SSH access allows you to run the GitHub Enterprise command line utilities and is useful for troubleshooting, running backups, and configuring replication.

In this guide:

About administrative shell access

If you have SSH access to the administrative shell, you can run GitHub Enterprise's command line utilities. SSH access is also useful for troubleshooting, running backups, and configuring replication. Administrative SSH access is managed separately from Git SSH access and is accessible only via port 122.

Enabling access to the administrative shell via SSH

To enable administrative SSH access, you must add your SSH public key to your instance's list of authorized keys.

Tip: Changes to authorized SSH keys take effect immediately.

  1. In the upper-right corner of any page, click . Rocketship icon for accessing site admin settings

  2. In the left sidebar, click Management Console. Management Console tab in the left sidebar

  3. Under "SSH access", paste your key into the text box, then click Add key. Text box and button for adding an SSH key

Connecting to the administrative shell over SSH

After you've added your SSH key to the list, connect to the instance over SSH as the admin user on port 122.

$ ssh -p 122
Last login: Sun Nov 9 07:53:29 2014 from
admin@github-example-com:~$ █

Accessing the administrative shell using the local console

In an emergency situation, for example if SSH is unavailable, you can access the administrative shell locally. Sign in as the admin user and use the password established during initial setup of your GitHub Enterprise instance.

Access limitations for the administrative shell

Administrative shell access is permitted for troubleshooting and performing documented operations procedures only. Modifying system and application files, running programs, or installing unsupported software packages may void your support contract. Please contact GitHub Enterprise Support if you have a question about the activities allowed by your support contract.