Creating a user with Shell (SSH) access


A user assigned to your website is the username you use to log into your server using an FTP program or a terminal application. This user can be created as either an SFTP or SSH user. The difference is that only a Shell user can run Unix commands on the server from a terminal. DreamHost provides shell access to all of its customers, but it needs to be specifically enabled for each user you add to your account.

This article explains how to create a new user with SFTP or Shell access and how to modify an existing user in order to grant or remove SFTP or Shell access.

Creating a new user with shell access

To add a new website user with shell access:

  1. Navigate to SFTP Users & Files page in your panel.
  2. On the top right, click the Create User button.
    A popout appears.
  3. Enter the following:
    • Username — A username for the new user.
    • Server — Click the down arrow and select the server on which the user will have access.
    • Password (Generate strong password) — Enter a password or click the button to have the panel create a strong password for you.
    • Secure Shell Access (SSH) — Use the toggle button to enable Secure Shell/SSH (toggle right). When enabled, the toggle button turns blue.
    • Shell Type — When Secure shell access is enabled, the Select the Shell Type drop-down box appears. You can select bash, tcsh, ksh, or zsh. See Shell users for more information about the various Shell types you can use.
  4. When finished, click the Create User button.

The panel then displays a status update as the user is created.

Editing an existing user to become a SHELL user

If you have already created several website users, you can use the following article instructions to filter them by their type (SFTP or Shell). This helps to quickly identify the SFTP user you'd like to change into a Shell user:

To edit an existing user:

  1. Navigate to SFTP Users & Files page in your panel.
  2. Select a user and click the Login info button.
    The panel shows you if your user is an SFTP user.
  3. To the right of Secure Shell Access (SSH), enable the toggle.
    The panel beings to update permissions for this user. When finished, a green checkmark displays.
  4. Click the Login info button again to the right of the user.
    SSH user updated
    The following changes display:
    • File Access — Changes to SFTP/SSH.
    • Secure Shell Access (SSH) — The toggle turns blue when enabled.
    • Shell Type — Select a Shell type from the drop-down list that you wish to use.

Can I create a Shell user on my server via SSH?

No. All users must be created in the DreamHost panel. It's not possible to add a Shell user on the server after logging in via SSH.

Connecting to your server

See also

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