How to fix an unreachable DreamCompute Instance


This guide is a checklist of common issues that can be investigated before contacting support. Please keep in mind that DreamHost support has no access to login to your instances, or view your data so any error messages, logs or other details of the issue will help resolve the issue, or point you in the right direction to fix the issue faster.

Ensure the instance is running

Login to the DreamCompute dashboard and examine the instances page. Examine the status and power state columns for the instance. Some common combinations of these values and their meaning are:

  • Status is “Active”, Power State is “Running”

    The instance is up and running from the DreamCompute side of things. Please move to the next section.

  • Status is “Error”

    The instance has encountered a serious error on the DreamCompute side. The exact error can be seen by clicking on the instance name, then the Overview tab. This error cannot be reset except by an administrator, please contact support.

  • Status is “Confirm or Revert Resize/Migrate”

    A resize was attempted on this instance. Please confirm or revert the resize by using the right-side drop-down menu to Confirm or Revert.

  • Status is “Paused”

    The instance was paused from within the dashboard or API. Click to menu item to resume the instance, and consider changing your password if this was not done to your knowledge.

  • Status is “Shutoff”

    The instance was shut down. This can happen by an admin user on the instance running a command like “shutdown -h now”, a kernel panic, or less common an error on the DreamCompute side. Before starting the instance, click on the instance name and then the “Log” tab. It will show the last console output before shutdown. It can be useful to see if it was an intentional shutdown or other issue. If you contact support about this, please click the “View Full Log” button and include the output in the support ticket.

Any other status may require contacting support to fix the instance.

Check the instance log for boot errors

From the Instances page, select “View Log”. This displays the last 35 lines of the consoles output. A properly booted instance has a login prompt. The prompt could be slightly buried. An example Ubuntu 16 output would be:

[[0;32m  OK  [0m] Started Execute cloud user/final scripts.
[[0;32m  OK  [0m] Reached target Cloud-init target.

Ubuntu 16.04.1 LTS test ttyS0

instancename login:

Error messages such as failing to find a disk, file system errors, or syntax errors in config files will also generally display there. These type errors are more difficult to fix without creating a new instance, however a ticket to support to give options is recommended.

Check the instance log for network errors

On the same Log page as above, click the “Show Full Log”. This opens a new browser tab with the full available console log output. Doing a text search for “eth” or “ens” or cloud-init. Some problems could include not finding a network device, or if a snapshot was used the network not being re-configured.

Compare the output of cloud-init network configuration, if available, to the assigned IPv4 and IPv6 addresses of the instance. An example output snippet for Ubuntu 16 looks like so (some timestamps removed for readability):

Starting Initial cloud-init job (metadata service crawler)...
cloud-init[982]: Cloud-init v. 0.7.8 running 'init' at Tue, 24 Jan 2017 21:32:28 +0000. Up 8.86 seconds.
cloud-init[982]: ci-info: ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++Net device info+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
cloud-init[982]: ci-info: +--------+------+------------------------------+---------------+-------+-------------------+
cloud-init[982]: ci-info: | Device |  Up  |           Address            |      Mask     | Scope |     Hw-Address    |
cloud-init[982]: ci-info: +--------+------+------------------------------+---------------+-------+-------------------+
cloud-init[982]: ci-info: |  ens3  | True |        | |   .   | fa:16:3e:a5:4c:1c |
cloud-init[982]: ci-info: |  ens3  | True | fe80::f816:3eff:fea5:4c1c/64 |       .       |  link | fa:16:3e:a5:4c:1c |

This example instance has an IPv4 address of Confirm this is the assigned address on the DreamCompute dashboard instances page.

Check security group rules

Back to the Instances page, click the right drop-down menu and select “Edit Security Groups”. Confirm the necessary security groups are in the right “Instance Security Groups” list. Make a note of the list of security groups to check next.

On the Access & Security -> Security Groups page, check that the security group(s) assigned to the instance have the ports open that are being checked. To do this, click on “Manage Rules” to see the list of rules. All instances should have rules for unrestricted egress (outbound) traffic like so:

Egress      IPv6    Any     Any     ::/0    -
Egress      IPv4    Any     Any       -

The other default rules that DreamHost puts in the “default” security group allow for ping (ICMP), SSH (port 22), HTTP (port 80) and HTTPS (port 443):

Ingress     IPv6     58     Any     ::/0    -
Ingress     IPv4    ICMP    Any       -
Ingress     IPv6    TCP     22 (SSH)        ::/0    -
Ingress     IPv4    TCP     22 (SSH)       -
Ingress     IPv6    TCP     80 (HTTP)       ::/0    -
Ingress     IPv4    TCP     80 (HTTP)       -
Ingress     IPv6    TCP     443 (HTTPS)     ::/0    -
Ingress     IPv4    TCP     443 (HTTPS)       -

If any of these rules are missing, consider adding them to restore the default functionality. Sometimes the “allow everything” of IPv4 and IPv6 ::/0 is modified to allow just specific IP blocks. If so, confirm the IP range is sufficient for the connectivity desired.

Try a reboot, just in case

It is preferred to find the cause of an issue before blindly reboot an instance, however the guide is nearing the end and it is now worth a try. If it fixes the issue, include the previously gathered console logs for support if a support ticket is opened.

Consider changes made before the issues

Lastly, if all the above seems correct but there are still issues, consider what changes were last made before the issue. Some examples of changes that can cause issues are additional firewalls, doing large system upgrades that could modify kernels or network systems, or modifying config files that could disrupt the boot process if a program won’t start.


Should there be no other indication of issues in the above logs and configurations, please contact support with all available info and we will get back to you wish our findings.

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Article last updated .