How can I use Secure Shell Remote Access?

This FAQ was last modified on: Monday, November 5, 2018 02:43pm

Now that my requested domain is setup, what do I do next for remote secure shell and file access?   This covers setup for SFTP, SSH and SCP.

You will need to login to your web based control panel and set a password on the shared account.  Please note that this account is not the same as your personal account used to login to the control panel.

1) Control Panel Login:

Log into with your personal account to confirm that you have access to the requested domain. Navigate to Plesk Web Admin page. All of the websites that you are listed as either owner or admin will be displayed under Your Plesk Control Panel section on the left column. Next click the blue link of your site's hosting account to enter its control panel. (To update your site's information, click on the cogwheel icon right by your website link.)

Screenshot of Plesk Web Admin page on website. The image illustrates the location of the link for site control panel.


2) Reset the password for the domain:

Click on the "Show More" button on the page.

Web Hosting Control Panel Page

Click on the "Web Hosting Access" Icon:

Webhosting Access icon



Use the Generate Button to generate a strong password and the Show button to record the password. Click the OK button at the bottom of the page. 

Control Panel Password Page


3) Setting up a client to access your domain via the server:

You can access your domain using and update files using the control panel web client, but this could be very time consuming since one file at a time is modified. Accessing the domain via the server with a client that permits bulk file uploads is more efficient. Below are fields of information that are needed to setup the clients. SSH, SCP, SFTP are valid for accessing. FTP is not permitted.  Also note that not all clients will use these nameing conventions.

Also note that we require VPN connections only, to login via the secure shell methods.   There are several methods to access the VPN and they can be found by searching "VPN" in the FAQ search bar above.

Description: Description of domain, enter the domain name to distinguish between your multiple domains' access.

Host name: website name, e.g., no www.  If you have not setup DNS you will need to use the server where your domain is located, ex.,, or  This server can be seen on the page next to your domain.

Port: 22(SSH or SCP)

Username: (FTP Login) displayed when setting domain password

Password: password was set on the domain using the above instructions. All members of your site maintenance team will use the newly reset password.

You may allow customers to use keys to log in to an ssh session on your hosted site:
  1. Log in to your Plesk panel
  2. Navigate to the File Manager
    1. ​From the Home Directory
      1. ​Select New>Create Directory
      2. Name the Directory .ssh
      3. Save the Directory
      4. Select the directory and Change Permissions to none for Group and Others
      5. Save your changes
    2. ​From your .ssh directory
      1. ​​Select New>Create File
      2. Name the new file authorized_keys
      3. Save the file
      4. Open the file and past the customer(s') public key(s) into the file.
      5. Save the file
    3. Note: once you have saved this file the first time Plesk may say it is an unknown file type and not allow you to edit it in the GUI. You can always rename it to authorized_keys.txt - edit it - then rename it to authorized_keys after the edits are saved. You may also edit it, and even do all of the work above from an ssh session.
    4. Once the public key(s) are in place the customers may ssh to the server using their private key with putty or any other software that allows it. They should login as user <YOUR SITE'S SYSTEM USER>, and provide the passphrase from their private key.
  3. You may also use the SSH Keys Manager Extension in your Plesk Panel!:

  1. Using SSH keys is more convenient and secure than traditional password authentication. This extension allows you to manage SSH keys from the Plesk UI. For every individual subscription, you can add or remove an SSH key which the subscription owner can then use to access the server.