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How to SSH onto your EC2 instance

How to SSH onto your EC2 instance

by KieranMarch 28, 2015

I mentioned in a previous post that I was struggling with the java based SSH terminal that AWS provide. I therefore started to look elsewhere for other solutions. The solution that I settled upon is Putty, it’s pretty straightforward to use as I’ll outline below.

Once you’ve set up your EC2 instance and downloaded your SSH key file, you’ll need to convert it into a format that Putty is able to read (from .pem to .ppk). To do this, download Putty Gen and hit the ‘load button’. This will show a file explorer dialogue box, locate your newly downloaded key file.

SSH onto your EC2

After you’ve loaded it, all you need to do is click ‘save private key’, name it and store it somewhere you’ll remember. Next, install the main Putty application. Within this, paste your public DNS details (found in your AWS console) into the ‘Host Name’ field.

putty to SSH onto AWS

Then, expand the SSH menu on the left hand side and click on ‘Auth’. Within the subsequent screen, click the ‘browse’ button and find the .ppk key that you just created.


Then just press the ‘Open’ button. On the terminal window, enter the default ‘ec2-user’ and press enter. You’ll then see the screen below, enter sudo -s to work as the super user.

SSH Terminal AWS

Image used under creative commons

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About The Author

My name is Kieran, I love to see how technology can drive business growth. I started the Netshock technology blog as a place to share my thoughts and experiences with a wider audience. I cover all sorts of topics, from marketing to development.