How do i do this?

hello! Newbie in dreamhost here. I am trying to create an SMF forum for a domain name that I don’t have yet so I made a directory (thru FTP) and copied the SMF zip files there. I do have one domain but I have installed wordpress there. So I want to setup this new SMF forum in the new directory with no domain because I haven’t made up my mind on what domain name I want, yet.
So now that I have the SMF zip files in this new directory, how do I access this directory and run the zip files? What tool do I use? Oh man, I miss cpanel…

One option would be to create a sub-domain of your existing domain (or a free sub-domain) and install SMF there. This may make things easier when you decide to transfer things to a real domain.

This can be done a number of ways. The first, and probably the easiest, is to log into the DreamHost WebFTP client and upload/unzip the file using that. Click the Upload button after logging-in and there is an option for uploading and decompressing files.

Another method would be to enable Shell access for one of your users and log-in using SSH. Once logged in you can use the unzip command-line tool to decompress archives. More information can be found in the following wiki articles.


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You can use a link. First of all, you need to enable SSH on your FTP user if you haven’t done so. Then, login using a SSH client.

Go to the folder where you have set up your existing domain. You can do that by typing “cd name-of-folder” and hit return. To ensure that you did so, type “ls -la” and hit return. That will print a list of the files in the directory.

Now, to create a link you will have to type something like “ln -s /home/username/directory/ forum” and hit return. That will create a link named forum that points to /home/username/directory/. Use your username and the directory that you have SMF installed in.

Your domain will be accessible from and from

mark, the subdomain is a good idea, haven’t done this before - transferring from a subdomain to a new domain, but will get into that later…
thanks for the tip, I used the the dreamhost ftp and I was able to move the smf zip files from one folder (the one i made outside the domain folder) to the domain’s new subfolder. and now I try to unzip one smf file by clicking OPEN at the right side of the zip file row. It does not work. I get a 404 file not found in server error! The domain name is doubled in the browsers’ http address like this : \mydomain\mydomain\newsubfolder\ !
Is there something i should setup or Is there an easier way of unzipping a file into the same subfolder where it’s at? Not the windows putty please, can’t get it when I read the wiki help on it.
thanks for helping a not-so-techie newbie!

Well, it is easily done using the Shell (PuTTY) and the unzip command, but I see you don’t want to go that route :slight_smile: I must say, the Shell really isn’t that hard once you get used to it.

You can do it using the Web based FTP client, but unfortunately I think you are going to have to upload the file to your webspace again. If you click the Upload button in Net2FTP, on the right-hand side you will see the means to upload and unzip a file in one step. Make sure you enter the correct upload directory for the files first.


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hello Mark, thanks again for your reply.

  1. the zipfile which I need to upload again if I were to unzip it using the DH FTP client, is more than the allowed max size , it’s 1.6MB!
  2. if everything goes well, that is, I have unzipped the file and have installed SMF, what DH client will I now use to edit some SMF php files?
    I am used to working with cpanel, where the basic things I need to do (upload, unzip, create mysql dbs and users, install SMF, edit, open) are all there.
    I can see that DH does not have this all-in-one interface, or is there one?
    I am not a techie, I just know some basic things.
    So, what are the clients I need to install or have to do these basic things?
    (btw, what blah 1234 put in the subject so I can reply via email?)

As I understand it, the max file size that DreamHost’s install of Net2FTP can handle is around 7MByte, due to restrictions imposed by the default PHP settings. This is quite a bit larger than the 1.6MB you require. As a test, I just uploaded/de-compressed a 3.9MByte file using Net2FTP with no issues.

The general procedure I use is to keep a local copy of all files on my websites. I make any changes to the local copies, using the editor(s) of my choice, then upload any modified files.

While CPanel may be easier for those not too familiar with the details of how things fit together, in my opinion the DreamHost Panel offers far more versatility, once you get used to how it operates.

No, there is no all-in-one solution here on DreamHost. The Panel does offer all the functionality you need to configure your domains, emails accounts, databases etc, but you will still need other tools to get the job done.

A good FTP client is something that you should invest in if you intend to make the most of your DreamHost hosting. I use FlashFXP under Windows here, but there are many other fine FTP clients available for all operating systems.


