Email FTP Separation

Discussion in 'Installation/Configuration' started by t-mug, Sep 3, 2007.

  1. t-mug

    t-mug New Member


    My very present problem is: a customer wants a webdesign company to handle his hompage and thats why he's about to to give them ftp access by giving his email username and password away. How can my customer prevent the company reading his email as well? (I know, he can't.)

    My first idea to solve this was to generate another (combined :mad: ) email-ftp account for this. But this kind of ftp links not to the main web directory of my customer but to the subdir web of the new company account. To change the companys webdir into a soft link to the main web dir - my last stupid idea - didn't work, because it links out of ftp root.
    To soft-link otherwise to the companys subdir from the main web dir is not to recommend I feel - because if the customer has the idea to delete the ftp access (access of this company no longer required, work is done) he's going to loose his brand new hompage as well.

    Is there a simple work around I don't see? Thanks.
  2. jmroth

    jmroth ISPConfig Developer ISPConfig Developer

    Just create a new account and make it the "Administrator".
    Your client probably doesn't need to be administrator because he probably has shell access anyhow, does he?
    The "Administrator" of the web cannot read other users' mail.
  3. t-mug

    t-mug New Member

    3rd Party admin


    do you suggest setting a 3rd party company as the administrator of the web at all? I'd say, I hesitate to do that :)

    Unfortunately I'm not familiar with proftpd - but (while the customer cannot obviously) where in the config files can I set up a separate ftp account, which will be not be overwritten by the next ISPconfig run? Do you know that?

    I suppose the little advantage "hackig beyond ISPconfig" could be, that the ftp root path set by hand could be
    and this could circumvent the issue.

    But I'm really really not happy with hacks like this ... it's like not using ISP managment software.
  4. jmroth

    jmroth ISPConfig Developer ISPConfig Developer

    I perfectly understand your issues.

    However, being the "administrator of the web" in ISPconfig just means being able to manage the web sites (main and user webs). I guess that is what you wanted. Beyond that, the "administrator" has no further rights. That is why I put the word administrator between inverted commas here all the time:
    - They can not read, delete or edit any other user files (that have no group permissions set)
    - Therefore, they also can not read other user's mail.
    - They can not create or delete accounts.
    - They are just a normal user except that their home is not in /home/webX/user/webX_user but directly in /home/webX/
    (So maybe one should rename this feature from "administrator" to "webmaster" or something.)

    To set up custom accounts, changing proftpd configuration will not help. You would have to change passwd/shadow files. But I do not think you can do that without modifying ISPconfig templates or so. But as I am trying to make your understand, there is no need to.
  5. t-mug

    t-mug New Member


    Thank you for your patience and explanation.

    I understand a small piece more now, I hope. Well, I was a bit confused about administrators - so the customers ISPconfig admin account and the web administrator are two guys with different rights :confused:

    The customer has to uncheck his web admin role and to activate the web admin checkbox on the temporary personnels new user-account (with unwanted email and ssh, if it is enabled for the web, right?). The new webmaster is ftp-linked to old web admins root then. Doing this, the customer looses the same time his ftp access on logs, cgi-bin and all the other stuff, because he will be linked by ftp to his user/web???_admin dir, right? He has then later to revert checkbox clicking to restore old relationships. Am I right? This seems to me - especially from the customers point of view - wheter very self-explanatory nor convenient. Even these customers who have to please for help from others, have to reconstruct such a concept...
    Not all roads lead to Rome, but one is enough for now. Thank you, jmroth.
  6. jmroth

    jmroth ISPConfig Developer ISPConfig Developer

    Yes. The ISPconfig account of the customer is only inside ISpconfig for administering stuff. It is defined in the customer in the screen "Login Data".

    The "Administrator" of a domain is what we are talking about all the time, and is an actual user account in the system, which has nothing directly to do with ISPconfig.


    Unfortunately, yes.

    Whoever is the "webmaster" or "administrator" (you know what I mean ;) ) has their home (see second to last field in /etc/passwd) directly in /home/www/webX/ and not in /home/www/webX/users/webX_user. (That is what you call "ftp-link".) There is no "old" or "new" home for the web admin. The home directory is always /home/www/webX/, it is just the owner that changes. Additionally, technical things like the Maildir etc. are symlinked correctly to /home/www/webX/user/webX.

    He will no longer see the logs/cgi-bin of the main web as he is now restricted to /home/www/webX/user/webXuser/, yes.

    He can do so at any time, yes.

    Yeah, I agree, it might not be the most convenient way. There may be other ways to do this. However, once you understand how it works, you are welcome to make changes to it. Creativity is not forbidden ;)

    Oh and what you wrote before:
    You could of course do it that way, but before deleting the contractors account, copy the work over to the main directory...

    Anyway, you should try to understand this stuff before you install a control panel like ISPconfig and even put customers in it ;)
  7. t-mug

    t-mug New Member

    Yes, you're probably right. Though I always have preferred learning by doing... and trusting on conventions during that process of learning. Trusting on conventions (e.g. how software should work) is a rather important part not only of my life. I think that software needs to be as much as possible to be self-explanatory. Would you ever say: decompose your car and understand ists concept before driving it and taking people with you?
    Leave your customer allone with the ISPconfig GUI und he leaves you. Thats why ISPconfig is a love-hate of mine. You need to be a car mechanic. Look above: what are we discussing? A customer wants to give FTP access to a third party design company. That happens, right? What would you expect - if you're not a car mechanic? I would expect, for me is nothing to do. The customer trusts the company and gives his FTP login data to the company. Maybe after that he changes his password and well done so far! Never the hell would you expect that the design company can take the ftp login data and set up an email account in any email client software. Or have automatically secure shell access. But because this software is open source, everybody has the chance to know, that things within ISPconfig are handled this way. Except my poor customer. He's not interested in ISP software. He maybe gets his Email read by ISP software interested design company workers. You're right, I'm angry about that. You asked me:
    Yes, you're right.
  8. jmroth

    jmroth ISPConfig Developer ISPConfig Developer

    Even I ;) don't do that (although that could save you lots of money)
    I just meant that when you get a new car, or borrow a car from someone else, you first familiarize yourself with where all the controls are located and what they do etc. Especially before taking people (in this case paying customers) with you.
    But never mind, I guess you now know what's going on.

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