Table of contents

SSH into AWS machines

This document explains how to SSH into machines in AWS, as it’s markedly different than for Carrenza.

In AWS, there are no static hostnames, so we can’t have backend-1.backend.integration to SSH to like in Carrenza. EC2 instances have dynamically assigned IPs, which means hostnames like Each Puppeted instance has a “node class” (backend, frontend, …), and the list of instances belonging to these classes is accessible via govuk_node_list.

Ensure that your SSH configuration is up to date.

Use SSH proxy configuration

Using the SSH configuration supplied above, you should be able to go directly to instances using:


This is useful when responding to machines within Icinga.

If you do not know the hostname of the type of node to connect to, list them by running:

ssh integration "govuk_node_list -c <node type>"


$ ssh integration "govuk_node_list -c backend"

Agent forwarding

SSH with agent forwarding to the jumpbox:

    ssh -A friendlygiraffe@integration
  1. Use govuk_node_list to narrow down the IP addresses you require:

    govuk_node_list -c backend
  2. In most cases, you’ll get multiple hostnames as the output of that command, for example:

Choose one, and copy/paste into a normal SSH command:

  1. To get to a single node, you can use the --single-node switch on govuk_node_list, straight into your SSH command:

    ssh `govuk_node_list -c backend --single-node`
This page was last reviewed . It needs to be reviewed again by the page owner #2ndline.