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How To Use the DigitalOcean Console to Access your Droplet

PostedAugust 7, 2015 129.4k views DigitalOcean

Introduction

Most users will manage their DigitalOcean Droplets using SSH, PuTTY, or an installed control panel. However, situations could arise that prevent you from accessing your Droplet with these methods. For instance, changes to your network or service configuration files could leave you unable to log in remotely.

In this guide, we'll show you how to use the DigitalOcean console to log in to your Droplet. The console provides "out-of-band" access, which means that it will be available regardless of your network settings. It emulates the access you would have if you were sitting down with a keyboard and monitor attached to the actual server. We can use this feature to log in, revert bad settings, and regain control.

Acquiring Login Credentials

If you typically log in to your Droplet using a password, or if you have set a password for the root or a sudo user on the system, you already have the credentials you need to log in. Skip ahead to the next section.

If you log in to your server using SSH keys and have not set up a password for the root account or a sudo user, you will need to use the DigitalOcean control panel to create a password for you.

To set a root password, navigate to your Droplet's page in the control panel. It should open to the "Access" section. Towards the bottom, there is a button to "Reset Root Password":

DigitalOcean reset root password

Click on this button. You will receive an email shortly to the email address associated with your DigitalOcean account:

DigitalOcean password reset email

You can use the password provided to log in to your Droplet through the console.

Logging In with the Console

To log in to your Droplet, navigate to your Droplet's page in the DigitalOcean control panel if you have not already done so already. It should open to the "Access" section. Click on the "Console Access" button to open a console session:

DigitalOcean console access button

A virtual console will be created in your browser window. Click on the console screen and press ENTER to ensure that the login prompt has focus:

DigitalOcean console login prompt

Note
When the console boots up, there is a chance that it will read the state of your SHIFT key for certain characters incorrectly. In particular, your number keys may show their alternate functions. To reset this behavior and ensure that your key strokes are being received correctly, hit the SHIFT and CTRL keys a few times. When your number keys display the correct characters, your keyboard is operating as it should.

At the login prompt, enter the user you want to log in as. This should typically be the root user or another user you have configured with sudo privileges. When prompted, enter the password associated with the account:

DigitalOcean enter password

If this is the first time logging in after creating or reseting your password through the control panel, you will be prompted to enter the root password emailed to you again. You will then be asked to choose a new password:

DigitalOcean choose new password

You should now be logged in to your Droplet. You now have the opportunity to reset any misbehaving configuration files or services in order to restore network access.

Conclusion

Using the DigitalOcean console allows you to log in regardless of your Droplet's networking configuration or the availability of its remote administration services. Working through a browser window may not be ideal for managing your server day-to-day, but it is a great way to restore access to your server.

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