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Using the Linode Shell (Lish)

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The Linode Shell (Lish) provides console access to all of your Linodes. It also allows you to perform actions like rebooting a Linode or switching to a different configuration profile without having to open the Linode Manager. Lish is also a good rescue tool. The console provides out-of-band access to your Linode, which means you can use Lish to access your Linode even when you are unable to connect directly via SSH. This is useful if firewall settings or a bad network configuration prevent you from accessing your Linode using SSH.


Connecting to Lish

There are two ways to access Lish. You can use a terminal application to connect to a Lish SSH gateway, or you can log in to the Linode Manager and use the Ajax console in your web browser. This section explains both methods.


Lish used to be accessible via a direct SSH connection to your Linode's host machine, but as of May 10, 2013, all users must connect to a Lish SSH gateway to access Lish. For more information, please see this blog post.

Using a Terminal Application

You can connect to Lish with the SSH client of your choice. For example, you can use the Terminal application in Mac OS X, PuTTY in Windows, or your favorite X11 terminal. Here's how to use a terminal application to connect to Lish:

  1. Select a Lish SSH gateway. There's one in every data center. You can use any gateway to access your Linodes, but we recommend using one close to your Linode's data center. The gateway boxes are available over IPv4 and IPv6.

  2. Open a terminal window and enter the following command, replacing [manager-username] with your Linode Manager username, and [location] with your preferred Lish SSH gateway. Lish listens for connections on ports 22, 443, and 2200.

    ssh [manager-username]@lish-[location]


Users who have been granted "Access" rights on a particular Linode will have access to that Linode’s Lish console via the gateway. Linodes that a user can't access in the Linode Manager won’t show up in the Lish list. For more information about creating user accounts and configuring permissions, see Accounts and Passwords.

  1. Verify that the Lish SSH gateway's fingerprint is valid. Click here for more information.

  2. Enter the password you use to log in to the Linode Manager. You are now at the Lish shell. A list of your Linodes appears, as shown below:

    Linodes located in this data center:
    linode241706         Newark, NJ
    linode276072         Newark, NJ
    Linodes located in other data centers:
    linode287497         Dallas, TX


You can add a public SSH key for Lish in the Linode Manager to automatically connect to Lish without a password. See this section for more information.

  1. At the Lish command prompt, type a Linode's name. For example, typing linode241706 will connect you to the screen console session for that Linode.
  2. Log in to the Linode with your root username and password, or any other username and password.

After you log in, you'll have console access to your Linode. You'll be able to restart services like sshd, edit firewall settings, and make other changes to your Linode. To exit your Linode's console, press Control-A-D to return to the host machine, and then press Control-A-D again to return to the Lish menu. If you'd like to see the list of your Linodes again, type list from the gateway.

Using a Web Browser

You can also connect to Lish using a web browser. This is useful when you don't have access to a terminal application, or if you just need quick and easy console access from the Linode Manager. Here's how to access Lish using a web browser:

  1. Log in to the Linode Manager.

  2. Select a Linode.

  3. Click on the Remote Access tab.

  4. In the Console Access section, click Launch Lish Ajax Console, as shown below.

    Click Launch Lish Ajax Console.
  5. The Lish Web Console window appears with your Linode's console, as shown below.

    Ajax Lish
  6. From here, you can log in to your Linode with your root username and password, or any other username and password.

Now you can use the console, or exit to the Lish prompt by pressing Control-a-d. You cannot exit to a Lish gateway box using your web browser. To exit the session entirely, just close the Lish Web Console window.

Adding Your Public Key

If you don't want to enter your password every time you connect to Lish, you can add your public SSH key to the Linode Manager. If you haven't yet created SSH keys, please see our Public Key Authentication with SSH guide for more information. Here's how to add your public SSH key to the Linode Manager:

  1. Log in to the Linode Manager.

  2. Select the my profile link.

  3. Enter your password, and then click Authenticate, as shown below.

    Re-enter your password.
  4. Select the Lish Settings tab.

  5. Copy your public SSH key into the Lish Keys field, as shown below.

    Copy your SSH public key(s) into the text field.
  6. Click Submit Keys. Your Lish key will be saved in the Linode Manager.

