Difference between revisions of "FTP"

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'''password:''' yourPassword
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*FTP to your own domain name may seem slow on Macs so use SFTP and your Dream Host server name.
==How do I login?==
==How do I login?==

Revision as of 19:30, 26 January 2010

FTP stands for File Transfer Protocol. It's a way for you to move files from one computer to another. It's commonly used for transferring web files you're working with on your local computer up to DreamHost's server so that they're accessible via the Internet.

FTP Security

FTP is not considered a secure protocol, as all of your traffic (including your login info!) is transferred over the web in plain text (which means an exceptionally sneaky someone could eavesdrop on what you're sending). However, if your Dreamhost user is setup as a shell user (as opposed to an ftp user), you can use SFTP using SSH, an option found in some of the more full-featured FTP clients such as FileZilla, to transfer data back and forth securely with encryption.

FTP Client Software

All operating systems come with a built-in FTP client that runs from a command prompt, using the command ftp.

You might want to check out these Wikipedia links for more information on FTP and FTP client software.

There are also some more full-featured FTP clients available for various operating systems that support some extra features:

Mac OS X


  • Konqueror A versatile web browser, (s)ftp client, file browser, image viewer etc. Included with KDE. Input the address of the server you want to connect to in the address bar and press enter: ftp:// for ftp, fish:// for sftp.
  • Nautilus (GNOME) as FTP or SFTP client.
  • FileZilla
  • gFTP
  • FtpCube
  • Kasablanca (KDE)
  • FireFTP
  • NcFTP


Web Browser FTP Support

If you're using the Firefox web browser (and I hope you are) they have an excellent FTP plug-in available called "FireFTP".

All modern web browsers (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Opera, etc.) come with a built-in FTP support as well that will do in a pinch (for downloading only). Just punch in ftp://USERNAME@EXAMPLE.COM/ (replace username with your DreamHost username and example.com with your domain name) and enter your password when prompted.

DreamHost WebFTP Support

You can also connect to your site via WebFTP. This isn't intended to be a full featured FTP client, but will suffice when you don't have one handy. Uploads are limited to 2MB, but you may find it very useful for features like easily moving files, and editing pages live (though DO NOT edit perl scripts or crontab files with this editor, as it will "break" them).

Once you have your FTP program open and running, you will still need to point it somewhere to upload files. You'll need to enter the 'hostname' of your site (often called a domain name or server, depending on the FTP program). For example, if your site is viewable at 'www.dreamhostrules.com', the hostname would simply be 'dreamhostrules.com'.

If your domain hasn't been set up yet (not registered or not transferred to DreamHost) you can still upload your site directly to your machine name temporarily. You should have gotten the name of your machine in a welcome email. It will be of the form machine.dreamhost.com.

Next, you'll probably be prompted for a username and password. These values should have been given to you when you first signed up. If you have any questions as to what they are, please feel free to ask.

You may also be asked for a starting directory. This tells the FTP client where to put you within the directory structure of your account. Almost all web site files need to go into a directory named after the domain they are hosted under, or a subdirectory beneath that directory, not in the root of the account! Although putting your files directly into the root directory will not break anything, this will certainly prevent you from seeing your site until you move them. For the starting directory setting, you should put in a value such as /dreamhostrules.com/ (assuming that was your domain name).

What FTP server do I use?

You can use your domain name to FTP to, but you can also ftp to the serverName.dreamhost.com where "serverName" is the name of the Dream Host server that your site is hosted on. There are several ways to find out what this serverName is.

Login to the Dream Host control panel, navigate to ... Users > Manage Users Click on [login now] for the user account. This will take you to the webftp. On the web ftp screen click on the question mark icon in the upper-left corner. Then click on "Troubleshoot an FTP Server" and you will see your correct settings. You can use the domain name to ftp directly to the top level of your account if you have multiple sites.

In your ftp program use these settings (remember to change the serverName): ftp server: serverName.dreamhost.com user name: yourUserName password: yourPassword directory: /

How do I login?

You need to use your FTP account and password. Your FTP account name is chosen when you sign up for DreamHost and may have the same name as your DreamHost account, but the two accounts do not share the same password, unless you set them to the same value. When you sign up with DreamHost, you will be sent a randomly-generated password for your FTP account. To change this, visit Users > Manage Users in your Web Panel.

You can create additional FTP accounts for additional users. Each FTP user has access to only a single home directory.

Where do I put my files once I've connected via FTP?

You should see a folder called yourdomain.com (or if you put in a different folder name when adding the site in the panel, you should see that listed instead). Upload your files there.

If you don't see that folder yet, you probably just have to wait a little bit longer.. but you can also go ahead and just make it yourself in your FTP client (be sure to make it all lowercase, and without the "www."!). Make sure you're logging in with the user associated with that domain as well. Only one user has access to that site, not just any FTP user you add through the panel. You can check the user in the Panel > Domains > Manage Domains > edit.

Also, note that the first page you want to be shown when people visit your site (for example, your homepage) should be called index.html, all lowercase. Other extensions will work as well, you're not limited to html; .htm and .php will also work. index.html and index.htm will be served instead of index.php if both are present. Otherwise, when users connect to yourdomain.com they will see a list of files, rather than your default page.

See also

External link