.com 5 months

    Suggested article modification: I've noticed an inordinate amount of threads on DigitalOcean's Q&A section relating to users having email troubles due to PTR recrods. Seems as though many of those questions could be reduced by adding more detail to step Step Two, the Name your Droplet section of this article: Alerting users of the fact that their PTR record is automatically created from the hostname chosen. Thus, it is important that they

    • format their server's hostname as a fully qualified domain name (FQDN);
    • and
    • create a matching A record;
    if they anticipate sending and/or receiving email from their droplet (which, many apps, such as WordPress, send email notifications).

  • Gravatar Kamal Nasser 5 months

    Thanks Pablo, we'll update the article! :]

  • Gravatar Pablo of vDevices.com 4 months

    No prob., Kamal. Another item that would be helpful -- for n00bs, particularly -- would be a blurb re: choosing b/w a 32-bit or 64-bit OS. I found the following excerpt on a Virtualmin article (do you think the advice/guidelines would apply to DigitalOcean's cloud servers, across the board?):

    32-bit vs. 64-bit systems

    A 32-bit operating system is recommended for cloud servers with less than 3 GB of RAM -- this is especially true for servers with 1 GB, or less, of RAM. Processes can require significantly more memory on the 64-bit architecture. On servers with a limited amount of RAM, any performance benefits that one might gain from a 64-bit operating system would be diluted by having less memory available for buffers and caching.

  • Gravatar mgulla7 4 months

    I am trying to connect from a public library computer. When I open up Putty, it says "Network error: connection refused"

  • Gravatar mbradford101 4 months

    I can't paste anything into putty or the DO black screen. I was able to login by typing everything in. But then I tried to install server pilot and had to type in all this code: sudo curl -sSO https://download.serverpilot.io/serverpilot-installer.py && \ sudo python serverpilot-installer.py \ --server-id=rQCkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkcvXN \ --server-apikey=EEtqFsYhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhXQCLj4BiDh1V59c (changed for security reasons, of course) I'm not a programmer, so I'm shooting in the dark. But I assumed I had to press enter after each line above. I may have entered something wrong, but it said ERROR: bad argument or something like that... So is there a way to paste stuff in, and do I have to press enter after each line?

  • Gravatar mbradford101 4 months

    I tried it again, and this time, after I logged into my server in the terminal, and copied the text from serverpilot's webpage, when I clicked back into the terminal, it seemed like it pasted it in automatically (?) which was weird :) So I pressed enter and it installed fine. Not sure I understand how that happened, but it worked :)

  • Gravatar Kamal Nasser 4 months

    @mbradford101: Putty maps the right click key to paste. :] Glad it's working now anyway!

  • Gravatar Pablo of vDevices.com 4 months

    @mgulla7: The public library probably has a firewall. Ask the IT person if the library blocks "outbound traffic on port 22."

  • Gravatar Kamal Nasser 4 months

    @Pablo: Yes, that should apply to all droplets, I'll add it to the article. Thank you :]

  • Gravatar mfyahya 4 months

    It would be good if you include the ssh host key for verification along with the root password in the initial email to users

  • Gravatar Kamal Nasser 4 months

    @mfyahya: That's a great idea. Please vote for it here: http://digitalocean.uservoice.com/forums/136585-digital-ocean/suggestions/4228550-email-me-the-ssh-fingerprint-when-i-start-a-vm.

  • Gravatar asawyer 4 months

    Am I allowed to host multiple sites on one droplet? Might be a dumb question, but have to ask as I don't want to assume anything.

  • Gravatar Pablo of vDevices.com 4 months

    @asawyer: Yes. Check out How To Set Up Nginx Server Blocks on Ubuntu 12.04 LTS.

  • Gravatar ozie_jackson 4 months

    Can I hostmore than 1 domain name?

  • Gravatar Kamal Nasser 4 months

    @ozie_jackson: Yes. See https://www.digitalocean.com/community/articles/how-to-set-up-nginx-virtual-hosts-server-blocks-on-ubuntu-12-04-lts--3.

  • Gravatar Purnesh Tripathi 4 months

    How do I select which plan I want? I want my billing to be done on per hour basis rather than monthly billing for the droplet. Is it possible somehow?

  • Gravatar Kamal Nasser 4 months

    @purnesh.xyz: There is no difference between monthly and hourly billing. All droplets are billed hourly, up until a monthly cap. We have estimated that each month has about 720 hours (30 days). If you use your server for less than 720 during the month, you will be billed for each hour that you used it. If you use your server for more than 720 hours that month, you will be billed at the monthly cost, which is no greater than 720 hours.

  • Gravatar James Jenner 3 months

    Step 2 second paragraph has a typo (the sentence is nonsensical) and I'm not sure on the implications of the hostname. If I name a host droplet1.mydomainname.com does this restrict me on what I wish to host on the box? As in can I still host www.mydomainname.com and www.sub.mydomainname.com on a droplet with a hostname of droplet1.mydomainname.com? I'm presuming that the answer is yes, just not 100% sure.

  • Gravatar Kamal Nasser 3 months

    @james.g.jenner: Nice catch! I'll correct it, thanks :]

    If I name a host droplet1.mydomainname.com does this restrict me on what I wish to host on the box?
    No—you can name it droplet1.yourdomainname.com and host anotherdomainname.com on it, should be fine.

