Transfering a domain from DH

Hello there.

I have got registered (not with DH, but somewhere else) both “” AND “”.

For almost a year, I have been managing the “” site as an FTP user in an DH account belonging to somebody else who allowed me to share his disk usage. But now I have purchased my own DH account to manage by myself and have more room to move. And HERE is when problems start to happen. And, as I think I have pestered enough the people at DH support, I’d like to bring them here looking for new ideas:

First problem :
I cannot add “” to my new account because it is already listed in another DH account. I wonder, will I be able to switch it to my account. Of course, I can create the folder “” in my new account, with FTP. But I cannot add the domain in the control panel. Any ideas?
Besides, when I go to my registrar’s page, I have to switch my DNS from…to, so I wonder if it is really going to change anything.
So, just to keep things moving, I have added the previously unused “” to my new DH account and I try to exactly duplicate my former site, in order to change in the future the name “” for “”. But I don’t think this is going to work…
What solution would you propose me?

Second problem:
I have almost 2GB files in my former FTP (not shell, and I don’t think they’re ever going to give me shell access). In my new account, of course, I have shell access. Do you think is there any way to log into my actual server via shell (using Putty), and then use a command line FTP to grab
the files off of my former server?. And, by the way, which command?

Thanks in advance…

You’re going to have a lot of trouble trying to switch a domain from an existing account to a new one. Unless you remove all promos (and referrals, we think) from the new account, DreamHost will not allow you to move the domain. We’ve never heard of anyone reporting success in this area. Talk to support about it, but be prepared for disappointment.

I only have marginal suggestions like doing a redirect or using mirroring or cloaking.

Yeah, you can definitely use ftp to transfer your files over. The command is… ftp.

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Well, thanks a lot for your answer. I begin to see it clearly now.

I guess I should be pestering again the people at DH support to add my domain. As for promos, referrals et alia…I don’t think I have any. Anyway, I have read about them, but I don’t know what they are.

As for the second question, the owner of my former account has given me (this one I didn’t see coming!) shell access, so the command scr -r has been enought to transfer my almost 2 GB from one account to the other…in a few minutes.

You mean scp -r, right?

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I’m not going to address how to get data from one account to another, but from May 22nd here is an email from support about the process of moving from one account to another.

So, I’d recommend writing to support to get specific info, but this worked flawlessly. (Though this particular domain did not have any MySQL databases to move.)

Take care.


From Support:

Here is the process to move your domain from one Dreamhost account to

  1. First, I need a confirmation e-mail sent from the account that the domain is currently on, stating that they wish for the domain to be transferred away to your specific account.

  2. Backup all your existing files/e-mails. We cannot transfer your files and mailboxes between accounts for you, but we can transfer over your MySQL databases. (note: if you wish to transfer over any databases,
    make sure you tell me the database names!)

  3. Have your domain’s hosting deleted from the old account in the “Manage Domains” page. Once this has been done, send me an e-mail at {the support reps email} and I’ll transfer the domain’s registration over to the new account.

  4. I’ll write you back telling you that I’ve transferred your domain’s registration and database over to the new account. Then, you can add your domain to be fully hosted again in the new account’s control panel, in the “Manage Domains” page, and then re-upload all your files and recreate your mailboxes. If you had MySQL databases transferred over, you’ll have to go to the “Manage MySQL” page under the “Goodies” tab and reassociate
    hostnames with the databases.

Also note that some downtime is unavoidable – it’s just what’s going to happen when you’re switching a domain’s DNS from one server to another. And yes, once you delete a domain and all its files, the diskspace will be “reclaimed” and available to write other data onto it again. It’s a
bit of a complex process, so let me know if you have any more questions!

{Support Rep’s Name}

Thanks again, both of you.

Lensman, you are right. I misspelt the command above. Anyway, when in PUTTY, I spelt it right and it worked fine.

Jimspics, thank you for the overview of that process. When asking at support for the change of domain, I have to point out a difference: I don’t need to transfer files, databases or mailboxes. As I said above, I have already duplicated “” with “”, which has been added to my account, and it is working perfectly now. I’d like to be able to add also “” to my account and then, mirror “” with “”.

I figured it had worked for you and just wanted to make sure that the innocent bystanders and those who read this thread later benefit fully from your discoveries!

That’s a great description, Jim! I wasn’t aware that support had to move the domain manually even when your account was eligible for transfers.

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