Accessing WebDAV overview


WebDAV is essentially a collaborative way for users to edit and manage files on a remote web server. From WebDAV on Wikipedia:

Web Distributed Authoring and Versioning (WebDAV) is an extension of the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) that allows clients to perform remote Web content authoring operations.

This guide describes the required steps to connect to a WebDAV directory.

The DreamHost panel allows you to specify which users have access to a WebDAV-enabled directory. However, by default, each user has full access to all files in the entire directory. This may not be an issue with a very simple WebDAV directory, but as the WebDAV directory grows in users, certain problems may arise. For example:

  • There is no file-level security.
– Users can potentially overwrite edits by another user and even delete another user's file.
– Any files intended to be private are viewable by all users of the folder.
  • User management cannot be done automatically (e.g., no adding users via PHP scripts).

The best solution is to specify access levels (Access-Control-Lists) on a per-folder (or maybe even per-file) basis. As the user count grows, you can then manage the users and passwords list automatically using scripts.

This can be done by creating/editing an .htaccess file placed in every folder where you want to make an exception.

Login credentials

You must have the following three basic pieces of information in order to connect:

  1. The WebDAV site URL – This is the URL you will be connecting to. This information can be obtained in the web panel under Htaccess/WebDAV.
    • The DreamHost control panel requires WebDAV to be set up on a real subfolder of the root of a domain (not in the root of a domain). This can be worked around via manual configuration.
  2. The WebDAV account username and password.
  3. A nickname for the connection/shortcut – This is to remind you of the site you are connecting to.

Alternative WebDAV client software

You can use alternative clients which have additional features including:

  • local caching – to avoid round trips to the server, which may be slow for you or expensive for the server
  • offline access – for work while you are disconnected
  • versioning – custom permissions, or other features your WebDAV server may offer only through a more advanced client

Alternate (and sometimes non-free) clients include:

See also

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