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I have been handed a user/pass to login into the web-based front end on but this user/pass doesn't work for SSH.

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I think you should create your own users and passwords in the web interface and login with those.

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Log into your linode control panel. Click on the Linode you wish to access. Shut down the server using button on right side. Then click "Settings & Utilities" and fill in the new root password details bottom left. Start up server again and then try root@newpassword!

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