SSH between Jelastic nodes

The Jelastic SSH gateway provides convenient SSH access from outside the platform – via an interactive menu, or directly to a specific node.

However, sometimes you need an SSH connection between nodes inside the platform. Perhaps to rsync or scp some files. The SSH gateway is not an option for this scenario, but all it takes is an SSH key and a little firewall tweak.

Create SSH key

Open an SSH session (via the gateway) to the source node.

Once logged in, enter the user home directory (the home directory location varies by node type):

apache@apache2 ~ $ cd ~
apache@apache2 ~ $ pwd

Check if you already have any SSH keys in place with:

apache@apache2 ~ $ ls -al ~/.ssh
total 12K
drwx------ 2 apache apache 4.0K Feb 29 12:05 .
drwxr-xr-x 6 root   root   4.0K Nov 19 21:43 ..
-rw------- 1 apache apache  428 Feb 29 12:05 authorized_keys

Now it’s time to create SSH key. This is performed with the following command:

apache@apache2 ~ $ ssh-keygen -t rsa -b 4096 -C `hostname`
# Creates a new ssh key, using the node hostname as label.
Generating public/private rsa key pair.

If you want to use more than one SSH key within the environment, specify a different key name (with full path) than the one suggested by ssh-keygen:

Enter file in which to save the key (/var/www/.ssh/id_rsa):

Once prompted for key password, skip it, unless you will use the SSH connection interactively.

Enter passphrase (empty for no passphrase):
Enter same passphrase again:

On successful creation, ssh-keygen will give you details of the newly created key:

Your identification has been saved in /var/www/.ssh/id_rsa.
Your public key has been saved in /var/www/.ssh/
The key fingerprint is:
66:50:58:5e:03:83:f9:42:bf:fb:69:d4:a5:31:0b:d0 your-node-hostname
The key's randomart image is:
+--[ RSA 4096]----+
|       ==oo      |
|      =o.oE.     |
|     ..o..       |
|      ..o . o .  |
|       .S. o *   |
|       o. . +    |
|         o       |
|        . ..     |
|         oo      |

The key is now ready. You will see 2 new files created in your .ssh directory – id_rsa (the private part), and (the public part).

The private part stays on the source node. Meanwhile the public part should be copied to wherever you want to be able to connect to (destination / target node).

Copy the public part of the key and append it on a new line in the authorized_keys file on the target node:

apache@apache2 ~ $ cat ~/.ssh/
ssh-rsa [...]

On the target node, once connected via Gateway, edit .ssh/authorized_keys with your favourite text editor or echo the key to the file:

apache@apache-target ~ $ echo “ssh-rsa [...]” >> ~/.ssh/authorized_keys

If you want to use the key for any other purpose, such as git, you can add it to your ssh-agent to keep it there for as long as your SSH session is opened. To do so, issue:

apache@apache2 ~ $ eval $(ssh-agent -s)
Agent pid 24521
apache@apache2 ~ $ ssh-add .ssh/id_rsa
Identity added: .ssh/id_rsa (.ssh/id_rsa)

Firewalling nodes

Now you need to allow the target node to accept ssh connections from source node. This can be done with Jelastic Firewall custom rules management.

First, check the internal IP of your source node, either from Jelastic Dashboard, by expanding the cog button next to the node:


Or with ifconfig command:

apache@apache2 ~ $ ifconfig
venet0:0: flags=211<UP,BROADCAST,POINTOPOINT,RUNNING,NOARP>  mtu 1500
        inet  netmask  broadcast  destination

Your node IP address is assigned to venet0:0 interface and starts with 10.10.

Now, it’s time to allow the source node to connect via SSH to target node.

Once logged in via Jelastic Gateway to target node, edit /etc/sysconfig/iptables-custom file:

apache@apache-target ~ $ vim /etc/sysconfig/iptables-custom

Insert the following rules:

-I INPUT -p tcp -s <SOURCE_NODE_IP_ADDRESS> --dport 22 -j ACCEPT

Don’t forget to save your changes (e.g. with :wq command, in case of vim editor).

Now, you need to apply the newly defined rules with next command, so the custom firewall rule will automatically be added the common firewall ones:

apache@apache-target ~ $ sudo /usr/bin/jem firewall fwstart
{"result":"0","message":"Firewall has been started","log":""}

And check the firewall rule with:

apache@apache-target ~ $ ~ $ sudo /usr/bin/jem firewall list filter -vn
Chain INPUT (policy DROP 0 packets, 0 bytes)
 pkts bytes target     prot opt in     out     source               destination
    0     0 ACCEPT     tcp  --  *      *            tcp dpt:22

Once the rule is in place, we can now test SSH connection. From the source node you can connect to our target node with ssh jelastic@ command.

You have to use jelastic username as this is SSH user name:

apache@apache2 ~ $ ssh jelastic@
The authenticity of host ' (' can't be established.
RSA key fingerprint is xxx.
Are you sure you want to continue connecting (yes/no)? yes
Warning: Permanently added '' (RSA) to the list of known hosts.

  Welcome to Jelastic shell

  This shell will assist you in managing Jelastic applications.

    ============================== ATTENTION ==============================
   Shell access is rather powerful and you can accidentally damage your application.
   So please pay special attention to the actions you perform here.
    ============================== ATTENTION ==============================

Last login: Mon Mar 21 09:48:57 2016
apache@apache-target ~ $ 

And that’s it! If you need any assistance with setting up firewall rules on your environment nodes, contact our 24/7 support team.


Need More Help?

If you're still having problems, get in touch with our 24/7 support team! We'll be more than happy to help.