FTP Accounts

Hi dreamhost customers.

I just changed over to dreamhost last night, And I’m having some problems with the control panel.

I have been on cPanel for about 3-4yrs now, So moving to a new one is a bit different.

On cPanel you can easily set-up ftp accounts, For users to access a folder that you give them.

I can’t seem how to work that out on the dreamhost panel.

Is there anyway I can simply set up a ftp for my friends like domain.com/friends/friendname(folder that he/she gets access to) ?

Thanks for any help.

The easiest way to achieve this at DreamHost, assuming you don’t have that many friends, is to simply create a new user for each of your friends and add a sub-domain for each, specifying their user as the ‘FTP user / CGI-runs-as user:’ for the sub-domain when adding it.

When your friends log-in using FTP, they will only see the files in their own home directory, including the web-directory for their sub-domain.


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So there is no current way to sort my ftp’s to folders etc?

There is, but the sub-domain method above is the simplest way to provide your friends with FTP and webspace.

The basic problem (although I see this as an advantage) is that the users that DreamHost allows you to create are ‘real’ Unix users, and as such will have their own home directory etc.

If you search the forum, you will find other methods involving unix groups and redirection etc, but this can get a little messy.

Another option is to use some kind of script to provide the functionality you require. One script that gets recommended often is ffileman.


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Wouldn’t mind jumping onto http://chat.dreamhost.com/ so i can have a chat with you mark?


Unfortunately, I am quite busy here at the moment, so I will be unable to chat, sorry. :frowning:

I did manage to dig up some resources on this subject that you might find interesting…




There might be something in there that helps point you in the right direction.


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Thanks for those links.

Well it seems after going through those links, The only way to allow users to put files into there own directory, Is to download a script, and install that for them… This I’am not to happy with.

Unless you can explain when you said “There is” when I asked is there was an way.


Well, if all you want to do is allow users to upload files into their own directory, then you don’t have to do a thing, except create the users, as each user is given their own home directory that they can upload to. The problem is that these files will not be publicly accessible via HTTP. The method I outlined above, regarding giving these users their own sub-domain, is the easiest method I know of to enable them to upload files to a publicly accessible directory.

The method I was thinking of is the same method as outlined in the wiki article I linked above.

First create a new user for your friend then log-in as your friend and create a sub-directory in your friends home directory called (say) ‘uploads’. Now create the required directory under your domain, in your case something like domain.com/friends/friendname/, now you use Domains -> Remap Sub-Dir in the panel to remap http://domain.com/friends/friendname/ to /home/friends_username/uploads/

This gives your friend the ability to upload content to the ‘uploads’ directory in their home directory and have that content reflected at http://domain.com/friends/friendname/

This method isn’t perfect, as you will likely run into permission issues sooner or later, as the files that your friend uploads will not be owned by your user, they will be owned by your friends user.

I hope the above makes sense.


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There are a couple of strategies you could undertake using the creation of users,*nix groups, and crontabs to automate the moving of files and chmodding of permissions to cobble together something like what you are describing. If you are interested in attempting that, read up on those shell commands and develop strategy that works for your situation.

That said, I don’t recommend such an approach. One reason I say this is that it effectively “short-circuits” the well thought-out granularity of file ownership, which is important for accountability. As you, the account holder, are ultimately responsible for the activities of your users, I think it ill-advsed that you circumvent these normal accountability mechanisms.

Using an upload script allows you to maintain full control of all the files, and that is one reason I find it a better solution than “opening up” your directory structure, but I recognize YMMV. :wink:


Whoa Mark…
Thanks alot you’re really helping me out here :D!

Slowly getting the hang off it, Still a bit hard here and there… I’ll see how I go and I will post an update shortly.

btw, I do want the files to be allowed to be viewed by the public, so then people can download for example “www.domain.com/friends/tom/movie.avi”.

Thanks again :slight_smile:

No problem, I am trying my best. :wink:

I still think the sub-domain method would be the simplest overall. If you use your friends names for the sub-domains, the files would be publicly accessible using a URL like http://friend.domain.com/movie.avi , nice and easy to remember. :slight_smile:

Also, as rlparker said, remember that you are ultimately responsible for anything that your friends upload under your account.


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Thanks to you now Mark,
Everything is working how I wanted it to :slight_smile: Mapping is 100%.

Thanks for taking your time to help me out today :D.

Also, 1 quick question.

Are shared accounts locked at a certain speed?
Can only peek 100-130kbs max, Upload/Download.

Unlike my old hosting company where I peeked 500-800.

Thanks :D!

Excellent, I am glad you got things configured as you wanted.

Not that I am aware of. Although it does appear that the speed of the service is highly dependent on the physical server your site is located on and of-course the path that your traffic is taking between DreamHost and you.

The download speed I see from my server (‘Bixel’) is mostly around 400KByte/s, but I have seen it drop to around 150KByte on occasions.

In the past I have done direct server to server tests, using FXP or wget, and this resulted in transfer speeds exceeding 2MByte/s, so I don’t think DreamHost is lacking upstream bandwidth.


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