7 Quick Steps to Overcome Azure SSH Waiting for New Container(s) to Start

The Open Loop: Imagine you are working on your cloud project, making excellent progress. Suddenly, you hit a snag when attempting to SSH into your Azure container instance. The dreaded message “waiting for new container(s) to start” appears on your screen. How can you diagnose the issue and solve it most efficiently? Read on to find out.


Azure Container Instances (ACI) offer a fast and convenient way to run containers in Microsoft’s Azure Cloud, allowing you to simplify deployment while maintaining a high level of security. However, one common challenge users face is the message “azure ssh waiting for new container(s) to start” when trying to access their instances via Secure Shell (SSH). This article aims to guide you through various techniques and best practices to diagnose the root cause and resolve this issue quickly.

Understanding Azure SSH Connections

Before diving into the problem-solving process, let’s quickly refresh our understanding of the Azure SSH connection mechanism. SSH is a widely used cryptographic network protocol that enables secure communication between two parties. In Azure, you typically use an SSH client to connect to your virtual machines or container instances for remote administration or deployment purposes.

The error message “azure ssh waiting for new container(s) to start” usually indicates that the system is unable to establish an SSH connection with your container instance. While it might seem as though Azure is unresponsive, there are several factors that could trigger this message.

Possible Causes and Solutions

To better understand the reasons behind the “azure ssh waiting for new container(s) to start” message and identify the appropriate course of action, let’s explore some common scenarios and solutions.

Scenario 1: Slow Container Startup

One potential explanation for the error message is that the container(s) could be taking longer than expected to start. This can happen due to various reasons, such as insufficient resources allocated to your ACI or heavy workloads.

Solution: To fix this, you can try the following steps:

1. Monitor the container instance’s resource utilization using Azure Metrics or other monitoring tools.
2. Adjust resource allocation for your ACI (CPU, memory) to ensure that it has adequate resources to start and run smoothly.
3. Optimize your container startup process by minimizing the number of dependencies, streamlining configuration files, and using lightweight base images.

Scenario 2: Incorrect SSH Configuration

Another common cause of the error message is incorrect SSH configuration in your container instance. For instance, your container might be missing the required SSH server or the proper SSH keys.

Solution: To resolve this issue, perform the following checks and actions:

1. Verify that your container image has a functioning SSH server installed and configured correctly.
2. Make sure that you have added the correct public SSH key to your container instance during deployment.
3. Use Azure logs and diagnostics to identify any errors or misconfigurations related to the SSH setup.

Scenario 3: Network Connectivity Issues

Network connectivity issues could also result in the “azure ssh waiting for new container(s) to start” message. These problems may range from firewalls blocking access to temporary outages affecting the Azure infrastructure.

Solution: To diagnose and fix network-related issues, consider the following steps:

1. Check whether a firewall or network security group (NSG) is blocking your SSH connection. If so, update the rules to allow access.
2. Utilize Azure’s built-in Network Watcher tool to inspect the status of your virtual networks and subnets.
3. Contact Azure Support for assistance if the issue persists, as the problem could lie within the underlying Azure infrastructure.


The error message “azure ssh waiting for new container(s) to start” can be frustrating, especially when you’re eager to access your container instances for critical tasks. However, by systematically identifying the root cause and applying relevant solutions based on the above scenarios, you can efficiently resolve this issue and get back on track with your project.

Always remember to monitor your container instances, optimize resource allocation, verify SSH configurations, and ensure proper network connectivity. With a little patience and diligence, you’ll be able to overcome the hurdle of SSH connection issues in your Azure environment.

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How can I establish an SSH connection to an Azure Container Instance?

To establish an SSH connection to an Azure Container Instance, follow the steps below:

1. Create an Azure Container Instance with a public IP address and SSH enabled. Ensure that the container image you are using has SSH installed and configured. For example, you can use a Dockerfile that installs OpenSSH server and sets up the authorized keys.

2. Obtain the public IP address of your container instance. You can find this information in the Azure Portal’s “Container Instances” section or by running the following command:

az container show –resource-group –name –query ‘ipAddress.ip’

Replace “ and “ with the appropriate values for your instance.

