How to Connect to a Server Using the BMC Remote Console Feature

August 28, 2020

Introduction

The Remote Console feature of the Bare Metal Cloud (BMC) portal is an easy and secure way to connect to your BMC servers without using SSH. The BMC consoling only works with password-based authentication.

Follow the instructions in this guide to learn how to access a Bare Metal Cloud server using the Remote Console.

How to Connect to a server using a BMC portal Remote Console

Prerequisites

Default System Users

The remote console feature is available by default for all BMC servers. Depending on the OS, the usernames for the default account are different.

The available operating systems have the following default users:

  • For Ubuntu servers, the username is ubuntu.
  • For CentOS servers, the username is centos.
  • For Debian servers, the username is debian.
  • For Windows servers, the username is Admin.
  • For ESXi and Proxmox servers, the username is root.

When you deploy a server, a pop-up box with the password and relevant information appears, except for Linux OS. When deploying a BMC server with a Linux OS, you must use SSH and set up a new user.

Linux User Setup

Before you can connect to your Linux server using the remote console, you must set up a user with a password on your server.

Since there is no password for the default user, you can only SSH into your new server with the public key you provided during the purchase.

When purchasing a server through the BMC portal, select a saved SSH key or add a new one:

BMC portal public SSH key field.

Use the SSH Keys Management page to add, edit, and delete SSH keys.

SSH into BMC Server

Use the account for the Linux distribution the server is running and a public IP address to SSH into your server.

Open the terminal window or an SSH client on your machine. For example, to access an Ubuntu server from a terminal, enter:

ssh [email protected]
Terminal SSH login to a BMC server

To view the public IP allocation assigned to your server:

1. Log in to the BMC portal.

2. Navigate to the Servers page.

3. Click the name of the server to load the Server Details.

4. Scroll down to the public IPs section to see the assigned IPs.

Note: If you create a private-only server without public IPs, you cannot access it directly from the Internet. You need to deploy a server with public access to reach the private one.

Add a User

When you SSH into the server, create another user and assign a password:

sudo adduser demouser

Specify a password when prompted:

Adding a user in Ubuntu using a terminal

Hit enter to skip adding the details for this user.

Enter y to confirm, and then you can close the SSH connection.

For CentOS, specify the password for the user with this command:

sudo passwd demouser

Connect to BMC Server Using Remote Console

To test if you can access your server using the Remote Console:

1. Navigate to the BMC portal Servers section.

2. Locate your server and click Actions.

3. Select Connect from the menu.

Server actions menu in the BMC portal

4. Click Connect to Server on the warning popup.

Connect to server confirmation popup

Note: You need to allow popups when using the Bare metal Cloud portal to load the console window.

The Remote Console loads in a new window.

Linux Servers

For Linux servers, the first connection via the remote console uses the ubuntu/centos/debian user.

On Ubuntu, for example:

Ubuntu user remote console

The server does not let you log in with the default username.

Remote console invalid user

You must enter the credentials for the new user you created previously.

Remote console with a user logged in

Now you can start interacting with the server.

Windows Servers

For Windows servers, enter the password for the Admin user you saved during the server deployment.

Windows console login screen

It is strongly recommended to change the default password upon initial login.

If you want to change the admin password using SSH, log in to the Windows BMC server and enter this command:

net user admin newpassword

Replace newpassword with a secure password.

Proxmox/ESXi

For BMC servers running Proxmox or ESXi operating system, the default user is root. The password and URL for connecting to your server were visible during the server deployment.

For example, on Proxmox:

The password and URL for connecting to a Proxmox server

Connecting to the Proxmox server via the Console takes you to the login screen:

Connecting to the Proxmox server via the Console

For ESXi, the console takes you to the server's start screen:

ESXi console server's start screen

Conclusion

PhoenixNAP’s Bare Metal Cloud portal lets you interact with your servers using the Remote Console functionality and the basic password-based authentication. This feature is invaluable in case you cannot establish an SSH connection to your server.

Refer to our guide to learn how to set up Bare Metal Cloud Remote Access VPN.

For additional API information, visit the phoenixNAP Developer Portal.

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Goran Jevtic
Goran combines his leadership skills and passion for research, writing, and technology as a Technical Writing Team Lead at phoenixNAP. Working with multiple departments and on various projects, he has developed an extraordinary understanding of cloud and virtualization technology trends and best practices.
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