Flywheel’s SSH gateway

Updated on January 5th, 2021

What is SSH?

SSH (secure shell) is a secure login to a system with a way of encrypting your network connection so that you can work securely and remotely from any device. SSH allows you to connect directly from your laptop or computer to a site on a remote server. When connected via SSH, you are able to interact with remote sites using the command line, giving you a lot more control and access to manage your sites as compared to an SFTP connection.


SSH is a powerful, technical tool. If you don’t feel confident using the command line to manage your sites, we recommend talking to a developer as you could break your sites.

Flywheel’s SSH gateway uses keys to authenticate your connection to the servers and give access to users. SSH keys come in pairs – a public key and a private key. The private key is kept on the machine you are authenticating from and the public key is added to Flywheel. You can learn more about SSH key management here.

SSH is typically used to securely transfer files and manage sites remotely via terminal access.  With Flywheel’s SSH gateway, you can securely and efficiently manage all your WordPress sites using the command line. Plus you now have developer-focused features with access to other tools like WP-CLI, MySQL, rsync, and more.

SSH on Flywheel

Flywheel’s SSH gateway enables you to connect directly to a site that you have access to. This includes sites you or your organization own and sites you or an organization you’re a member of are collaborators on. More information on connecting to your sites can be found here.

Once connected to a site, many tools utilities are available to manage the site. Here are some of the most loved terminal tools that are installed by default:

  • WP-CLI
  • MySQL
  • rsync
  • Text editors like Vim, emacs, and nano
  • Utilities like curl, wget, and zip


SSH is currently only available for sites hosted on our Flywheel Cloud Platform. Contact your Account Manager or our support team to upgrade your sites.

SSH restrictions

Here are a few notable items that aren’t currently available with Flywheel’s SSH gateway:

Viewing site logs

Viewing a history or real-time stream of site logs is not currently possible with Flywheel’s SSH gateway. Site logs can still be downloaded from a site’s Advanced page in the Flywheel dashboard though!

Persisting user-installed packages between sessions

Our SSH gateway utilizes temporary servers that are spun up when you connect to SSH and spun down when you disconnect. Due to this, if you install a terminal package it will only be persisted the next time you connect to SSH if it’s been less than 5 hours since the last time you disconnected. You can always reinstall the package though!

A subset of WP-CLI commands

There are a few WP-CLI commands that aren’t supported on Flywheel. More detailed information can be found in this article.

Editing wp-config.php and core files

Similar to our SFTP offering, core WordPress files (including wp-config.php) are not editable.

Related articles

To learn more about SSH on Flywheel, check out the following help articles:

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