Where is file manager?


Hello, all!

I’m not a newbie, just new to DH.

I have just spent the past 2 hours prowling control panel, wiki & forums but have not found a file manager function. Can anyone please tell me where it is?

I’m webmaster for 2 sites hosted on DH, I sign on as their main user (with shell access), and I want to see the overall file structure of directories for their web sites and for their ftp file uploads (non-site stuff; their customers upload files to be printed).

Grateful for any pointers – I’m sure this is basic and obvious and I just missed it…


Just use a regular FTP client, or the ugly web-based client. More info here.

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I’m not trying to get site files up; that works fine. I’m trying to see the file structure. Most hosts I have worked with have a file manager on the control panel. I’m not finding one for DH.


The file manager you see in the likes of cPanel is just a simple ftp client.

Just do as Simon says and use an ftp client to show you the file structure.
You can also look at using an SSH client like Putty to connect to the shell at your account. Then you can just use the normal commands to list directories/folders.

Once you get up to speed with Putty you can use Midnight Commander by typing mc at the command prompt.
But an ftp client like Filezilla is still easier :wink:


Opinions are my own views, not DreamHosts’.
I am NOT a DreamHost employee OK! :@

Act on my advice at your own risk!


I’m still stumped. I use CuteFTP. (I also tried the ftp client built in to IE, and the “network places” function of WinXP.) When I sign in as the hosting account owner I can see and work with all the web page files; I cannot see the files which print customers ftp up. When I sign in as a print customer, I can upload a file, and can’t see the web page files. (That makes sense, based on permissions.)

Why can’t I see everything as the hosting account owner?

I’m trying to write a PHP application for logged-in users to send their print files up. My problem is that I can’t figure out where to PUT the files.

For the record, the hosting was all set up a few years ago by someone else (not available) and I’m trying to figure it all out…

Thanks again for any ideas!


Hello Mr Stumped or can I call you Still?

I am not too sure what you mean by a ‘print customer’ but I do believe that when you use IE to ftp to your account it may very well be trying to ‘assist’ you by not showing you the files it thinks you should not see like . (dot) files.

It may help if you use Filezilla (open source) to ftp to your account (using sftp) of course.

You would then get a better picture of the file layout.

Initially you would log into the folder :-


(Generally you can ignore the dataglob folder and just think of the path as being /home/username )

You will see a few folders and files there.

One folder is named ‘logs’ and contains the Apache server logs for your domain(s).
When you click on ‘logs’ you will see folders named after the domains you have added to your account e.g. example.com host.example.com and so on.

Clicking these folders will take you eventually to your access and error logs for today and the last three days together with three days that have been compressed to save space.

Returning back to where you came in at /home/username (your ‘root/user’ base) apart from the folder for ‘logs’ and ‘mail’ you will see the folders that are named (just as in the ‘logs’ folder example above) after the domains you are hosting, or have added. So you might see example.com or host.example.com just as in the ‘logs’ folder.

These domain named folders are where the files for your website(s) will reside. So if you click on example.com you might see several folders and files and perhaps an index.html or home.html. These html files are, as you are aware, rendered first when a user enters the URL for that particular domain.

That is as simple as it gets. That is all there is. If you click on a folder you will be able to explore it.

If you travel backwards along your path please ensure you stop at /home/username where your files are. If you traverse further backwards into /home then DreamHost will detect this and will speak sharply to you. :wink:

If you use SSH to log into the shell of your account then the same as for ftp is generally true. You will still be, like us all, just a normal user and not a root user.


Opinions are my own views, not DreamHosts’.
I am NOT a DreamHost employee OK! :@

Act on my advice at your own risk!


Thanks very much for all your explanations, Norm. I really appreciate you taking the time to reply. Please call me Susan…

I have still not figured out how to get the uploaded files from my client’s customers where they should go. I have used Filezilla, but it does no more than any of my other connection methods (CuteFTP, Windows “network places”, IE, etc.).

When I maintain my client’s website, I login as the owner of their hosting account; let’s call this “owner”, which has “shell” access, to “/home/owner”. My FTP client shows me all the directories you describe, and I have no problem using the site files or creating new directories. Basic, expected stuff, as I’ve worked with for years. To write and test my PHP file upload application, I am sending the files to a directory I created within the website and called “uploads”.

When my client’s customers have files they want my client to print for them, they submit the files by FTP. (This is what I’m hoping to replace with my PHP app.) Several large clients have their own accounts, but the rest share a “guest” account. Each has FTP-only access, to “/home/guest”.

The people in my client’s shop can retrieve and process the files sent by their customers. They do not see my new test “uploads” directory, and I can’t figure out how to put the files my application uploads where the people in my client’s shop can get at them by their usual methods.

What I am used to seeing in file structures – when I sign on as the “owner” – is EVERY directory in use related to my hosting account. This is what I am NOT seeing, no matter what method I use to connect to DreamHost.

Is this a better explanation of my problem?

Yup, I’m still stumped!


Home directories belong to only one person (user). This is generally good since it provides a layer of security. There are a few hoops to jump through to allow others access to that directory. You will have to set up Groups to give share access to a directory:
You’d have to essentially create a “group” for each user, and then make yourself a part of that group so you have access to their SFTP (regular FTP restricts directory crawling) folder. You can even go so far as to create a third group to give everybody access to your specific SFTP folder.



So, after more than a month of nudging & experimenting & messaging, STEVEN at support helped me figure out a combination of things that will do what I need. In the hope that this may be of use to others, here is what worked:

  1. I created a new FTP user “cusfiles” which my client’s staff will use to retrieve files uploaded by customers.
  2. I created a new GROUP called “cusfiles” and made the user “cusfiles” and the main user ID for the hosting account both members of this group.
  3. Using the CHGRP command (see the WIKI: http://wiki.dreamhost.com/Unix_Groups ) I set permissions for the directory called “cusfiles” so both members of the group can make changes to it.
  4. FTPing as user “cusfiles”, I created a subdirectory called “uploads”, just so it would be clearer for the staff members, and to segregate any files uploaded from any other stuff that might end up in the “cusfiles” directory. (The staff can FTP directly to “uploads” instead of seeing it & “logs” & “Maildir” in their directory.)
  5. Don’t know if I needed to or not, but I changed the properties (CHMOD) on “uploads” so groups and public can write to it.
  6. I changed my PHP application to move the uploaded files to “/home/cusfiles/uploads”.

What this all accomplishes for my client:
– Site visitors can use the PHP apps I wrote to create an account for using protected pages of the site.
– When a visitor signs in on the site, one task they can do is upload files.
– My client’s staff can use one FTP account to retrieve uploaded files (without having to share the main DH account, which would be dangerous).

And it works because:
– The main user account is, in effect, any “user” of the web site applications.
– The main user account has permission to make changes to the files/directories owned by user “cusfiles” (because it is part of the permission group).
– The user “cusfiles” (my client’s staff) can get at the files put into the directory it owns.

Thank you to everyone who responded to my messages; you each had a piece of the answer, and Steven helped me figure out how to put the pieces together properly!