  • Gravatar mkzia056 3 months

    Hello, Please help me about creating new droplet. i am new user, i add my credit card in billing information but i am unable to create my new droplet. help me about it please. regards, kashif zia

  • Gravatar Kamal Nasser 3 months

    @mkzia056: Please open up a support ticket. Thanks!

  • Gravatar luanpersini 3 months

    This should be included in the Tutorial, hehe. @exode: The password won't appear on the screen but it's getting sent to the droplet so you can just type it and press enter and it should work :]

  • Gravatar funevony01 3 months

    Hey, when I connect to server via ssh, enter ssh root@ip adress and then it asks for password, and at that stage i cant do anything , keyboard is nor working and cant type anything. Kamal Nasser @exode: The password won't appear on the screen but it's getting sent to the droplet so you can just type it and press enter and it should work :] i tried entering passwork, but it dosen't work even anyone know how to solve this problem???

  • Gravatar Kamal Nasser 3 months

    @funevony01: Have you tried entering the password and then enter? (it's being inputted however you won't see the characters or asterisks).

  • Gravatar bitcoin.evolution 3 months

    Hi, I have the same problem. I get to the "login step", and after typing my password terminal says Access denied. I've already tried to change password, type it by hand and paste it from email but result is the same every time. What can you suggest to fix that?

  • Gravatar drew 3 months

    Is there a tutorial for installing "zPanel"?

  • Gravatar Kamal Nasser 3 months

    @bitcoin.evolution: Can you please open up a support ticket? Thanks!

  • Gravatar Kamal Nasser 3 months

    @drew: We do not recommend using zPanel as it is insecure and has been causing a lot of issues to our users. Check out Virtualmin.

  • Gravatar mp_golec 3 months

    I open putty put my ip and everything, open up the terminal but i cant type anything or paste anything. Any suggestions?

  • Gravatar drew 3 months

    @Kamal, thanks for the response, does Virtualmin offer as many "bells and whistles" as zPanel? Should I even consider just paying for the license of cPanel? I'm going to be hosting multiple clients' sites.

  • Gravatar Kamal Nasser 3 months

    @mp_golec: See my comment above. (January 23rd, 2014 19:27).

  • Gravatar Kamal Nasser 3 months

    @drew: I've never used either of them. If you're going to host clients I would suggest going with cPanel (you can find licenses on the internet for $15/mo) since it's what pretty much everyone is familiar with. If they don't have to have access to their accounts, you can go with Virtualmin.

  • Gravatar rivalhosting 3 months

    Not able to access with password. Please help

  • Gravatar Kamal Nasser 3 months

    @rivalhosting: Did you configure your droplet to use an SSH key?

  • Gravatar pinoyunlimitedincome 3 months

    Hi kamal if i create a new droplet will it led me into a new desktop with a different IP Address? Sorry just a plain newbie here.

  • Gravatar Kamal Nasser 3 months

    @pinoyunlimitedincome: Unfortunately you will most likely retain the same IP address.

  • Gravatar WLBROWN369 3 months

    Hey, when I connect to server via ssh, enter ssh root@ip adress and then it asks for password, and at that stage i cant do anything i keep getting access denied. I have tried to reset my password as well as re install putty. Help please Will

  • Gravatar WLBROWN369 3 months

    thanks

  • Gravatar Kamal Nasser 2 months

    @WLBROWN369: Have you edited sshd_config?

  • Gravatar spazdaq 2 months

    New member - So far so good. Created a droplet at 4am and have an active centos lamp setup running 2 hours later. Part of me wishes there was a centos LAMP application button which might have saved me an hour, but another part of me figures it probably wouldn't have been set up the way i like anyways so its easier just to have a fresh start...still, I am sure someone out there wants a quick lamp without it having to be on ubuntu. just a thought. I am very optimistic about the potential to migrate some if not all of my properties here soon.

  • Gravatar marketing.gtx about 1 month

    I have been facing access denied issue when i first time create my droplet. Even if I create a ticket via support page, it is still same. I am not able to log in my droplet neither Putty nor vnc console. I have reset my password, removed and re-create droplet again. Still same! How can I figure it out? Please help me guys... Thnx

  • Gravatar icomment about 1 month

    Thanks for the info: it's appreciated

  • Gravatar victorodairo about 1 month

    hello. Please can i host more than one website on a single droplet?

  • Gravatar abdullah251098 26 days

    What ?

  • Gravatar Kamal Nasser 26 days

    @victorodairo: Yes! See https://www.digitalocean.com/community/articles/how-to-set-up-apache-virtual-hosts-on-ubuntu-12-04-lts.

  • Gravatar chandai.us 23 days

    i have been added credit card.But i don't how to Purchase

  • Gravatar santosh 5 days

    Is there any procedure for oracle installation?

  • Gravatar Kamal Nasser 5 days

    @santosh: Does this help? If not, you can always google "how to install X on linux" where X is the program you want to install. We provide you with a barebones linux system which you can manage yourself (and install whatever you like).

  • Gravatar koti 5 days

    My question is whether my hostname should be site.com or prod.site.com, remember that people access prod.site.com. One of those links says mail.site.com. Ans: Rename your droplet to mail.site.com and create an A record for mail.site.com

  • Gravatar koti 5 days

    Found here: https://www.digitalocean.com/community/questions/reverse-dns-for-subdomain

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