With an active 4Sight subscription, you’ve always been able to remotely connect to your main Controller running Director.  Now with OS 2.4 and beyond, you don’t even need 4Sight.

When you connect remotely through Composer, you’re only connecting to the main Controller.  However, you can use that connection to connect to other Control4 devices.

First, open Composer and connect to Remote Director as you normally would.  In the bottom right corner there will be a green “light” with the word “Connected” next to it.  If you hover your mouse over that, it will give you the WAN IP you are connecting through.  We’ll refer to this as your.remote.wan.ip from here on.


Make a note of this IP address, as it’s what you’ll be connecting to via ssh.

To make an ssh connection on Windows, you’ll need to use a 3rd party program.  The most popular one to use is PuTTY, but recently a Chrome Extension called Secure Shell was release and it works well.

If you’re using Putty, you’ll want to enter your.remote.wan.ip in the Host Name window, make sure SSH is selected just below it, and click Open at the bottom.  You should get a pop-up PuTTY Security Alert window prompting you that you are securely connecting to a new server and asking if you want to trust this connection.  Click Yes.

A new window should open and ask you for your login and password.  You want to log in as root and then enter your Control4 password (refer to the Control4 dealer Knowledge Base if you don’t know what this is…)

Now you’re connected to the terminal of your main Controller.  From here you can check the CPU usage, reboot it, restart director without doing a full reboot, enable/disable services you need to, and more.  But, what if you need to reboot another controller or touchscreen and you don’t have any other way to remotely kill power to it?  You can start a second SSH connection from inside this one and gain access to other devices on that network.

It helps here if you have a good IP scheme and already know the IP address of the device you are trying to connect to.  However, you can also see what devices this Controller is talking to by entering cat /etc/hosts.


As you can see, this is showing the LOCAL IP addresses of the Control4 devices this Controller is talking to.  It would also be helpful if these devices had been renamed in System Manager, so I had more than the generic description to go by, but that’s another story…

From this prompt you can easily start another SSH session to one of these devices.  I’ll SSH to that 5″ touchscreen.



I just typed in ssh and hit enter, then it prompted me a security notification that I just responded to by hitting y and enter, and now I’m in the Terminal of that 5″ touchscreen.  Now I could reboot it, check the services running on it, or a bunch of other useful things.


  • http://www.premier-es.com Pedro Diaz

    Thanks for all these tips Jim.