Every hosted user has their own username and associated private SSH key. These details are used to login to a basic shell program which allows various actions to be carried out:

  • Launching the guest.
  • Stopping the guest.
  • Changing the kernel associated with a guest.
  • Access to the serial console.

The shell is written in perl, and the source is available from the km-shell mercurial repository.

Note: The previous shell allowed two things that the new one doesn't support:

  • Setting reverse DNS entries for your IP address(es).
  • Reimaging/Reinstalling your guest.

Both are possible, but require manual work. They seem like sufficiently rare operations that adding support for them wasn't a priority.

Connecting to your shell

Assuming your username is skx and your private key is located at ~/.ssh/ you would connect via the following command:

ssh -i ~/.ssh/ [email protected]

Once connected you'll be presented with our shell. (The fingerprint of the host is listed on our security page).

Shell Comamnds

The following commands are available from the shell:


If your guest is running then this will attach you to your console. This should allow you to login if your networking is disabled, broken, or otherwise misconfigured. To allow that please remember to run getty upon tty0.


This command will display contact details for myself.


This command will display your MAC address, assigned IP address(es), and other details about your system.


If you wish to upload a modular kernel you will need an associated initrd image to match. The initrd command allows you to view and select the initrd you wish your kernel to boot with.

For more details on this please see the next command: kernel.


When invoked with no arguments this command will list the available kernels you may boot your guest with.

If you run "kernel name" your guest will be configued to boot with the kernel you've specified the next time you stop & restart it.

(There is more documentation about our kernels available upon this site.)


If your guest is not running you may use the start command to launch it.


If your guest is currently running the stop command will shut it down.


This will allow you to see the load and processes running upon the host system.


This command will show the current load upon the host system and the length of time the guests have been running.


This shows the version of the shell.