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 SSH keypair. The BMC consoling only works with the password-based authentication.

Once you purchase a server and set up a user with a password, you can access the server from the BMC portal’s Server page. Follow the instructions in this guide to learn how to access your Bare Metal Cloud server using the Remote Console.

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

Prerequisites

  • A server with public IPs purchased through the BMC portal or API
  • The correct public SSH key
  • PNCP/BMC portal credentials

Create a User with a Password

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

When we provision your new server, we create a user without a password. The exception is Windows with enabled RDP access where users get a pop up box with a generated password.

The available operating systems have the following default users:

  • When creating an Ubuntu server, the user is ubuntu.
  • When creating a CentOS server, the user is centos.
  • For Windows servers, the user is Admin.

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, the field where you provide a public key is at the bottom of the screen. Select a saved key or add a new one:

BMC portal public SSH key field.

By using SSH key pair, users do not expose any of their passwords.

SSH into BMC Server

Use the user for your OS and a public IP address to SSH into your server.

To find the server’s public IP address:

1. Log in to the BMC portal at https://bmc.phoenixnap.com/

2. Navigate to the Servers

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

4. Scroll down to the Networking section, and you will see the list of your Public IPs.

Server details page showing public IP addresses.


Note: If you created 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.


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

ssh ubuntu@10.111.14.26

Terminal SSh login to a BMC server

Add a User

When you log in, create another user, and assign a password:

sudo adduser demouser

Specify a password when prompted:

Adding a user in Ubuntu and specifying a password.

Hit enter to skip adding the details for this user.

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

To change the admin password on a Windows BMC server using SSH, enter this command in the Command Prompt window:

net user admin yourpassword

Replace yourpassword with a secure password.

Connect to a BMC Server Using the BMC Portal Remote Console

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

1. Go back to the BMC portal Servers section.

2. Locate your server and click Actions.

BMC Portal server actions link.

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

The Remote Console loads in a new window.

Ubuntu user remote console


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


When you first try to interact with your Linux server, it will not allow you until you log in with the user you created in the previous step.

Remote console invalid user

Enter the credentials for the new user when prompted. Now you can start interacting with the server.

Remote console with a user logged in

Conclusion

PhoenixNAP’s Bare Metal Cloud portal lets you interact with your servers using the Remote Console functionality and the basic password-based authentication.

You must have a user with a password as soon as your server is provisioned to make sure you can access your server through the BMC portal. This feature is invaluable in case you cannot establish an SSH connection.

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

For additional BMC portal and API information, visit the phoenixNAP Developer Portal.

Goran Jevtic
Goran combines his passions for research, writing and technology as a technical writer at phoenixNAP. Working with multiple departments and on a variety of projects, he has developed extraordinary understanding of cloud and virtualization technology trends and best practices.
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