how to download server files on cpanel, ftp or ssh?


Feb 4, 2011
Is their a way to use File Manager on the server itself? i am trying to download my /home folder to my computer but i cannot do it through ssh and ftp cannot get to the file. Any suggestions why cpanel wont activate file manager for the server itself. It seems pretty necessary.


Quality Assurance Analyst
Staff member
Oct 2, 2010
somewhere over the rainbow
cPanel Access Level
Root Administrator
Hello Nicholai09,

Is there a reason you need to download the entire /home directory? You could simply enable backups in WHM > Backup > Configure Backup area in WHM, then set them to download to a remote FTP server. This would then make a backup of all accounts, including the /home/username directories.

Otherwise, if you truly need just the /home directory, you could tar it up and move it to an account to download via FTP:

tar -pczf /home/user/homedirectory.tar.gz /home/
Here replace user with the cPanel username and this will compress the directory into that user's directory. You may also need to change the ownership to that user to download it:

chown user:user /home/user/homedirectory.tar.gz
Of note, you will need to have sufficient space to create this archive file. If you do not, it will fail during packaging to create.

Finally, File Manager cannot have /home as an available option as it would be a root level account to do that, which isn't provided for cPanel access (root user only has WHM access rather than a direct cPanel account). Additionally, allowing /home or any other root level partition (one that only root or a sudo user can access) would be a huge security risk for FTP access.



Active Member
Mar 26, 2010

You can use a hook for that.
ScriptHooks < AllDocumentation < TWiki


I would put a script to use rsync to copy the backups via ssh.
That way you have local backups in case you need to roll back quick but you also have off site backups in case of "Oh ****" situations.