You are browsing a read-only backup copy of Wikitech. The live site can be found at

Help:Accessing Cloud VPS instances

From Wikitech-static
Revision as of 15:10, 9 February 2021 by imported>Bartosz Dziewoński (→‎ProxyCommand (older ssh clients): typo)
Jump to navigation Jump to search


This page explains how to gain access to Cloud VPS using SSH.

What you'll need

Required accounts

Account Type Description Where to sign up
Wikimedia account Wikimedia single user login (SUL) account allows you to log into general wikis like Wikipedia, MediaWiki, and MetaWiki Create Wikimedia account
Wikimedia developer account Wikimedia developer account allows you to log into Wikitech, Phabricator, Gerrit and other developer tools. Create Wikimedia developer account

Set up and upload SSH keys

  1. Set up a public SSH key
  2. Upload your public SSH key to Wikitech
  3. Upload your public SSH key Gerrit

Be a member of a Cloud VPS project

In order to SSH into instances of a particular Cloud VPS project, you must be a member of that project. In order to SSH even into a bastion, you need to be a member of at least one project (then the project-bastion LDAP group will be added automatically). Request a new Cloud VPS project, or ask someone to add you to their existing project.

SSH Recommendations

Linux or macOS

  • Natively support SSH. You should be able to SSH from the terminal.

Windows 10

  • Windows 10 (Spring 2018 Creators update or higher) has a built in SSH client.
    • If the OpenSSH client is not already enabled, you can do this by following Settings -> Apps & features -> Optional features -> Add a feature. Scroll down and enable the SSH Client.
    • Access the SSH client via Windows Powershell using the ssh directive.
    • To use an SSH agent, you will need to enable it.
      • Type into your search bar services.msc and open the Services program
      • Find OpenSSH Authentication Agent and set that service to "Automatic" and start it if it is disabled.
    • Please note, there is a bug in how ProxyJump works, so use the instructions for ProxyCommand below unless you are sure you are not affected by

Older versions of Windows

It is recommended that you run the most current version of Windows. However, if you choose to run an older version, you will need an SSH client. PuTTY / KiTTY is often recommended.

Accessing Cloud VPS instances


You'll need to proxy through a machine that is visible to the Internet and recognizes Cloud VPS (bastion) instances.

How should you proxy?
Your role Use
A member of Wikimedia SRE Team
Everyone else (including volunteers and Wikimedia Foundation staff) (alias)

ProxyJump (recommended)

Use this directive if you are using OpenSSH version 7.3 or higher

$ ssh -J <your-shell-name> <your-shell-name>@<your-instance>.<your-project>

To save time, you can configure your $HOME/.ssh/config file to instruct SSH to use as a jump host when connecting to instances.

Host * * *
  User <your-shell-name>

Host *.wmflabs *
  User <your-shell-name>

ProxyCommand (older ssh clients)

Use this directive if you are using OpenSSH 7.2 or older

Host * * *
  User <your-shell-name>

Host *.wmflabs *
  ProxyCommand ssh -a -W %h:%p <your-shell-name>
  User <your-shell-name>

Logging in

Run the following from your local computer, substituting the instance and project names as appropriate:


SSH fingerprints

See Help:SSH Fingerprints for host key fingerprints which can be used to validate the authenticity of keys offered by hosts when attempting to connect for the first time or if the key has changed due to a full reimaging of the server. It is good practice to verify the SSH fingerprint of the bastions you use in order to reduce the likelihood of a MITM attack.

File managers

You can connect to your Cloud VPS instance through the bastion via SSH with a file manager. There are a number of Open Source options listed below.

Note: The following options are maintained by third parties. Please see the technical documentation or ReadMe on the software's website to determine the best method of connection.






In general, adding SSH option -v, -vv, or -vvv may help identify possible issues.

#when using ProxyCommand
ssh -v

Into Bastion

Permission denied (publickey)
  1. Make sure you have uploaded the correct SSH key to your preferences
  2. Use lowercase letters for your username
  3. Your SSH user name is your instance shell account name name (see User Profile > Basic Information in your Wikitech account's Preferences page). It is not necessarily the same as your account's username
Connection closed by remote host
  • Make sure you have uploaded the correct SSH key to your preferences
  • If you have access to other SSH servers, can you connect to them? If not, then there may be an issue with your SSH client.
  • If you use Windows, is Pageant (PuTTY authentication agent) set up with correct keys and running?
Blocking connection on OS X with no error message

If you are running OS X and your SSH connection blocks without any error message (while pinging the server works), try unset SSH_AUTH_SOCK, and then SSH again. This will unset the socket to ssh-agent.

Into your-instance

Permission denied (publickey)
  • Make sure the instance build has completed.
  • Search in the console output for “Finished puppet run”, BEGIN SSH HOST KEY FINGERPRINTS, and BEGIN SSH HOST KEY KEYS.

Communication and support

We communicate and provide support through several primary channels. Please reach out with questions and to join the conversation.

Communicate with us
Connect Best for
Phabricator Workboard #Cloud-Services Task tracking and bug reporting
IRC Channel #wikimedia-cloud connect
Telegram bridge
mattermost bridge
General discussion and support
Mailing List cloud@ Information about ongoing initiatives, general discussion and support
Announcement emails cloud-announce@ Information about critical changes (all messages mirrored to cloud@)
News wiki page News Information about major near-term plans
Cloud Services Blog Clouds & Unicorns Learning more details about some of our work
Wikimedia Technical Blog News and stories from the Wikimedia technical movement