3. Generate an SSH key pair if you haven’t already. This typically involves running the `ssh-keygen` command, which will create a private key file (usually named id_rsa) and a public key file (usually named id_rsa.pub).

4. Add the public key to the container instance’s authorized keys. This can be done during the container creation by using an environment variable or a mounted volume containing the public key.

5. Finally, connect via SSH to the container instance using the public IP address and the private key from your key pair. Run the following command:

ssh -i @

Replace “ with the path to your private key file, “ with the username configured in the container instance, and “ with the public IP address obtained in step 2.

Upon successful authentication, you should be able to establish an SSH connection to your Azure Container Instance.

How can one reboot a container within Azure App Service?

To reboot a container within Azure App Service using Secure Shell (SSH), follow these steps:

1. First, ensure SSH access is enabled in your Azure App Service. Visit the Azure Portal (portal.azure.com), navigate to your App Service, then head over to the Configuration section.

2. In the Configuration section, add a new application setting called WEBSITES_ENABLE_APP_SERVICE_STORAGE and set its value to true. This is crucial for enabling SSH support.

3. Next, add another new application setting called WEBSITES_PORT and set its value to 2222. This denotes the port number at which your container will be accessible via SSH.

4. Save your changes and restart your App Service.

5. Now, open your preferred SSH client and connect to your container using the following command:

ssh -p 2222 @.scm.azurewebsites.net

Replace “ with your Azure App Service username and “ with the name of your App Service.

6. Once connected, execute the following command to reboot your container:

docker restart

Replace “ with the ID of your running container. You can find the container ID by running `docker ps` in the SSH session.

These steps will allow you to reboot your container within Azure App Service using Secure Shell (SSH).

How can I activate SSH on Azure App Service?

To activate SSH on Azure App Service, you need to follow these steps:

1. Login to the Azure Portal: Navigate to https://portal.azure.com and sign in with your account credentials.

2. Select your App Service: On the left side menu, click on “App Services” and then click on the name of your desired App Service where you want to enable SSH.

3. Open the ‘SSH’ tab: In the left sidebar of your App Service, scroll down to the “Development Tools” section and click on “SSH”.

4. Configure the SSH settings:
– If you’re using a custom Docker container, you can add the required SSH settings directly in your Dockerfile or docker-compose.yml file.
– If you’re using a built-in runtime stack provided by Azure (e.g., Node.js, Python, etc.), you’ll need to specify the necessary SSH configuration settings through the App Service’s “Application Settings”. To do this, navigate to the ‘Configuration’ tab in the App Service’s left sidebar, and add the required environment variables and values.

5. Start the SSH session: After configuring the appropriate settings, return to the ‘SSH’ tab and click on the ‘Go ->’ button to establish an SSH connection to your app instance. A new browser window or tab will open up with the SSH session.

Keep in mind that the SSH connections to Azure App Service instances are temporary and are intended for debugging and troubleshooting purposes. They are not meant to act as persistent connections for managing your app instance.

How can I establish a connection to an Azure container?

In order to establish a secure shell (SSH) connection to an Azure container, you need to follow these steps:

1. Create an Azure Container Instance with an image that has SSH support (e.g., an image based on Ubuntu). You can do this using the Azure Portal or Azure CLI.

2. Configure public IP address for your container instance, which enables you to access the container from the internet. During the container creation process, make sure you enable the “Public IP address” option.

3. Specify the required ports to be opened for your container instance. For SSH access, you need to open port 22 (by default) in the container instance configuration.

4. Start the SSH service within your container if it’s not running by default. You can do this by including a command in your container build manifest (Dockerfile) or by executing a command in the running container.

5. Generate an SSH key pair on your local machine if you haven’t already. You can do this using the `ssh-keygen` command.

