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Getting started with a dedicated server

Find out how to proceed after the delivery of your dedicated server

Last updated 2nd April 2020


A dedicated server is a physical server located in one of our datacentres. Unlike Web Hosting plans (described as “shared”), which are technically managed by OVHcloud, you are fully responsible for administrating your dedicated server.

This guide will give you a few tips to help you manage your new dedicated server.

OVHcloud is providing you with services for which you are responsible, with regard to their configuration and management. You are therefore responsible for ensuring they function correctly.

This guide is designed to assist you in common tasks as much as possible. Nevertheless, we recommend contacting a specialised provider and/or the software publisher for the service if you encounter any difficulties. We will not be able to assist you ourselves. You can find more information in the “Go further” section of this guide.



When your dedicated server is first set up, you can select which operating system will be installed.

Installing or reinstalling your dedicated server

You can easily reinstall your server and choose a different OS template in your OVHcloud Control Panel. From the General information tab, click on ... next to the operating system and then click Install.

Reinstall button

On the next screen, select either Install from an OVH template (to use one of our installation templates) or Install one of your templates (to use your own), then click Next.

Template selection

Select the operating system you want to install and click Next.

Operating selection

If you need to modify the partioning scheme of your operating system, check the box "Customise the partition configuration" before clicking on Next.

Customise the partition configuration

After you have finished your adjustments, click Next to arrive at the summary page.

Adding an SSH key (optional)

If you are installing a Linux based operating system, you can add your SSH key in the last step of the installation process.

Customise the partition configuration

If you already have an SSH key registered, it will be listed in the drop down menu under "SSH keys" at the bottom. Otherwise, you will need to add one in the "My services" section first.

To achieve this, open the sidebar navigation by clicking on your name in the top right corner and use the shortcut Products and services.

Customise the partition configuration

In "My services", switch to the SSH keys tab and click on Add an SSH key.

Customise the partition configuration

As we are installing a dedicated server (or a VPS), make sure to select "Dedicated" from the drop down menu.

In the new window, enter an ID (a name of your choice) and the key itself (of type RSA, ECDSA or Ed25519) into the respective fields.

Customise the partition configuration

For a detailed explanation on how to generate SSH keys, please refer to this guide.

Some operating systems or platforms, such as Plesk and Windows, require a licence to be purchased prior to installation. You can buy this licence from OVHcloud, or from a reseller. You will then need to integrate it manually, through the operating system itself, or through your OVHcloud Control Panel. You can manage your licences in the Control Panel in the Bare Metal Cloud section under Licences. In this section, you can also order licences (via the Order button on the right), or add your own SPLA Windows or SPLA SQL server licence (via the Add an SPLA licence button on the right).

Logging on to your server


Once the installation is completed, you will get an email containing your password for root access. Root access lets you connect to your server via SSH, which is a secure communication protocol. You can access your server through a command terminal (Linux or MAC), or through third-party software on Windows (e.g.: PuTTy).

Once you have opened the terminal, type the following command to log on to your server, replacing the text after the @ symbol with the information required (IP address or server reference name). Your server's reference name will always start with ns.

Example using an IP address

ssh root@IPv4_of_your_server

Example using a server reference

ssh root@your_server_reference_name


Once the installation is completed, you will get an email containing your password for administrative (root) access. You will need to use these credentials to connect to the server via RDP (Remote Desktop Protocol). Once you've connected, Windows will guide you through an intial setup.

Securing your dedicated server

As explained in the “Objective” section of this guide, you are the administrator of your dedicated server. As such, you are responsible for your data and its security. However, the following tips will help you to secure it:

  • Keep your operating system up to date
  • Keep your software up to date
  • Change your default SSH port (port 22) to another port
  • Change your root password
  • Create a new system user with restricted access for day-to-day use

Network configuration

Network bridging

Network bridging is the action taken by network equipment to create an aggregate network from either two or more communication networks, or two or more network segments. Bridging is distinct from routing, which allows the networks to communicate independently while remaining separate.

The Network Bridge configuration is most commonly used in the context of virtualisation, to allow each Virtual Machine to have its own public IP address.

For more information on network bridging, please refer to our guide: Network Bridging.

IP aliasing

IP aliasing is the process of associating two or more IP addresses to the same network interface. This allows your server to establish multiple connections to a network, each serving a different purpose.

For detailed instructions on how to configure IP aliasing, please refer to this guide.

IPv6 configuration

All OVHcloud dedicated servers are delivered with a /64 IPv6 block. To use the addresses in this block, you will need to make some network configuration changes. Please refer to our guide: IPv6 Configuration.


OVHcloud deploys all its dedicated servers with an IPMI (Intelligent Platform Management Interface) console, which runs in your browser or from a Java applet, and enables you to connect directly to your server, even if it has no network connection. This makes it good for troubleshooting issues that may have taken your server offline.

For more information, please refer to our guide: Using the IPMI with dedicated servers.

Rescue mode

If there's ever an issue with your server, the first troubleshooting step you should take is to reboot your server into rescue mode. To activate rescue mode, log in to your OVHcloud Control panel and go to your server's page. Then go to Server Status > General information > Boot. Click the Edit button to change the boot mode.

Change boot selection

On the next screen, select Boot on rescue mode and select rescue64-pro from the dropdown list. Type your email address in the text field, then click Next. If you leave the email field empty, the email address from your NIC handle is used by default.

Rescue Pro 64

Confirm your options on the next screen and then reboot your server to apply the changes.

Confirmation and reboot

Your server will now reboot into rescue mode, and you will receive the credentials for logging in via the email address you provided. To exit rescue mode, simply change the boot mode back to boot on the hard disk, then reboot your server.

To learn more about how you can use rescue mode to resolve issues with your server, please refer to our guide: Rescue mode.

Hardware diagnosis

The hardware tests available in rescue mode can help you to diagnose any hardware faults that may be causing problems with your server.

After logging in to rescue mode's web interface, you will be able to run tests on the following hardware components:

  • RAM
  • Hard disks
  • RAID array
  • Processor
  • Network connection

Rescue mode web interface

Web interface

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