Now you can log in to any of the Lish gateway boxes without having to type your password.

If you wish to disable Lish access for users without keys, use the Authentication modes dropdown menu on the same page, and then click Save Setting.

Lish Gateway Fingerprints

The valid fingerprints for the Lish gateway boxes are as follows:


These are the fingerprints for the Lish gateway in our Tokyo data center (

RSA af:ec:f0:b8:87:33:d5:12:04:0d:7c:bb:a6:c5:5f:be
DSA 1d:7d:bd:5c:a1:41:29:c3:78:de:e7:0f:d3:f2:63:34


These are the fingerprints for the Lish gateway in our Fremont data center (

RSA 2c:43:0e:fc:88:f2:3a:dd:01:43:3a:fc:9f:67:9f:66
DSA 19:30:1a:48:85:aa:78:ab:46:8d:0f:4d:00:88:e6:b7


These are the fingerprints for the Lish gateway in our Newark data center (

RSA 11:2a:57:a4:f8:ca:42:b2:c0:ab:17:58:0d:0c:b7:8b
DSA a1:e2:f5:5a:71:f9:b8:98:d9:a6:4c:65:e5:05:ea:04


These are the fingerprints for the Lish gateway in our Dallas data center (

RSA 6d:3d:b5:d0:42:1c:49:45:a6:47:29:bd:88:4e:58:d4
DSA 58:bc:07:fa:c1:61:a4:3b:b5:00:3b:9b:6b:78:c6:c5


These are the fingerprints for the Lish gateway in our Atlanta data center (

RSA 59:30:1a:0b:93:5e:3f:4b:6f:d1:96:ff:7e:9e:12:f8
DSA 0b:90:ed:f2:a1:e0:55:5b:38:6e:5d:6e:fa:00:63:7f


These are the fingerprints for the Lish gateway in our London data center (

RSA 71:27:30:cd:dc:69:7a:fe:58:4a:04:e6:6b:5f:b4:e2
DSA ce:41:c0:48:2c:93:de:c8:d2:a9:bf:3f:97:1f:04:ad

Understanding Lish Commands

The Lish shell provides access to many functions which are otherwise only accessible via the Linode Manager web-based administration tool. Enter the help command to see a full list of available commands. The output provides an introduction to Lish functionality:

kill            - kill stuck screen sessions
exit            - exit from lish
help            - this menu

[return]        - connect to console
version         - display running kernel version
boot            - boot last used (or the only) config profile
boot N          - boot the specified config profile
shutdown        - shut down the Linode
reboot          - shut down, then boot the last used config profile
reboot N        - shut down, then boot the specified config profile
sysrq X         - send SysRq X to your Linode
destroy         - pulls the plug on a running Linode, no fs sync, no warning

jobs            - view the job queue for your Linode
configs         - view the configuration profiles for your Linode
config N        - view configuration profile details for profile N
status          - view the status of your Linode
keysview        - view contents of authorized_keys2
logview         - view contents of console log

Use the configs and config N (where N is the number of the configuration profile) to get a list of each configuration profile and related information. Lish is useful both for issuing commands like reboot and shutdown to your Linode, and accessing statistics. Statistics include a list of pending jobs (e.g. jobs) and a list of configuration profiles (configs).

Advanced Lish Tricks

While the Lish interface as described above is useful as a basic command-line interface, you may find that you want to issue commands to your Linode without going through the Lish login process.

You can directly connect to a Linode's console by entering the following command:

ssh -t [manager-username]@lish-[location] [linode-name]

You can also append Lish commands to the SSH command on your system prompt. For instance, to reboot your system, using your Linode Manager username, location, and the host-id for your Linode, issue the following command:

ssh -t [manager-username]@lish-[location] [linode-name] reboot

Similarly, use the following command to generate a view of the log using Lish:

ssh -t [manager-username]@lish-[location] [linode-name] logview

This command format works for all Lish functionality.

Creative Commons License

This guide is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 United States License.

Last edited by Sharon Campbell on Friday, February 14th, 2014 (r4249).