When you create a server, Cleaver automatically adds a public SSH key to your server. The private counterpart of this public SSH key can be found under ~/.ssh/cleaver folder on macOS. Cleaver also adds a private key on the provisioned server itself and if you go to Servers > <your server name> > SSH Keys, you can see its public counterpart. You use this key when you need to let other third party services access your server.

For security reason, Cleaver disables logging in as root over SSH and also disables password login. Instead, you have to login as user cleaver. This is the default user created and used by Cleaver to run tasks on your server. So by default, once Cleaver is done provisioning your server, you can only login over SSH using your private key and only as user cleaver.

SSHing into your server using the default SSH key

On MacOS or Linux, from the terminal you can run the following command:

ssh cleaver@<server-ip-address> -i ~/.ssh/cleaver/<server-private-key>

Adding additional SSH Keys

In addition to the default key that Cleaver added for you, you can add additional SSH keys to your server - as many as you want.


  1. Select a server then select SSH Keysfrom the sidebar.

  2. Click Add New Keybutton.

  3. NAME: The name of the key. This name must be unique for the selected server.

  4. PUBLIC KEY: The public key that you want to copy to your server.
    Pro tip: On macOS, you can run something like cat ~/.ssh/ | pbcopy on your terminal to copy the contents of ~/.ssh/ to your clipboard.

  5. Click Add button.

If you want to verify whether the key was really added to your server, you could try to login using the private pair of the key that you just added:

ssh cleaver@<server-ip-address> -i ~/.ssh/id_rsa

Or, you could log into your server and verify that the key was appended to /home/cleaver/.ssh/authorized_keys.

⚠️ Warning: Don't modify /home/cleaver/.ssh/authorized_keys by hand otherwise you may not be able to login to your server and/or Cleaver may not be able to run administer your server. Use Cleaver to manage your keys.

Deleting SSH Keys


  1. Select the server you want to delete a SSH key from.

  2. From the list of SSH key, click the vertical bar menu (3 vertical dots) next to the key you want to remove and select Delete.
    The key will be deleted immediately without asking for confirmation.

If things are still not clear, or if you are having an issue, please send us an email. In the meantime, watch the following clip that shows how to manage SSH keys using Cleaver.

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