Managing Files on Self-Hosted Servers

Most folks use ssh to establish a terminal session with a remote VM or LXC/LXD container server instance. This works fine and you can use command line tools like the vi and nano editors as well as scp to copy files to and from other systems.

This presentation shows an easier way to interface with your many VM or LXC/LXD instances which may not have an installed GUI for efficiency reasons.

Be sure you have install openssh-server on the systems you will be interacting with:

sudo apt install open-ssh-server

To remove openssh-server which might be required to clear replicated signatures on cloned containers before you install openssh-server

sudo apt remove --purge openssh-server

Generate “ssh” keys so that you can share them with your remote server instances:

ssh-keygen -t rsa -b 4096

Copy your keys to a remote system for access:

ssh-copy-id user@host

You can then ssh to the remote system and not be prompted for a password:

ssh user@host

You will not be prompted for a password when you use the ssh, scp, or sftp commands to the remote system since the key loaded on the remote system authenticates you.

As explained in the video, you can use your Linux file manager such as Nautilus (default in Ubuntu), Nemo, Dolphin, Thunar, Konqueror and others to connect to your VM’s or LXC/LXD instances with an SFTP access string:


You can also create Bookmarks in your Linux File Manager to provide easy access to systems that you frequently access.