User Management

The default VyOS user account (vyos), as well as newly created user accounts, have all capabilities to configure the system. All accounts have sudo capabilities and therefore can operate as root on the system.

Both local administered and remote administered RADIUS accounts are supported.


set system login user <name> full-name “<string>”

Create new system user with username <name> and real-name specified by <string>.

set system login user <name> authentication plaintext-password <password>

Specify the plaintext password user by user <name> on this system. The plaintext password will be automatically transferred into a secure hashed password and not saved anywhere in plaintext.

set system login user <name> authentication encrypted-password <password>

Setup encrypted password for given username. This is useful for transferring a hashed password from system to system.

Key Based Authentication

It is highly recommended to use SSH key authentication. By default there is only one user (vyos), and you can assign any number of keys to that user. You can generate a ssh key with the ssh-keygen command on your local machine, which will (by default) save it as ~/.ssh/

Every SSH key comes in three parts:


Only the type (ssh-rsa) and the key (AAAB3N...) are used. Note that the key will usually be several hundred characters long, and you will need to copy and paste it. Some terminal emulators may accidentally split this over several lines. Be attentive when you paste it that it only pastes as a single line. The third part is simply an identifier, and is for your own reference.

set system login user <username> authentication public-keys <identifier> key <key>

Assign the SSH public key portion <key> identified by per-key <identifier> to the local user <username>.

set system login user <username> authentication public-keys <identifier> type <type>

Every SSH public key portion referenced by <identifier> requires the configuration of the <type> of public-key used. This type can be any of:

  • ecdsa-sha2-nistp256

  • ecdsa-sha2-nistp384

  • ecdsa-sha2-nistp521

  • ssh-dss

  • ssh-ed25519

  • ssh-rsa


You can assign multiple keys to the same user by using a unique identifier per SSH key.

set system login user <username> authentication public-keys <identifier> options <options>

Set the options for this public key. See the ssh authorized_keys man page for details of what you can specify here. To place a " character in the options field, use &quot;, for example from=&quot;; to restrict where the user may connect from when using this key.

loadkey <username> <location>

Deprecation notice: loadkey has been deprecated in favour of generate public-key-commands and will be removed in a future version. See SSH.

SSH keys can not only be specified on the command-line but also loaded for a given user with <username> from a file pointed to by <location>. Keys can be either loaded from local filesystem or any given remote location using one of the following URIs:

  • <file> - Load from file on local filesystem path

  • scp://<user>@<host>:/<file> - Load via SCP from remote machine

  • sftp://<user>@<host>/<file> - Load via SFTP from remote machine

  • ftp://<user>@<host>/<file> - Load via FTP from remote machine

  • http://<host>/<file> - Load via HTTP from remote machine

  • tftp://<host>/<file> - Load via TFTP from remote machine


In the following example, both User1 and User2 will be able to SSH into VyOS as user vyos using their very own keys. User1 is restricted to only be able to connect from a single IP address.

set system login user vyos authentication public-keys 'User1' key "AAAAB3Nz...KwEW"
set system login user vyos authentication public-keys 'User1' type ssh-rsa
set system login user vyos authentication public-keys 'User1' options "from=&quot;;"
set system login user vyos authentication public-keys 'User2' key "AAAAQ39x...fbV3"
set system login user vyos authentication public-keys 'User2' type ssh-rsa


In large deployments it is not reasonable to configure each user individually on every system. VyOS supports using RADIUS servers as backend for user authentication.


set system login radius server <address> key <secret>

Specify the <address> of the RADIUS server user with the pre-shared-secret given in <secret>. Multiple servers can be specified.

set system login radius server <address> port <port>

Configure the discrete port under which the RADIUS server can be reached. This defaults to 1812.

set system login radius server <address> timeout <timeout>

Setup the <timeout> in seconds when querying the RADIUS server.

set system login radius server <address> disable

Temporary disable this RADIUS server. It won’t be queried.

set system login radius source-address <address>

RADIUS servers could be hardened by only allowing certain IP addresses to connect. As of this the source address of each RADIUS query can be configured. If this is not set, incoming connections to the RADIUS server will use the nearest interface address pointing towards the server - making it error prone on e.g. OSPF networks when a link fails and a backup route is taken.


If you want to have admin users to authenticate via RADIUS it is essential to sent the Cisco-AV-Pair shell:priv-lvl=15 attribute. Without the attribute you will only get regular, non privilegued, system users.

Login Banner

You are able to set post-login or pre-login banner messages to display certain information for this system.

set system login banner pre-login <message>

Configure <message> which is shown during SSH connect and before a user is logged in.

set system login banner post-login <message>

Configure <message> which is shown after user has logged in to the system.


To create a new line in your login message you need to escape the new line character by using \\n.