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Adding FTP Users (Authors)

Internet Connection's Unix-based website hosting packages come with tools for creating and managing additional FTP users (authors), either from the command line using a shell or via the graphical user interface within the Netconsole. These tools are very useful for websites that have more than one person working on them. Not only can the site administrator create, modify and delete authors, but access can also be restricted to files or directories on a per-user basis.

This document explains how to add and manage users from the command line.

Note: These tools allow you to create new users with FTP and mail access only. If you need for a user to have shell access, please the Internet Connection support team. Additional shell accounts cost $2.50 to set up.

Creating An Author

To create a new author, first login to your account via Telnet or SSH.

Note: We recommend that our customers use SSH. PuTTY, a free SSH client for Windows, is available here.

Once you are connected type vuseradd and hit Enter. The program will then tell you what input it expects:

$ vuseradd
Usage: /usr/bin/vuseradd [-f homedir] [-e] username
       -f allow ftp into homedir
       -e allow email access/delivery

To add a new user named "jimbob" with FTP access only (no email account) bound to a directory called "news" under webshare, first create the directory:

$ pwd
$ mkdir news

By default, the user will not have write permission in this directory. To give the user write permission, use this command chmod g+w news/

Next, create the user. Note that you have to provide a "full" path to the directory the user is bound to.

$ vuseradd -f webshare/news jimbob
Password for jimbob:
   Confirm Password:
Created jimbob

If you wanted to create a mailbox for this user you would use:
vuseradd -f webshare/news -e jimbob.

Manipulating Authors

Changing A Password

To change an author's password, use vpasswd:
$ vpasswd jimbob
Password for jimbob:
   Confirm Password:
Password changed for jimbob

Modifying An Author

To modify an author, use vusermod. With this tool you can change whether an author has mail and/or FTP access and which directory they are bound to. For example, to disable jimbob's FTP access but enable email access, you'd type:
vusermod +f -e jimbob

Again, you can simply type vusermod to get a list of the input this program can accept:

$ vusermod
Usage: /usr/bin/vusermod [-f homedir | +f] [-e | +e] username
       -f allow ftp into homedir / edit homedir
       -e allow email access/delivery
       +f disable ftp access
       +e disable email access/delivery

Deleting An Author

To delete an author, use vuserdel:
$ vuserdel jimbob
jimbob deleted

Directory Permissions

Rarely you'll encounter a problem where an FTP user will not be able to upload or modify files. This is due to incorrect group permissions on the directory that's been set as their home directory. To repair this, you must grant user write permission. This is done via SSH/Telnet:

$ chmod -R 0775 directory(ies)
  - OR -
$ chmod -R g+w directory(ies)

Note: Some FTP clients also allow you to modify file/directory permissions. For more information on this, please see the IC Tech. Ref. Document: Understanding File Permissions

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