6. Copy your public key to the container instance. Use the `scp` command to copy your public key to the authorized_keys file in the container. The command should look like this: `scp ~/.ssh/id_rsa.pub username@container-public-ip:~/.ssh/authorized_keys`

7. Finally, establish the SSH connection using the following command: `ssh username@container-public-ip`

By following these steps, you will be able to establish a secure shell connection to an Azure container.

What are the common causes for delays in Azure SSH container startup and how can they be resolved?

There are several common causes for delays in Azure SSH container startup. Here, we’ll discuss these causes and their possible resolutions:

1. DNS resolution issues: If your container relies on external services that need to be resolved via DNS, slow DNS resolution could cause delays during startup. To resolve this issue, ensure your container is using a reliable DNS service or consider implementing a local caching DNS resolver.

2. Resource limitations: When your container has insufficient resources (CPU, memory, or storage), it can result in slow container startup times. To fix this, either increase the allocated resources for your container or optimize your container’s resource usage.

3. Large container images: A large container image will take more time to pull and extract, causing delays in container startup. To resolve this, try to minimize your container image size by using smaller base images, removing unnecessary files, and using multi-stage builds.

4. Network latency: Slow network connections can lead to delays in container startup, especially if your container relies on external services or needs to download large files during startup. To mitigate this issue, ensure you have a fast and reliable network connection and consider hosting critical services closer to your container instances.

5. Dependency startup time: If your container depends on other services or containers, the startup delay could be caused by waiting for these dependencies to start. To resolve this, consider using readiness and liveness probes to ensure your container only starts when its dependencies are ready.

6. Application initialization: The application inside the container may have a lengthy initialization process, causing delays in the container startup. To address this, consider optimizing your application’s startup time by minimizing the initialization tasks or deferring non-critical tasks to a later stage.

In conclusion, analyzing the root cause of delays in Azure SSH container startup is essential to resolve the issue effectively. By addressing these common causes, you can significantly improve your container’s startup time and overall performance.

How can users troubleshoot and monitor the progress of new container(s) starting up in Azure SSH?

In order to troubleshoot and monitor the progress of new container(s) starting up in Azure SSH, users can follow these steps:

1. Access the Azure Portal: Sign in to the Azure portal (https://portal.azure.com/) using your account credentials.

2. Navigate to the Container Instances: Open the desired container instance or create a new one if necessary.

3. Examine the Container Logs: In the container instance’s Overview section, click on the “Logs” tab. This will display the logs for the running container(s), making it possible to monitor their progress and identify any issues during startup.

4. Use `kubectl` or `az` CLI tools: Install the appropriate command-line tools, such as Azure CLI (with the `az container` extension) or `kubectl` for Kubernetes-based containers. These tools will allow you to interact with the container instances directly and retrieve logs or other relevant information for troubleshooting.

5. Examine the Events and Metrics: In the container instance’s Overview section, click on the “Events” and “Metrics” tabs to review any recent events or performance metrics that might provide insight into the container’s startup process.

6. Enable SSH Access: You can enable SSH access to the container by configuring the container’s image to include an SSH server and setting up an SSH key pair for authentication. This will allow you to connect directly to the container using an SSH client and inspect its runtime environment for any potential issues.

7. Check the Status: Use the Azure Portal or command-line tools to check the status of the container instance. Look for any error messages or indicators of a failed deployment, such as a “Failed” or “Pending” status.

By following these steps, users can effectively troubleshoot and monitor the progress of their container instances in Azure SSH, making it easier to identify and resolve any issues that may arise during the startup process.

Are there any specific configurations or settings that may affect the time it takes for new container(s) to start in Azure SSH?

Yes, there are specific configurations and settings that may affect the time it takes for new container(s) to start in Azure SSH. Some of the important factors to consider include:

1. Instance Size: The size of the virtual machine instance you are using can affect the startup time of containers. Larger instances generally have better performance and faster startup times.

2. Disk Configuration: The type of disk you are using (standard or premium) can also impact the startup time. Premium disks provide better performance and are recommended for production environments.

3. Container Image Size: Large container images take longer to download and start. Optimize your container images by removing unnecessary files and dependencies, and use multi-stage builds to reduce the final image size.

