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Multiple unix users per cPanel account

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by jwatt, Nov 2, 2009.

  1. jwatt

    jwatt Registered

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    I've been looking for shared hosting in the UK with support for multiple ssh users, or more generally support for creating and managing new unix users and unix groups. Dreamhost provides this feature, and I've found it very useful when creating subdomains and wanting to give ssh access to different groups of people to different subdomains. However, during my inquiries to UK hosts I've noticed a common trend with cPanel hosts - they only ever provide one ssh user (if that). Is this an intrinsic limitation of cPanel, or a policy that they've taken? If it's an intrinsic limitation of cPanel, is there any chance this could be improved at some point to bring cPanel hosts up to par with Dreamhost in this regard?
     
  2. Spiral

    Spiral BANNED

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    SSH is extremely dangerous and most hosts (the smart ones ;) ) won't allow SSH at all and that accounts for most hosts actually.

    Now regarding your Cpanel question, yes you can setup SSH with Cpanel accounts and additionally add users too though like I said this would not be something that is "recommended" for security reasons and disabled by most hosts.

    If you have some particular application or unusual usage where you do actually require SSH access and moreover multiple users at that, you would be wrong to look for shared web hosting.

    You should instead look for a VPS account, Dedicated Server, or Cloud / Cloud VPS server and then you will be able to manage the entire server policy with root privileges and setup whatever SSH users you wish.
     
    #2 Spiral, Nov 2, 2009
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2009
  3. cPanelDon

    cPanelDon cPanel Quality Assurance Analyst
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    When creating a new cPanel account using the Web Host Manager (WHM) area of the control panel this will create a system user (e.g., "UNIX" or "SSH" user) and matching group of the same name. WHM is available to resellers and Administrators with "root" access to the system. At a minimum, you could access WHM with a reseller-type of web hosting plan, or, you could have higher privileges using root access with a VPS server or a full dedicated server.

    I recommend the following forums thread to help locate cPanel Partners offering the desired type of service:
    Services from cPanel Partners - cPanel Forums
     
  4. jwatt

    jwatt Registered

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    Spiral,

    I'm not a security researcher, but I think ssh is generally considered a pretty secure way to access a remote machine. I presume therefore that you consider it dangerous primarily because it gives the customer the ability to do things that they wouldn't otherwise be able to do. That extra power can be very effectively locked down though, and memory/CPU monitoring and automatic process killing etc. can be used (and be useful for general hosting anyway). So sure, precautions and preventative measures do need to be taken, and hosts (or the provider of the software they use...hint, hint) need to know what they're doing, but I think characterizing ssh access as necessarily "extremely" dangerous and not something for a "smart" shared hosting provider is overcooking it slightly. ;-)

    I also have to take issue with the idea that it would necessarily be wrong for me to look for shared hosting if I have particular applications or unusual usage where I require SSH access and multiple users. Surely the main measure should be whether my account's usage remains light and doesn't disrupt the other users on the machine?

    One of my reasons to want ssh access is because I want to run rsync - it's more reliable than FTP, it's quicker, and it uses less resources. Another is that I want to host small Mercurial and Git repositories with light usage on subdomains with "push" (commit) access for the users. I also want to host a domain where I and another person can collaborate on a redesign of a charity website (using rsync), but I don't want that other person to have access to my personal sites. I could go on with other examples of reasons I'm finding ssh access and the ability to create my own unix users and groups useful on my Dreamhost shared hosting account, but probably you get the idea. ;-)
     
  5. jwatt

    jwatt Registered

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    Donald,

    My account usage is too low for me to warrant paying for reseller hosting, so I'd prefer to stick with cheap shared hosting for now. Thanks for the link. I'll take a look at that.
     
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