Connect to Linux VMs

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This document describes how to connect to Linux virtual machine (VM) instances that have external IP addresses. To learn how to connect to VMs that don't have external IP addresses, see Connection options for internal-only VMs.

For information about how SSH connections work in Compute Engine, including SSH key configuration and storage, see SSH connections to Linux VMs.

Supported operating systems

These connection methods are supported for all public Linux images that are available on Compute Engine. For Fedora CoreOS images, you must set up SSH access before you can use these methods.

Connect to VMs

To connect to a VM, complete the steps in one of the following tabs.

Console

Connect to VMs using SSH-in-Browser from the Google Cloud console, by doing the following:

  1. In the Google Cloud console, go to the VM instances page.

    Go to VM instances

  2. In the list of virtual machine instances, click SSH in the row of the instance that you want to connect to.

    SSH button next to instance name.

gcloud

Connect to a VM using SSH by running the gcloud compute ssh command:

  1. In the Google Cloud console, activate Cloud Shell.

    Activate Cloud Shell

    At the bottom of the Google Cloud console, a Cloud Shell session starts and displays a command-line prompt. Cloud Shell is a shell environment with the Google Cloud CLI already installed and with values already set for your current project. It can take a few seconds for the session to initialize.

  2. Run the following command:

    gcloud compute ssh --project=PROJECT_ID --zone=ZONE VM_NAME

    Connect to the VM by running the following command:

    • PROJECT_ID: the ID of the project that contains the VM
    • ZONE: the name of the zone that the VM is located in
    • VM_NAME: the name of the VM

    If you have set default properties for the Google Cloud CLI, you can omit the --project and --zone flags from this command. For example:

    gcloud compute ssh VM_NAME

OpenSSH client

Connect to a VM using SSH from an OpenSSH client, do the following:

  1. Add an SSH key to the VM if you haven't already.
  2. In the Google Cloud console, go to the VM Instances page and find the external IP address of the VM that you want to connect to.

    Go to VM Instances

  3. Open a terminal on your workstation.
  4. Connect to the VM by running the following command:

    ssh -i PATH_TO_PRIVATE_KEY USERNAME@EXTERNAL_IP

    Replace the following:

    • PATH_TO_PRIVATE_KEY: the path to the private SSH key file that corresponds to the public key you added to the VM.
    • USERNAME: your username. If you manage your SSH keys in metadata, the username is what you specified when you created the SSH key. For OS Login accounts, the username is defined in your Google profile. For example, cloudysanfrancisco_example_com or cloudysanfrancisco.
    • EXTERNAL_IP: the external IP address of the VM.

PuTTY app

Connect to a VM using SSH from the Windows PuTTY app, by doing the following:

  1. Add an SSH key to the VM if you haven't already.
  2. If your workstation doesn't already have the PuTTY app installed, download the PuTTY package files.
  3. In the Google Cloud console, go to the VM Instances page and find the external IP address of the VM that you want to connect to.

    Go to VM Instances

  4. Open the PuTTY app. A connection configuration window opens.
  5. In the Host Name field, enter the username associated with the SSH key, and the external IP address of the VM that you want to connect to. Use the following format:

    USERNAME@EXTERNAL_IP

    Replace the following:

    • USERNAME: your username. If you manage your SSH keys in metadata, the username is what you specified when you created the SSH key. For OS Login accounts, the username is defined in your Google profile. For example, cloudysanfrancisco_example_com or cloudysanfrancisco.
    • EXTERNAL_IP: the external IP address of the VM.
  6. In the Category menu, navigate to Connection > SSH > Auth.
  7. In the Private key file for authentication field, select the private SSH key file that corresponds to the public key you added to the VM.
  8. Click Open to connect to the VM.

Secure Shell Chrome app

To connect to a VM using SSH from the Secure Shell Chrome app, do the following:

  1. Add an SSH key to the VM if you haven't already.

  2. Install Secure Shell on your Chromebook or Chrome browser if you have not done so already.

  3. In the Google Cloud console, go to the VM Instances page and find the external IP address of the VM that you want to connect to.

    Go to VM Instances

  4. Open the Secure Shell in a Chrome browser tab address bar, by doing the following:

    • Type ssh.
    • Press Space.
    • Press Enter.
  5. Click [New Connection].

  6. In the username field, enter your username. If you manage your SSH keys in metadata, the username is what you specified when you created the SSH key. For OS Login accounts, the username is defined in your Google profile. For example, cloudysanfrancisco_example_com or cloudysanfrancisco.

  7. In the hostname field, enter the external IP address of the VM.

  8. In the Identity field, click Import... and select the path to the private SSH key file that corresponds to the public key you added to the VM.

  9. Click [ENTER] Connect to connect to the VM.

Troubleshooting

To find methods for diagnosing and resolving failed SSH connections, see Troubleshooting SSH.

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