Making sense of FTP - please advise

I am really struggling with understanding why things are the way they are with ftp connections to the server. When I send someone an ftp link to with the login and password all I want them so see is the directory I’ve created called “filetransfer”. So essentially I am sending them to and the login and password should dictate that this is the only directory they see.

Instead what is being seen is a top level directory with logs,, and Maildir directories listed and the filetransfer directory which I want them to see is a sub directory of There are a few other files I can see such as .alia, .bash_profile, .bashrc, and .cshrc which I don’t want’ people to see.

This means that the actual link would be

This is just very strange and confusing and it’s atypical for people to deal with links like that.

Is there a way to have the login and password i give out for an ftp account to go directly to the directory I want them to see?

Is there a way to have just simple subdirectories of my main domain that (with my user password) I can always see, but with other user passwords are given access to only those directories?

I hope this all makes sense and sorry for the long message, I’ve just never see anything like this on any hosting plan and it’s creating much more work to manage than I am used to; particularly that it seems that as the account holder I have to have a unique password for every protected directory and I can’t see all subdirectories using my password.

Please advise. I’d love to hear of workarounds if possible. I am relatively new to Dreamhost; mostly familiar with Aplus and BluHost.

There may be other solutions and I hope someone else has a suggestions. The issue is not dreamhost specific. The issue is that for unix/linux user (a user that may or may not have shell access) to have access to a directory the user must have access to the directory above, up the line. You can turn off access using permissions going down the directory tree but not up, set a block using permissions and it blocks everything below that in the directory structure.

One solution might be to use anonymous FTP for uploads as described here:
(requires dedicated IP i believe) this can be configured so users can’t see what’s been uploaded, you just manage the directory either manually or with a script.
and then make downloads available thru the web server by putting FTP:// links on a webpage. It could even be a page that is generated by a script each time a user loads the page. you would control access based on some authentication for the webpage and not a server user.

Not sure exactly what you are trying to do, another thing you can do is give each client an ftp login [hr]
that solutions not perfect either… but maybe if you would describe what you are trying to accomplish in more detail we can give more suggestions.

I think what you want is Directory Re-Map. It may not be exactly what you are looking for, but it is probably as close as you’re going to get.

See the wiki page on how domains are associated with users. All the way at the bottom, it explains how to set up Directory Re-Map. Basically, you would set up a new user account which would have access to one subdirectory of the domain.

The drawback is that the main user account would no longer be able to access that subdirectory, so you would have to log in as the new user whenever you need to access it.

I’m running into major problems managing users and ftp permissions, too. It used to be so easy on my other hosts. Now I don’t know what the hell is going on. I don’t see any reason why they set it up this way. It’s so convoluted and ridiculous. When I run across stuff like this, it’s hard to believe that Dreamhost gets good reviews. Award-winning control panel. Pleeeeazzzzze!

DreamHost’s set up is UNIX-based, and the front end is pretty transparent of that.

cPanel’s front end hides a lot of what’s going on, but provides many workarounds automatically. Such as how Unix Groups works: (This type of setup takes a lot of work)

However, there are two options I see:

  1. Use a third party Document Management System that uses a web-based front end that will handle user-based permissions. This setup will allow for uploads, but takes some effort to set up.
  2. Create password-protected directories ( This is a fairly easy setup, but doesn’t allow users to upload to that directory, since they’re accessing a directory of your site with a browser.