Shared FTP files/directory



Here’s what I am trying to achieve:

I need to have an FTP user, the details for which I can give clients to upload/download large files. The client FTP user must be restricted to one directory (and anything under that, of course). The directory must also be web-accessible, so it should be under my main FTP user, and not owned by the client FTP user (I don’t want them changing the web bits!!)

I used the instructions here:

but they didn’t work quite right. All got created as shown, but when I connected as the client FTP user, I clicked the symlink and it would not take me to the shared directory (permission denied).

I tried this using the FTP command from my local shell, with an FTP client (Transmit) and the “Connect to Server…” function on my Mac (Finder>Go>Connect to server…) and they all failed the same way.

I checked the owners, groups and permissions and they are all as documented and correct and should work.

So two alternative questions:

  1. Any suggestions on how to get the FTP permissions right or whatever I need to do to make that mechanism work?

or, alternatively,

  1. Any other suggestions on how to accomplish what I describe above?

Any help, suggestions, ideas, resources, etc. are very much appreciated!!


What you are trying to do won’t work. You can have a separate FTP user with web access mapped into a web accessible directory of a domain, as you have done. However there is no concept of one user being “under” another user.

If you edit the users in the panel and remove “enhanced security” you could access the files of one user via the other user, assuming groups and group permissions are set up correctly, but be sure to read the “learn more” link and understand what you will be giving up to other users on the same shared server.



Actually,what I am doing is a standard and common use of FTP. Dreamhost has modified their FTP server to remove the ability to specify a home directory for an FTP user. This severely limits FTP functionality and is a drastic departure from industry standards and service norms.

That said, your post was helpful - the issue was that I forgot to remove the “enhanced security” from one of the users.

The whole thing works as documented now.

Thanks for your help


I won’t argue “industry standards” with you, however I will say Dreamhost’s choices have been made to enhance security of your shell/ftp user on a SHARED server, bypassing that by removing the “enhanced security” attribute will decrease your overall site security. As long as you understand what your doing, go for it.