Connecting to your virtual machine

This article describes several ways to connect to a running virtual machine. The prerequisites include proper firewall settings and a floating IP.

Keypair-based SSH connection

When your virtual machine has a public floating IP assigned in the cPouta cloud (or VM local IP in the case of ePouta) and a security group that allows SSH, you can open a remote SSH connection to your instance. Any standard SSH client should work.

A new virtual machine only has a default user account and the root or administrator account, or in some cases, only the root account. The user account name depends on the image used. For images provided by CSC, it has usually been "cloud-user", but we are moving towards using the image's upstream defaults. For example, Ubuntu 18 uses "ubuntu". You can only log in using keypair-based authentication, such as:

#for cPouta CentOS/ScientificLinux/Ubuntu 16.04 VMs
ssh cloud-user@public-ip -i keyfile.pem

#for cPouta Ubuntu 18.04 VMs
ssh ubuntu@public-ip -i keyfile.pem

#for ePouta CentOS/ScientificLinux/Ubuntu 16.04 VMs
ssh cloud-user@vm-ip -i keyfile.pem

#for ePouta Ubuntu 18.04 VMs
ssh ubuntu@vm-ip -i keyfile.pem

With the default CSC images, when you try logging in as root, you get a message that tells you which username to use instead. Some third-party images may use the root account directly or a completely different username.

You can also use an SSH agent instead of the command above. With an SSH agent, you are able to have one machine with a public IP and connect via SSH to the other machines from that machine, without having public IPs for all machines. To use a SSH agent in your local Linux or Mac OS X machine, start a shell and run the following commands:

ssh-agent /bin/bash
ssh-add ~/.ssh/keyname.pem

Now you should be able to connect to the public Floating IP of your VM in cPouta (or VM local IP in case of ePouta) using SSH. The public and private IPs of your VMs are visible in the web UI if you are unsure what they are. Once the key has been loaded, you can use the SSH agent: 

#for cPouta VMs
ssh -A cloud-user@public-ip

#for ePouta VMs
ssh -A cloud-user@vm-ip

The difference is that you are no longer specifying the key to use using -i since this comes automatically from the agent. The -A option stands for agent forwarding. It allows you to use the host with the public floating IP as a jump host, i.e. to connect to other VMs reachable by the jump host that allow this particular key. Please note that key forwarding transfers your private key to the remote host. This may not be acceptable in some environments or security policies.

Before connecting to your virtual machine, you can check its status in the Instances view of the cPouta/ePouta web interface.

VM Status check

Figure The Instances view of the cPouta web interface.

The figure above shows a sample of the Instances view in cPouta web interface. In this case, we can see that a virtual machine called a-dummy-instance is active and running. The machine has two IP addresses, of which the address is the public one. The machine uses a keypair called risto.

The ePouta web interface looks similar but the instances in ePouta have only one IP address field specified which is the virtual machine's local IP.

Getting root access on a virtual machine

If you logged in using a default user account, you will be able to run commands as root with sudo:

sudo <some command>

You can also get a root shell:

sudo -i

None of the accounts in the default images provided by CSC have password login enabled. In these images, you can utilize sudo without a password. If accounts that do not have root access are needed, they need to be created separately.

Connect to a machine using the Pouta virtual console

The web interface includes a console tool that you can use to login to your virtual machine directly. However, when using CSC-provided images, using the console requires you to create a user account with a password for the virtual machine.

You can open a console session by clicking Console in the instance dropdown menu:

Open a console in the web GUI

To input text in the console, click the grey bar:

Input text to web console

After this, you can log in with the user account and password you have created.


Umlaut characters do not work in the virtual console for most keymaps.