SSH to a Node in an NKS Cluster

Contributors ebarcott

Whenever possible, you will want to use Dockerfiles or the kubectl command to interact with a cluster. However, there are some cases when you may need (or want) to SSH directly to a node in an NKS cluster.

To use this feature, you will need an NKS account. If you don’t have one already, you can sign up for a free 30-day trial with no credit card required at https://nks.netapp.io.

If you are familiar with using SSH to interact with a Linux server, the username is core on ContainerLinux, ubuntu on Ubuntu, and admin on Debian. Download the SSH keys from your NKS Profile page, then use them to authenticate on the node.

You can log in as the user with a command like:

ssh -i ~/.ssh/id_rsa core@

Set Up the SSH Keys

To improve security, NKS nodes use SSH keys for authentication instead of passwords. To SSH to a cluster, you will need to upload your own pair of SSH keys, then use those keys to build the cluster.

For help creating SSH keys, see our article "Create an SSH Keypair".

To add the SSH keys to your NKS account, go to Organization > Setup. In the SSH Keys section, click Add SSH keys.

When you build the cluster, choose your new set of SSH keys in the Cluster Create workflow. The cluster will be built with your custom SSH keys, so that you can use them to access the cluster.

SSH to the Node

To find the public IP for the node, go to the NKS Control Plane and click the cluster’s name. Note the Public IP address for the node.

Open a Terminal (on Mac) or PuTTY (on Windows) session and SSH to the node:

ssh -i [/path/to/id_rsa] [login name]@[public IP address]

The login name will depend on the node’s operating system:

  • ContainerLinux: core

  • Ubuntu: ubuntu

  • Debian: admin

For example, the command to connect to a ContainerLinux node at IP address when you have stored your SSH keys in the /home/JDoe/.ssh directory is:

ssh -i /home/JDoe/.ssh/id_rsa core@

This will connect you to the node.