How to Regain Access to Droplets using the DigitalOcean Droplet Console

Most users manage their DigitalOcean Droplets using SSH, PuTTY, or a control panel they’ve installed themselves. However, changes to your network or service configuration files could leave you unable to log in remotely using these methods.

The Droplet console provides out-of-band access and is 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. You can use this feature to log in and revert bad settings to regain normal access.

Reset the Root Password

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.

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 need to use the DigitalOcean Control Panel to create a password for you.

Navigate to the control panel. From the project the Droplet is in, or from the main navigation’s Droplets page, locate the Droplet. Click the Droplet’s name to open its detail page, then select Access in the left navigation.

Screenshot of a Droplet's Access page with the Launch Console button

Click Reset Root Password to send an email to the address associated with your DigitalOcean account. You can use the password provided to log in to your Droplet through the console.

Log In with the Console

From the DigitalOcean Control Panel, first click the name of the Droplet you want to access, then select Access from the left navigation. Click the Launch Console button to open a web-based console session.

When the console opens, click the console screen and press ENTER to ensure that the login prompt has focus. At the login prompt, enter the user you want to log in as. This is typically the root user or a user configured with sudo privileges.

Note

If you type directly into the console, it may initially read your number keys incorrectly, as if the SHIFT key is pressed. For example, pressing the 2 key may enter @.

This happens only when typing. You can avoid the problem by copying the text, then pasting it into the console by pressing CTRL + v. You can also reset this behavior and ensure that your key strokes are being received correctly by pressing SHIFT and CTRL a few times, then testing your number keys again.

When prompted, enter the password associated with the account. For security purposes, as you type or when you paste, the password the characters are not displayed and the cursor does not change.

Once you’ve entered the password, press ENTER. If this is the first time you’ve logged in after resetting the root password through the control panel, you are prompted to enter the password again, then asked to choose a new password:

You are required to change your password immediately (root enforced)
Changing password for root.
(current) UNIX password:
Enter new UNIX password:
Retype new UNIX password:

Once you’ve successfully entered your credentials and, if required, set a new password, you should be logged in to your Droplet. From here, you can reset misbehaving configuration files or services in order to restore network access.