How To Ssh Into Ec2

How To Articles


SSH (Secure Shell) is a cryptographic network protocol that allows you to securely connect to a remote server or computer. In this article, I will guide you through the process of SSH-ing into an EC2 (Elastic Compute Cloud) instance. As someone who has managed multiple EC2 instances in the past, I find SSH to be an essential tool for remote server administration. Let’s dive deep into the details and learn how to SSH into an EC2 instance.

Step 1: Generate SSH Key Pair

The first step is to generate an SSH key pair. This will allow us to establish a secure connection between our local machine and the EC2 instance. Follow these steps:

  1. Open your terminal or command prompt.
  2. Enter the following command to generate a new SSH key pair:
  3. ssh-keygen -t rsa -b 4096

  4. Specify a file name for the key pair and choose a strong passphrase for added security.
  5. Once the key pair is generated, you will have two files: a private key file (usually named id_rsa) and a public key file (usually named

Step 2: Launch EC2 Instance

Now that we have our SSH key pair ready, let’s launch an EC2 instance:

  1. Login to the AWS Management Console and navigate to the EC2 service.
  2. Click on “Launch Instance” to start the EC2 instance creation wizard.
  3. Choose an Amazon Machine Image (AMI) based on your requirements and select the desired instance type.
  4. In the “Configure Instance Details” section, make sure to select the appropriate VPC, subnet, security group, and other settings as per your needs.
  5. In the “Add Tags” section, you can add tags to your EC2 instance for better organization and identification.
  6. In the “Configure Security Group” section, make sure to allow SSH (port 22) inbound traffic from your IP address or a specific range of IP addresses for added security.
  7. Review your instance configuration and click on “Launch” to start the EC2 instance.
  8. During the launch process, you will be prompted to choose an existing key pair or create a new key pair. Select the option to use the key pair you generated earlier.
  9. Wait for the EC2 instance to launch. Once it is running, note down the public IP address or DNS name associated with the instance.

Step 3: Configure SSH Access

Before we can SSH into the EC2 instance, we need to configure our SSH access:

  1. Open your terminal or command prompt.
  2. Change the permissions of your private key file to ensure it is not publicly accessible:
  3. chmod 400 /path/to/private_key.pem

  4. Now, SSH into the EC2 instance using the public IP address or DNS name of the instance:
  5. ssh -i /path/to/private_key.pem ec2-user@

  6. If you are using a different SSH key file or user, replace /path/to/private_key.pem and ec2-user with the appropriate values.


Congratulations! You have successfully SSH-ed into your EC2 instance. SSH is an essential tool for managing and administering remote servers, and mastering it can greatly enhance your productivity as a system administrator. Remember to always follow security best practices, such as using strong passwords or passphrases and regularly updating your SSH key pairs. Happy SSH-ing!