Note: Please go to to access the current RightScale documentation set. Also, feel free to Chat with us!
Home > Guides > Dashboard Users Guide > Clouds > AWS Regions > EC2 SSH Keys > Actions > Add Private SSH Key Material

Add Private SSH Key Material


  • 'actor' user role privileges
  • access to the matching SSH key's private key material


How come I can't SSH into my EC2 instance in the RightScale Dashboard?

There may be several reasons why the SSH Console button is not visible in the Dashboard for a running EC2 instance.

An SSH key consists of a matching private-public keypair. When you create an SSH Key, you are given the matching private key material.  AWS will only give you the matching private key material once (when the key is generated).  Typically, you will save it in a safe location.  

For instances launched directly from images (not ServerTemplates)

By default, when you create an SSH key in the RightScale platform, RightScale will store the private key material for you.  But, if you create an SSH key outside of the RightScale platform, RightScale will not be able to capture the private key material.  Therefore, if you are new to RightScale and created a new RightScale account, you may notice that you can see all of your running EC2 instances (Clouds > AWS Region > EC2 Instances), but the SSH Console action button is not available.  The reason why the SSH Console button is not visible in the Dashboard for a running EC2 instance is because RightScale does not have the matching private key material for the SSH key that was used to launch the instance. If you want to SSH into the instance from the Dashboard, you must upload your private key material to RightScale. Otherwise, you will only be able to SSH into the instance from outside the Dashboard using your own SSH client.

For instances launched with a ServerTemplates using a v4 RightImage

If you are using an older v4 RightImage, the SSH Key is used to establish a client-server connection to the instance so that scripts can be run and for establishing SSH console sessions inside the Dashboard. It's strongly recommended that you upgrade any instances using v4 RightImages to v5 RightImages in order to eliminate this AWS-specific dependency.  v5 RightImages have a RightLink agent for establishing secure connections with an instance for running scripts and establishing SSH console sessions.


Go to Clouds -> AWS Region -> SSH Keys. Find the SSH key that has its private key material missing.  Most likely you created the SSH Key outside of the RightScale platform.


Click on the SSH Key that has missing private key information so that you can edit it and provide the missing private key information.

Click Edit.



Copy and paste the matching private key information and click Update.



Go back to the SSH Keys index page and you should now see that the private key material is no longer missing.



Go to the instance that you were unable to SSH into from the Dashboard and you should now see the SSH Console action button as an option.

You must to post a comment.
Last modified
13:28, 7 Aug 2014


This page has no custom tags.


This page has no classifications.



© 2006-2014 RightScale, Inc. All rights reserved.
RightScale is a registered trademark of RightScale, Inc. All other products and services may be trademarks or servicemarks of their respective owners.