Stuck: can't type anything in console acces

Posted May 26, 2014 116.9k views
I was setting up PHP over Nginx when all of the sudden my console access stoped working. It displays what it should but cat't type any character. Tried refresh, changed the computer but the problem persists.
  • I’m going through a similar problem right now… the console logged me out automatically and now its asking me to login but when I type the letter popup as ^E^L etc and when I try back spacing I get ^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H every letter I type seems to pop us as a capital with ^ in front of it like im typing by holding control before each letter. Does anyone know how to solve this? Thank you in advance!

  • I was having the same problem. What I did was reset the Droplet and then the error disappeared.

  • What are you doing DO?
    This is 2020, and this case is not solved yet.
    It drives me crazy.

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20 answers

I have the solution! To those who are stuck click on the window and press one of these combinations.


one of the letters will end up “exiting” the program that is running. Allowing you to type again!

The Digital Ocean console did not work for me either. I tried to add an SSH key to .ssh/authorized_keys with the DO console because I could not SSH into the droplet from a new computer because of “permission denied (publickey)”. When I pasted in my new SSH key, it got altered. For example “ssh-rsa” became "ssh_rsa“ and upper-case letters became lower-case letters and the whole string was cut off at some random point. Then the console became unresponsive and wouldn’t let me type anything at all. I had to google and eventually typed Ctrl+c at the command prompt repeatedly and reloaded the console repeatedly until I could type again. The pico and nano editors don’t work properly either. And there was no way I could add an SSH key because pasting doesn’t work and I didn’t want to type in my SSH key manually into the non-working nano editor. To sum up, it’s a completely unusable POS.

DO seems to forget we are paying for their fucking services. Everyone has an issue with keymappings in the web console with no actual solution. Hey Digital Ocean, you aren’t running an open source free solution. Telling your customers to deal with it is a fucking shitty answer.

  • If the console is equivalent to a USB keyboard, then how about telling us what the layout for your virtual usb keyboard is so we can set it right in our settings?

    • A little testing with the console program showkey. I am having issues with the pipe symbol. The pipe symbol resides on keycode 43 “|". without shift it shows as the proper keycode. But when I press shift the keycode changes to 86 which is ”>“. Shift should not change keycodes! This is an issue with your software

Tried CTRL + C ended up CMD + CTRL + C worked for me.

It’s the main reason why i left DO. 5 years and still not working console. Always typing “^[a” etc.

Why are you using the console?
I'm new to DigitalOcean. What are you using?
You should use SSH, console is for emergency access.
The web console is really only provided as a fail safe. You can use it to access your droplet when you don't have any other way. For day to day work on your server, you'll be much better off connecting with SSH like Wouter mentioned. If you're on Windows, take a look at PuTTY:
by Saleh Salem
This tutorial will allow you to log Into a VPS with Putty (Windows Users).
  • I’m in the same situation and your answer doesn’t help, at least in my case. I do have ssh keys uploaded, but during the morning I work in a place where ssh protocol is blocked for outside communications and firewall also blocks ssh over http/https (even using corkscrew), so good console access is mandatory.

    Anyway, even for the case you mentioned, emergency/fail safe use is not really “fail safe” if you can’t type anything in console.

  • Hmmm. What is really happening to me is something weird: when I open the console during the first seconds I can type whatever I want, but after this time is elapsed no regular key is working, just a few special keys are working (PgUp, PgDown, cursor keys, function keys and that’s it)

    • Yes, it’s 2017 and console slows down after to non-responsive, where console prompts me to either kill or wait. I click on wait, half the time the console session times-out.
      SSH with key from PuTTY has been working great, but right now key authentication isn’t working. So really need this, because when editing sshdconfig and slow console session which eventually times out creates a locked sshdconfig file. then trying to fix the lock with incredibly slow console takes hours. HOURS!

  • I think his comment isn’t helpful as well. The real question remains, how do you fix the web console issue?

  • @kjszives What is the problem you are actually experiencing? If the console isn’t working at all, then open a support ticket so the team can investigate the problem. If you are having issues with certain keys not working, you should reconfigure the keyboard layout setting on your server. A proper SSH session will handle the input from keystrokes for you, but sing the console is more like plugging a keyboard directly into the server.

    • asb,

      The reason why your comment is not helpful is because you still did not answer the question. I am searching the forums to resolve this issue because I locked myself out by blocking root access (stupidly). Now the only way to fix this is to access the online virtual console, and access to it is blocked.

      Now, if you have any solution to the actual issue at hand, which is that we cannot type anything into the console access, you will solve the problem for many users in the future like me.

    • I plugged keyboards directly into routers and servers for years, but never had the slowness and serious problems getting commands to run in a console before. This situation is unique to Digital Ocean’s console access. Console slowness is not taken seriously by DO’s support team. They always say to use SSH, otherwise put up with the slowness. This is not a good response, the slowness is a serious threat to the server due to session timeouts with a config file open.

  • Thank you for your suggestion. It’s work for me :)

  • a fail safe which is not safe as long as it doesn’t work actually

I have experienced this too. I was fiddling around with VIM, editing my hosts.allow file. I wanted to make sure I didn’t lock myself out via SSH, so I used the console, but the console no-likey VIM. The cursor disappeared and I couldn’t :q! out of VIM! Ultimately I had to kill the session via command line ssh to fix it :(. Basically - VIM doesn’t work in the web console is what I’m saying.

  • I am facing the same problem. I cannot :q out of the vim. Also, there is no SSH connection in my case. Please tell me how to exit the VIM. I tried Ctrl+c/x too.

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