Droplet How-Tos

DigitalOcean Droplets are Linux-based virtual machines (VMs) that run on top of virtualized hardware. Each Droplet you create is a new server you can use, either standalone or as part of a larger, cloud-based infrastructure.

Getting Started

Create Droplets and customize the image, plan, authentication method, and quantity of Droplets you want.


Use the Droplet Console from a web browser to connect to Droplets for native-like terminal access to your remote server.
Securely move files between Droplets and your local machine using FileZilla, an open-source FTP client.
Use the Droplet metadata service to programmatically query a Droplet for information about itself.
Use a terminal to connect to Droplets using OpenSSH or PuTTY for shell access to your remote server.


Organize Droplets with tags to group and filter Droplets by role, automatically include Droplets in firewall or load balancer configurations, or target multiple Droplets at once with the API.
Monitor Droplet performance with default graphs for bandwidth, CPU usage, and disk I/O. Install the DigitalOcean metrics agent for extended graphs like CPU load average, memory usage, and disk usage.
Metadata is a service that allows a Droplet to access data about itself. In addition, you can use Metadata to provide user data to Droplets at creation to simplify or automate setup.
Improve security when you log in by creating SSH keys and adding them to Droplets.

Droplet Management

Use cloud-init to deploy multiple Droplets that automatically configure themselves with new users and nginx.
Resizing a Droplet lets you change the amount of CPU and RAM a Droplet has, optionally add additional disk space, and change to a different type of Droplet plan or CPU.
Overwrite the entirety of a Droplet’s disk with an image you select.
Install the Droplet agent on older Droplets to enable features like the Droplet Console, or uninstall the agent to remove access.
Destroy a Droplet to permanently and irreversibly destroy the Droplet and its contents.
Upgrade a Droplet’s internal kernel to the latest supported version, modify your Droplet to boot into a specific non-default version, or use the DigitalOcean GrubLoader kernel to switch legacy Droplets from external kernal management to internal kernel management.


Droplets come with several recovery features, including the Recovery Console for out-of-band connectivity independent of network settings and the recovery ISO for regaining access to the Droplet’s filesystem.