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 from the DigitalOcean Control Panel and customize the image, plan, authentication method, and quantity of Droplets you want.
Create a new Droplet with our recommended configuration for improved security, reliability, and monitoring.


Use a terminal to connect to Droplets using OpenSSH or PuTTY for shell access to your remote server.
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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.


Improve security when you log in by creating SSH keys and adding them to Droplets.
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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.
Use the Droplet metadata service’s user data option to automatically configure Droplets and applications with cloud-init.

Droplet Management

Increase the amount of CPU and RAM a Droplet has, and optionally also add additional disk space.
Overwrite the entirety of a Droplet’s disk with an image you select.
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.
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Destroy a Droplet to permanently and irreversibly destroy the Droplet, its contents, and its automated backups.