Connecting to a Shared Server SSH with a Mac

Connecting to a Shared Server SSH with a Mac

Generate Key for Shell Access

  1. Login to the cPanel and then go to the SSH/Shell Access icon. Click on it to access section where you can generate the private key.
  2.  Click on the button labeled Manage SSH Keys
  3.  Click on the button labeled Generate a new key
  4. Type in a password (do NOT use the password generator), then confirm it. Make sure to write down the password you used. Leave the key type at DSA and key size at 1024.
  5. If you are creating a key for the first time, click on the Generate Key
  6. You should then see a confirmation that the key was generated. Return to the Manage SSH Keysscreen
  7. You should see the Public key AND the Private key generated with the name “id_dsa”. Click on View/Downloadfor the PRIVATE This is the key that you will need to load onto your Mac.
  8. Download the file to your Mac client. To make it simple for this tutorial, copy the file to your desktop.
  9. Before we move to the Mac side of things, you should check to see if the PUBLIC key has an authorization status of NOT AUTHORIZED. Click on the Manage Authorization link. This will authorize the key for you! NOTE: If you don’t authorize this key, it doesn’t matter what you do on the Mac side, you won’t be able to login.

The next portion of the process requires that you login to your Mac as an administrator. We will be using the default Terminal program in order to login to SSH using the key that we generated above.

Use Apple Terminal Program to Connect to SSH

  1. Login to your Terminal If you don’t know how to do this, go the magnifying glass in the OS toolbar (usually at the top right – this is Spotlight) and type in “terminal”. You should see Terminal appear as an application. Select it and it will launch. Note that if you are not logged into your Mac as the administrator you will not be able to make these changes.
  2. Go to your desktop where you copied the ID_DSA file. The terminal command is: cd desktop
  3. Make sure that the ID_DSA file is already on your desktop. Then type the following into your terminal:


cp -frp id_dsa ~/.ssh


This will copy the key into the .ssh folder.

  1. Next run the following command to add the identity to your computer.

ssh-add -K id_dsa


You will then need to type in the password you used to generate the key in cPanel.

  1. You should see a confirmation that the identity has been added to your Mac. When this is complete, you will be able to use the SSH command to login to the server. The cPanel user name will need to be used along with the server name. The command will look like this:


ssh -p 2222


Here’s an example: ssh -p 2222

  1. If this is the first time you have connected the server, you may see a message stating that it can’t identity the server. Just click on “YES” to proceed (just make you’re connecting to the right server). The password should automatically work and you should see the terminal connect.