How to log in to system VMs in CloudStack

In CloudStack, there are two system VMs (Console Proxy VM and Secondary Storage VM) that are automatically created by CloudStack for each zone. Console Proxy VM (CPVM) provides console access to tenant's guest VMs, while Secondary Storage VM (SSVM) downloads and maintains VM templates used by tenants. While setting up CloudStack, you may experience problems with either of these system VMs.

For example, for any reason SSVM cannot reach the Internet, or cannot download a default system template from In that case, logging in to SSVM helps diagnose the problem.

You can log in to a system VM via SSH from within the compute node that runs the VM, as follows.

In the system VMs created by CloudStatck, sshd listens on the link-local address (in subnet) only, and no other interface. Therefore, you first need to find out the link-local address assigned to a system VM in question. To find out the link-local address information of the system VM, go to "Infrastructure" menu of CloudStack's web-based management interface.

Then, ssh to the system VM on port number 3922 from within their underlying compute node as follows.

$ ssh -i /root/.ssh/ -p 3922 root@169.254.x.x

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Dan Nanni is the founder and also a regular contributor of He is a Linux/FOSS enthusiast who loves to get his hands dirty with his Linux box. He likes to procrastinate when he is supposed to be busy and productive. When he is otherwise free, he likes to watch movies and shop for the coolest gadgets.

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