Adding a host to your SSH config file

To make it easier to connect to your VM, we can add it as a host to your ssh config file.

On your local machine, open the file ~/.ssh/config with your favourite editor, e.g. nano

$ nano ~/.ssh/config

You may already have some configuration options listed. Let's add a new one at the top, which should look something like this:

Host nectar
   HostName =
   User = ubuntu
   IdentityFile = ~/.ssh/nectarkey.pem

We have chosen nectar as the alias for our VM, but you can choose whatever name you like. Make sure you replace each option with the correct information for your virtual machine. Once you save the config file, you can ssh into your machine by simply typing

$ ssh nectar


Adding your VM as a host in your ssh config will also make other operations over ssh (such as scp or port forwarding) much simpler --- you can refer to the host by its alias, instead of having to specify its IP address and key location each time. For example, to copy a local.file to a ~/REMOTE/DIRECTORY/ you can just type scp local.file nectar:~/REMOTE/DIRECTORY/.

See also

For more information regarding SSH configurations, check out this guide at