Incorrect characters in console from my key press. How can I fix?

I press “a”, and it shows “^[a”. I press “e” and it shows “^[e”.

The above issue seemed similar, but the solution didn’t work.


@hansen Rebooting the server from the web interface (Power option - and the Power Cycle button) appears to have fixed it. Gracias!

@janiel So if you reboot the server, does that fix it? It sounds very much like some package has screwed up a key-mapping or something like that.

@hansen - I set up the droplet today, and was able to login and create a new password. This started after I installed a few packages on my droplet via apt-get.

@janiel Does it also happens at login, meaning you cannot login, since you cannot write the username/password correctly? Is it a new droplet?

@hansen - Yep, same thing in ms Edge. Same language across everything, (as in using english).

@janiel Same thing happens in different browsers? Are you using the same language on your OS, browser and keyboard?

@hansen - That would be the web console

It looks like the console thinks it’s getting the glyph character, which can’t be shown, so it’s replace with ^[ in front of the character you actually wanted to send. Are you using the web console or SSH console like Terminal/PuTTY?

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Accepted Answer

Rebooting the server from the web interface (Power option - and the Power Cycle button) appears to have fixed it.

Hello, all

The Copy/Paste functionality of our web console is a bit odd; the code backing it is custom due to the way the VNC window is implemented for accessing your Droplet. It isn’t a good idea, in my experience, to rely on the console for long copy/pasting like an SSH key.

My recommended method to get the key on the Droplet is over SSH itself. Also the web console is intended to access your droplet in a case of emergency in order to sort out the issue. I will highly recommend to use a ssh-client in order to access and manage your droplet.

You can also check our docs on How to Connect to Droplets with SSH:

There are two options at the bottom of the doc: Connect with OpenSSH and Connect with PuTTY

You can enable PasswordAuthentication for your Droplet by modifying your /etc/ssh/sshd_config file. Once set to Yes restart the SSH service and connect via an SSH client for a more stable connection. You can then modify your ~/.ssh/authorized_keys file to add the appropriate public key.

This should do the job for you as well.

The other option is to temporary enable the PasswordAuthentication from no to yes in order to access your droplet using password and then once you’ve entered your key to disable the PasswordAuthentication again. This way is considered more secure than uploading the key to a Dropbox in case you don’t have any other server to us.

  1. Login to the console on DigitalOcean website.
  2. Type sudo nano /etc/ssh/sshd_config
  3. Change PasswordAuthentication from “no” to “yes” and save the file
  4. Open a terminal on your computer and type ssh username@[hostname or IP address] or if on a Windows box use PuTTY for password login making sure authentication parameters aren’t pointing to a private key
  5. Login with password
  6. Type sudo nano ~/.ssh/authorized_keys
  7. Paste public key text here and save the file
  8. Type sudo nano /etc/ssh/sshd_config
  9. Change PasswordAuthentication from “yes” to “no” and save the file
  10. Log out and attempt to log back in (if using PuTTY make sure you set up auth parameters to point to your private key)

Hope that this helps! Regards, Alex

Worked for me with CTRL pressed.

I’ve got the same problem

I assure you they do not care. Googling the issue verifies this with the hundreds of people that have never received a straight answer over many years now. Do yourself a favor and ditch DigitalOcean. We did and could not be happier!

Me too | sends >

I had the same issue. Really annoying.

Getting exactly as tannerchung above. Pipe | turns into > makes things difficult.

everything I use the pipe key | it turns into >. Anyone else experiencing this? You can imagine how frustrating it is especially how small the DO window is.