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thanks again, mark.
you’re right, the filesize is < than 7M, so it was not 78125 KB after all. so I’m okay with the 1st restriction “The maximum size of one file is restricted by net2ftp to 78125 kB and by PHP to 7M”. now I try it (upload w/ unzip), but the task stopped. It went longer than the max allowed time = "The maximum execution time is 180 seconds"
this means that I have no choice but to use an FTP client.
I move around, I work with at least 3 PCs at 2 different places (home, office), so I prefer a web-based utility to get things done for my website(s). Second reason is I use different internet connections/speed (dial-up and dsl) and these, as just recently experienced, may not work with the max. allowed execution time for DH clients.
So what I need is a web-based utility which is OS and connection-independent.
Can you reco one? If there’s none similar to cpanel, then maybe DH is not for me.
What do you think?
I appreciate your prompt replies because this is something new to me (asking for support, I mean) . Fyi, in my other hosting provider, I never had to ask for support assistance and it was my first time to try hosting services.

Damn, if it’s not one restriction getting in the way, it’s another :slight_smile:

[quote]So what I need is a web-based utility which is OS and connection-independent.
Can you reco one?[/quote]
The main problem with any web-based FTP client is that it is going to be subject to the same PHP restrictions as the DreamHost supplied Net2FTP.

You might be able to install your own upload script, together with a custom local PHP / PHP.ini install, to remove the PHP restrictions, but this would be a fairly involved process.

Since you are not that keen on playing around in the Shell, I think the best option is to de-compress any archives on your system before uploading them to your site(s). After they have been de-compressed you can upload them using the DreamHost Net2FTP client, or find a good ‘real’ (non web-based) FTP client for each operating system you use.

There are many good FTP clients available for all operating systems and many of them are freeware / shareware.

No problem, I am glad to help where I can. I am just sorry that we haven’t managed to resolve your problem yet.


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One possible suggestion is to locate a perl “web-based ftp” script (there are many free/commercial available - just check, install it in your webspace, and test.

While I’m sure that Dreamhost has a process monitoring program that will kill any process it feels is taking too long (or might have run amok!), perl scripts are not subject to the “buiit-in” PHP limitations/restriction that Mark talked about.

You would have to test to see just how long it would run/how big a file you can upload to be sure, but it is worth a try.

Actually though, I think Mark’s suggestion to find a suitable ftp client for each system you routinely use is best. And if you can get by without a GUI, you can always use the command line ftp that each system provides. :slight_smile:


I can do that, decompress and upload via FireFTP which I use, but it can be soooo timeconsuming…
pls. reco an FTP client that can run and edit files onsite, for Win XP and 98, tnx.

tnx rlparker, I can do with a non-GUI utility, just as long as I have a step-by-step list to follow.
Techies, pls. help me, it’s so frustrating because I have done these before without too much help from anybody, and now I can’t do it in DH!


The “non-gui” clients I’m referring to are “command line” utilities, and their use is similar to working in the *nix shell (in WIN98 and XP you “run” ftp.exe as a “Dos” application), and I don’t really think that is what you want, since you said you really didn’t want to operate in the “shell”. I only suggested it as a “last resort” method since you mentioned 3 different computers/os - all have a “command line client”, so you would never be “stuck”.

The problems is that a “step by step” list of what to do is going to vary slighlty between these clients (though they are very similar).

Tthere are many free, and commercial, FTP clients out there that run, and operate the “same” on both WIN98 and XP. You can check, or any other large file repository, for many choices, or you can check out the clients suggested in this Dreamhost WIki Article on ftp and clients.

The client I use is not recommended in your case, as it does not provide for “onsite editing”, which you indicated you wanted (though you can always do that through the Dreamhost provided webftp!).

I really think, though, that once you have the ftp program(s) selected that you want to use, you should become at least familiar enough with the shell to be able to uncompress “large” files. While it might seem like it is a lot to learn, it is not that difficult, and being able to uncompress large files quickly on the server is a huge help when you are trying to “move” a large application or database.


Unfortunately I can not really recommend an FTP client that edits files onsite, as I have used the one FTP client (FlashFXP) for quite some time and it does not support this, it simply downloads the file, chains to an editor and uploads the modified file.


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