4. Concurrent Container Limit: Running multiple containers simultaneously can increase the time it takes for each individual container to start. Limiting the number of concurrent containers can help reduce this latency.

5. Resource Group Limits: If you are running numerous resource-intensive applications within a single resource group, this could slow down the start-up time for new containers. Consider distributing your resources across multiple resource groups for better performance.

6. Networking Performance: Network latency can also play a role in the time it takes to start new containers. Ensure that your Azure virtual network is properly configured and optimized for your workload to minimize latency.

By paying attention to these factors, you can optimize your Azure SSH environment for faster container startup times.

Can resource allocation or limitations contribute to waiting times when launching new container(s) in Azure SSH, and what are some optimization tips?

Yes, resource allocation or limitations can contribute to waiting times when launching new container(s) in Azure SSH. The time it takes to launch a new container can be affected by the available resources and the limitations of the underlying infrastructure.

Here are some optimization tips to help reduce waiting times when launching new containers in Azure SSH:

1. Upgrade your subscription plan: Ensure you have an adequate subscription plan with higher resource limits for your needs. This will help to allocate more resources to speed up the process of launching new containers.

2. Monitoring resource usage: Regularly monitor the resource usage of your containers to avoid hitting the maximum limit. This will help you to identify bottlenecks and proactively optimize your setup.

3. Optimize container size: Reduce the size of your container images by removing any unnecessary files, libraries, or dependencies that are not required for the functionality of your application. Smaller containers require fewer resources and can be launched faster.

4. Resource Scaling: Make use of auto-scaling features provided by Azure to scale your resources up or down according to the demand. This ensures that you have enough resources available to handle increased workloads without manually modifying your infrastructure.

5. Load Balancing: Implement load balancing to distribute incoming network traffic across multiple containers. This helps to optimize the use of your resources and reduces waiting times for launching new containers.

6. Efficient container orchestration: Utilize container orchestration tools like Kubernetes or Docker Swarm to efficiently manage your containers. These tools streamline the deployment, scaling, and management of containers, which can help reduce waiting times.

Remember, optimizing resource allocation and working within the limitations of your infrastructure can help to reduce waiting times when launching new containers in Azure SSH.

What are some best practices for designing and deploying container-based applications in Azure SSH to minimize startup time delays?

In the context of Secure Shell (SSH), here are some best practices for designing and deploying container-based applications in Azure to minimize startup time delays:

1. Optimize container images: Use lightweight base images, such as Alpine Linux, to reduce the startup time of your containers. Avoid installing unnecessary tools and packages, and keep your images as small as possible.

2. Multi-stage builds: Use multi-stage Docker builds to keep your final application image clean and minimal. This involves using separate build stages for compiling and packaging your application, which can significantly reduce the image size and startup time.

3. Proper health checks: Implement proper health checks in your containerized applications using Azure’s built-in health check capabilities. This will help ensure that your application is ready to serve traffic as soon as it starts, minimizing any delays in startup time.

4. Use of data volumes: Store persistent data in Azure-managed data volumes, such as Azure Files or Azure Disks, to improve the startup time of your containers. These managed storage options offer better performance and reliability compared to traditional networked file systems.

5. Horizontal scaling: Leverage Azure’s auto-scaling features to add additional instances of your application as needed, helping to ensure that there is always enough capacity to handle incoming SSH connections.

6. Reduce connection times: Minimize the time it takes for clients to establish an SSH connection to your containerized application by optimizing the SSH server settings. For example, consider disabling DNS lookups and reducing the session timeout values.

7. Use Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS): Instead of managing individual containers, use Azure Kubernetes Service to orchestrate your container deployments. AKS offers features like rolling updates and self-healing, which can help minimize downtime and improve the reliability of your applications.

8. Secure your SSH connections: Protect your SSH connections by enforcing the use of strong authentication methods, such as public key authentication or multi-factor authentication. Additionally, restrict access to your containerized applications using Azure’s built-in firewall and network security group features.

By following these best practices, you can minimize startup time delays in your container-based applications in Azure, improving the overall performance and user experience.