How to recover access to a volume-based instance when ssh keys are lost


DreamCompute instances are created with a specified SSH key which is used for gaining initial access. This guide covers some basic steps to attempt to retrieve the data, and gain access again if desired.

Things to keep in mind

  • IP addresses will change

    To get back into an instance requires re-creating it. The new instance receives new IPv4 and IPv6 addresses.

  • Know your instance type

    One can generally find out if an instance is ephemeral, or volume booted by looking at the dashboard in the Instances menu, and seeing if the name of an operating system is listed in the “Image Name” column. If one is listed, the instance is ephemeral. If one isn’t, it is volume booted.

  • Backup volume booted instance

    When an instance is created, there is a checkbox called “delete on terminate”, which is difficult to check for after creation. If this was checkboxed, when the instance is deleted the volume data will be as well. To make a backup, in the dashboard Instances menu, select “Create Snapshot” in the right drop-down menu. This snapshot uses volume storage quota, so additional storage may need to be added in the DreamHost panel for room. Once this process is complete, the snapshot can be deleted and the quota lowered.

Regain access to volume-based instance

  1. Navigate to the DreamCompute dashboard Instances menu.
  2. If unsure if the “delete on terminate” was checkmarked for your instance, ensure a snapshot has been created. Ensure there is sufficient volume storage on the project overview page. A snapshot uses as much disk space as the volume, so if the volume is 80GB, ensure there is another 80GB free.
  3. Make note of the size of the instance, the name of the instance, the UUID and name of the volume, and any other features that should be retained in the new instance.
  4. Delete the instance, which will leave an available volume.
  5. Click on the “Launch Instance” button to create a new instance. For the “Instance boot source”, select “Boot from volume” and then the name of the volume the previous instance used. On the “Access & Security” tab, select the Key Pair to be injected for the default user. If there are no valid keys available, click the “+” symbol next to the drop- down to create a new one. Click the “Launch” button on the bottom right.
  1. Once the new instance has booted, attempt to login to it with the default username and the new IP address.
  2. If all looks correct and access has been restored, the volume snapshot made in step #2 can be deleted.

Did this article answer your questions?

Article last updated .