Tranfering files

I did a search on this and everything was so confusing, I thought I’d post and see what was said.

Okay, my friend is thinking of moving and she asked me a question, but I have no idea the answer. At her old host, she did a backup of everything, which packaged all of her sites and files into one 40MB tar.gz file. Is there any way that she can just upload this backup to her site and unzip it to have all her files put up so that she doesn’t have to upload her sites one by one?

Assuming the organization of where the web server picks up files is the same, yes. If it’s different, she can still unpack it and then configure the domains to point to the right directories.

(This assumes that nothing “special” was used and the software configuration is supported by dreamhost’s installs)

But just sending up all of it at once and pulling it apart should certainly be a doable (and recommended) thing.

Making it all work if it’s coming from another host might be a bit tricky - databases may have been involved and so on.


But how do you unpack it? That’s my question. It’s too large to use the webftp to upload and unpack, and I can upload it via FTP, but then how do I unpack it to the server?


You can upack that .tar.gz file using the tar command from a command line in the shell.

tar has a lot of options, which you can see using the command “tar --help” (no quotes - indicates the “carriage return” or “enter” key) or you can read through the tar man pages with the command “man tar”

Generally speaking, if the tarball was built containing subdirectories, you can extract the contents into the proper directory structure with:

tar -xvfz nameoffile.tar.gz


I sure hope that no databases were in use. If tar.gz files throw you with all the help that is out there, mysql configuration import and all that might be really tough to get going.

If you’re patient, we’ll be patient and try to help.


Hm, I’ve never done anything with shell before. I suppose that is what is throwing me. Having no experience with shell and all, I have no idea where to even begin. I’ll figure something out.

And Wholly, don’t treat me like I’m an idiot. I can do the databases just fine.

I’m sorry if you were offended. That was not my intent. It’s just that wiring up databases is usually more frustrating than archives.

I do wish you luck and success. And if you have troubles, just come back, we’ll help. (well, I’ll probably be a little more quiet this time)



Well, you know what they say: “There’s no time like the present” :slight_smile:

The shell is nothing to be afraid of (I think you will like using it!), once you get the feel of it. I suggest you start with the Dreamhost Wiki Shell article, paying special attention to visit the other pages linked from there (See also SSH, Shell Commands, and Enabling Shell Access).

That info, with the info on tar I provided in an earlier post in this thread, will probably give you all you need. Good Luck!


Baleee Dat! Initially I was very intimidated by shell access due to it’s power, and thus my ability to wreck stuff. Here’s my two cents: start out by setting up a “practice” subdomain under a seperate user account so you don’t have to sweat messing up your main domain. Next try a specific basic project, like installing and enabling AWStats or something.

The shell grows on you quickly and in a suprisingly pleasant way. In a few short weeks I went from being strictly Windows to running customized Ubuntu, with a distinct preference for the command prompt. I settled on this after auditioning a few different distros, and don’t see myself using M$ in any other context than employer provided machines from here on out. Jump in, the water is fine.

Here are a couple links that might be useful…