Best way to let kids upload without full access

Ok…can anyone tell me the best way to handle this? I have websites for my kids on my account. They know nothing about websites, but want to be able to upload stuff.

  1. I love them to death, but don’t want them near my server files and directories.
  2. I could set them up a DH account, transfer the domains to them and their own ID’s, but don’t want them near their own important server files and directories.
    Most people would be ok saying, “Ok here you go…but don’t touch these.” Unfortunately, my kids are smart enough to be a danger to themselves, if you know what I mean, LOL.
    Thanks in advance for all your advice.

That would depend entirely on how you want to set up their websites. If you want to give them access to upload things to only a specific directory, one way to do it would be to create individual user accounts for your kids, and then within the shell, chown each directory you don’t want them to be able to alter to your own user. If I had an idea of what software you wanted to give them access to, I could give you a bit better instructions on how to go about setting it up. Perhaps some clarification of what exactly you want then to be able to do is in order?

Yes, I have an opinion.

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When creating a user, that user does not have access to your files, unless you give them shell access.
Just create a new user, then remap a sub directory, select the user name and make up a sub directory.
That user will now have access to the web and can not see your files, nor can you see theirs. So to access their files you need their username and password.
You will have to walk them through getting to their directory the first time though as it is a few levels down. But if you have an ftp program like filezilla, it can remember what directory it accessed last. Which will make it a lot easier for them.
In the control panel you can also set how much drive space to give them, because I beleive the default is the entire drive space alloted to you.
Hope this helps,

My website

I too am currently considering the alternatives for my two children (15 and 16 years old). The eldest has no real interest in learning the details, but she wants a net presence beyond her current MySpace page. The youngest is a bit of a worry, he knows enough to get himself into all kinds of trouble (I knew it was a mistake to buy him a laptop :slight_smile: ).

Anyway, I have (almost) decided that the best option for my children is a domain each with some kind of content management system pre-installed, maybe WordPress. I do realise that it will be up to me to keep the install updated, but, with the DreamHost one-click updates, I don’t think that will be too time consuming.

Perhaps a similar CMS solution would be the right thing for your children.


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I have a family domain and in such situations, create a subdomain for extra uses and users. You could try and
It’s fairly isolated in that subdomains are a bit lower on the radar, and they are completely separate from the main domain.

I like Raz’s suggestion for using a CMS such as WordPress, but it does depend on what your kids want in a site. When I was a kid, though, I had to code HTML on a manual typewriter.


When I was a kid ASCII was still pretty neato.


Thanks Mark. They actually have Gallery set up for uploading pictures. They do fine with that and they love it. However, now…one child wants to learn .html and design his own homepage and be able to add pages. The other one wants to be able to upload video of her new baby.

Thanks quanin for your reply. Well, as I was telling Mark…there are three sites - each with their own domain under my account. Each of the three sites have Gallery installed. I only installed the family blog on one domain (not included in these three) to see if they would use it first. So far…the blog has had no play. Consequently, I haven’t thought of adding it to the three sites.

This was another consideration I had…give them each their own shorthand CMS in the form of a blog, but that only satisfies one need for one child…the one that wants to upload video. (*They really are all grown up adults)

Now the chown instruction in your reply MIGHT be over my head. Perhaps I need to educate myself about it. Maybe that is what I need?

Thank you silkrooster for your help. Problem is…everything is already installed, so I don’t want deal with moving it all.

Part of your reply does help one child though…it would allow her to upload.

Thanks Scott…I wish I would have thought of that…sounds much easier. However, like I said, they have their own Domain Names and Domains setup already.

OMGosh Wholly…does anyone remember the black screen of DOS anymore?..or did I just age myself, hee-hee

To me, it sounds like your first priority should be figuring out exactly who wants to be using their space for what, and then develop an access strategy for them accordingly. For instance, if one child just wants their own blog, then just your basic access permissions under your own username would probably be enough. Unless you give that child your shell/FTP password, it’s increasingly unlikely they’ll be able to alter any of the server level files. If someone else wants to do something different, say just use their webspace for experimentation purposes, then they would probably need a little more access than that, in which case I’d recommend giving them their own FTP user/password, having their domain name operate under that FTP user, and leave the other access permissions as is. They can then use that as a platform for, say, learning HTML or what have you, and not accidentally delete/modify anything in someone else’s directory, because they simply won’t have access to any directory that doesn’t belong to them.

Yes, I have an opinion.

Get a minimum 50% off with the “haveadreamyday” promo code, and… have a dreamy day. Original, no?

You know…this is really sounding like the best way to go quanin. Now…one more question:

  1. I create a new user for each child.
  2. I re-map the domain to that new user as the owner.
  3. I set them up with ftp and teach them How-To.

Great! But…how do I keep them out of the ‘album’ directory, etc., etc… Or is that an option? Is my only choices?..

  1. Sufficiently scare the h-e-double-toothpick out of them?
  2. Bite the dreaded ‘I don’t have the time’ bullet and learn that chown thingy?

Okay, I think you need to tell me exactly how you have things set up right now. Do you have all the kids’ photos and what have you stored in a central place? Or do they have their own individual album directories? Also, will both of them need direct access to their own space, or do they currently upload everything through a web interface? The more detail I get, the clearer the instructions I can provide you, quite possibly right down to the exact format of each command you’ll need to make things play nice.

Yes, I have an opinion.

Get a minimum 50% off with the “haveadreamyday” promo code, and… have a dreamy day. Original, no?

Basically all three domains are set up the same way…just a simple index.html on the root with Gallery (album) installed in it’s own directory under the root, as well.

All the pics they have uploaded using the software are stored in the Gallery database. They also have a directory called …/video and one called …/images where I have been uploading for use on their sites outside of the Gallery software.

Ah… okay. Unfortunately, if you want to give them access, it ends up meaning you’re gonna give them access. Now, assuming you want to just let both kids access their own material without them damaging each other’s things or yours, the simplest thing to do would probably be to just explain to them that they shouldn’t have to touch the albums directory. Do you maintain a single galary instalation for them to each maintain their own photos, or does each domain run its own instalation? Sorry for the bombardment of questions, but I’m just trying to get a picture of exactly what your current system is so I don’t go inadvertently breaking something.

Yes, I have an opinion.

Get a minimum 50% off with the “haveadreamyday” promo code, and… have a dreamy day. Original, no?

each domain has it’s own installation of Gallery. Since then, I learned to utilize subs to make everything easier…so these three older domains have their own installations and their own databases - all in the main root.
*Album being the Gallery software installation.

(off topic)

I remember BEFORE DOS.


Ah, okay then. Easy enough to do. Just do these exactly in the order I have them written here, for each user you create:
1: Once the user is created, log into your account with your FTP software, and download a local copy of the domain directory you’re moving. Make sure files such as images, videos, MP3’s and the like are downloaded in binary format, the rest in ascii.
2: From the domains > manage domains section of the control, edit the domain name in question so that it runs under the user you just created
3: You may need to manually update some files to reflect the change in directory structures. Where you see /home/youruser/domain/album, it should instead be /home/newuser/domain/album, where newuser is the user you just created.
4: Connect via FTP to the new user once you’ve varified it’s been created, and upload everything you just downloaded, keeping in mind the restrictions I mentioned in step 1.

Once you’ve gotten that far, I’ll tell you how to set it up so that they won’t accidentally break the gallary software. That’s a little more of an advanced topic, but it’s still not hard to do.

Yes, I have an opinion.

Get a minimum 50% off with the “haveadreamyday” promo code, and… have a dreamy day. Original, no?

CP/M 80 ruled! he he…