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VPS Management Console over SSH

This unique feature goes by several names:

  • VPS serial console
  • VPS management console over SSH
  • Out of band managment over serial
But ultimately, it allows you to access the serial port of your VPS over SSH. This allows for out of band access without the need for VNC or a web browser (via our web console).

Specifically, the following can be accessed securely over SSH:

Your VM's serial port

Common use case is to run a getty process on it, for out-of-band management, without a need for VNC.

The following devices are made available:

  • /dev/ttyS0 (Linux)
  • /dev/ttyu0 (FreeBSD)
  • /dev/tty00 (OpenBSD)


Tunnel VNC over SSH

Encrypt all VNC traffic for more secure out-of-band management that does not require the serial port.

Instructions for doing so are available by selecting the 't' option once logged into the console server (see below).

Ability to boot, shutdown gracefully (via ACPI), and forcefully halt any VM

Example serial port session

We give you an account on our console server and you give us your SSH public key.

The fun begins:

  $ ssh john-doe@console.cust.arpnetworks.com 
You will then be presented with:
  Welcome to the ARP Networks VM management console

  Select from the following functions
    l    list virtual machines
    b    boot
    s    shutdown (graceful) *
    S    shutdown (hard)
    c    connect to serial console
    t    tunnel VNC over SSH (instructions)
    q    quit

  *  graceful shutdown requires that your VM responds to an ACPI shutdown signal

  > _
Pressing 'c' will connect you to the VM's serial port:
  FreeBSD/amd64 (devil2.example.com) (ttyd0)

  login: 
That's all there is to it!