Setting up server, getting "'ssh' is not recognized as an internal or external command"

March 11, 2016 4k views
Getting Started DigitalOcean Articles

I'm following the Initial Server Setup directions and am close to the end of that page. I'm now trying to connect to the new server from my local machine. The instructions say to use this command: ssh demo@SERVER_IP_ADDRESS.
When I try that in a terminal window, I am told 'ssh' is not recognized as an internal or external command. I am using Windows and using PuTTY to connect. The instructions say if I'm using PuTTY to "be sure to update the session's port number to match your server's current configuration."
I have been using Port 22. I tried that again, and then a terminal opens up asking for a password for "root". I don't think I have a password for root because I created the droplet with an ssh key. I tried the password for my user, but that did not work. i tried connecting on port 23 not knowing if that would work, and it did not. What should I do?

2 Answers


When you set up a droplet with SSH keys, no root password will be emailed to you. Make sure you have the correct SSH key selected in PuTTY (its somewhere under the ssh/auth settings) once youve pointed to your PPK file, you should be good to go.

  • OK I think I figured it out. I did double check the SSH key, then I had an insight.
    I had just set up a super user and then changed the server's settings to not allow remote root log in, as the said to do. Then I was supposed to stay logged in as root while logging in separately as my user to make user it worked before logging out as root.
    Somehow, I wasn't successful in all that, and then the server wasn't letting me log back in as root because I had changed the setting to not allow that.

    by Justin Ellingwood
    When you start a new server, there are a few steps that you should take every time to add some basic security and give you a solid foundation. In this guide, we'll walk you through the basic steps necessary to hit the ground running with Ubuntu 14.04.

Not sure if you still need help. But here are two links that may help with Windows based PuTTY key auth.

How To Use SSH Keys with PuTTY on DigitalOcean Droplets (Windows users)
Key-Based SSH Logins With PuTTY

by Justin Ellingwood
PuTTY is a Windows program used to establish SSH sessions with Linux servers. In this guide, we'll demonstrate how to use PuTTY to create SSH key pairs to use within the DigitalOcean interface. You can then easily create servers that you can log into without a password.
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