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rssh is a restricted shell, used as a login shell, that allows users to perform only ftp, sftp, scp, cvs, rdist, and/or rsync operations.

You do not have normal shell access to the Backups User – if you want an interactive program to access files there, best is to connect via sftp, which lets you do basic file management interactively.

rsync only runs on Unix machines, so Windows users will need a shell with a Windows user-interface:

  • DeltaCopy
  • CWRSYNC Is a packaging of rsync, ssh client and the required cygwin libraries for Windows. It runs on all versions of Windows.

Windows users can also install Cygwin, which provides a Unix-like command line interface for Windows. RSync is an optional component of Cygwin, and it has been confirmed to work with Dreamhost accounts.

Getting your Backups User diskspace usage

You can get the information through the DreamHost API. Just follow these steps:

  1. Create a new API key (here) with access to the function user-list_users_no_pw.
  2. Insert the API key you just generated into the following script.


$data = file_get_contents(

if($data === false) {
	die("Error getting API response");

$data = unserialize($data);

if($data["result"] != "success") {
	die("API error: " . $data["result"]);

foreach($data["data"] as $user) {
	if($user["type"] == "backup") {
		$username = $user["username"];
		$usage = $user["disk_used_mb"];
		if(!$usage) {
			$usage = "< 10";
		echo "Backup user $username has $usage MB used.\n";

echo "Could not find backup user!";

External links

  • rssh – official webpage