All About Using File Manager
The File Manager allows you to manage your site through HTML, rather than an FTP tool or other third-party application. You can upload, create or delete files, organize files in folders, and change file permissions. While not as sophisticated as most FTP tools, File Manager is free and gives you all the basic functionality necessary to manage your site.
To Open and Navigate in File Manager:
- Click on the File Manager button on the cPanel home page.
- Navigate by using the following:
- Open a folder by clicking on the folder icon.
- Go up a level by clicking on the Up one level link.
- Use the path links at the top of the window to move up and down the path.
- Select a folder, so as to view or modify its properties, by clicking on the folder name link.
Folders are a very useful way of adding organization and structure to your web site. They make maintenance of the site much easier, as you can easily see what files are in which folder. Most web sites include at least an /image folder to keep all the image files separate from the HTML files.
To create a new folder:
- Navigate to the area in which you will create the new folder.
- Click on the Create New Folder link.
- Enter the name of the new folder in the available field in the top-left corner of the window.
- Click on the Create button. The new folder will appear in the main display area.
You can use File Manager to upload files to your web site, up to 12 files in one go. Although useful, a third-party FTP client has many more features and does not limit you to the number of files you can upload at one time. Refer to the FTP Manager section for more information.
To upload files:
- Navigate to the folder where you want to upload your files.
- Click on the Upload file(s) link.
- Click on the Browse... button next to one of the top fields.
- Search for and double-click on the first file to upload.
- Repeat the above steps for each file you want to upload.
- Click on the Overwrite existing files tick box if you want to overwrite existing files of the same name.
- Click on the Upload button when you have finished selecting files. The status of the upload will appear in the top-right corner of your window. The contents of the folder is displayed in the main area, including your uploaded files.
For small text files it can be easier to create them online, rather than on your home computer and uploading the file. You can create text files, such as HTML, PHP, or plain TXT, but not binary files.
To create a new file:
- Navigate to the folder where you want to create your text file.
- Click on the Create New File link.
- Enter the name of the file to be created in the available field in the top-right corner of your window. You do need to add the file extension to the name, for example script.pl for a Perl script, not just script.
- Select the type of document from the drop-down list. Each type of file adds specific information to the text file:
- Text Document - No text is added to the file.
- HTML Document - No text is added to the file.
- Perl Script - Automatically adds the path to Perl to the top of the file. Make sure to double-check that the path is correct.
- Shell Script - Automatically adds the path to the Shell executable to the top of the file. Make sure to double-check that the path is correct.
Editing a preexisting file through File Manager allows you to make immediate changes to your web site, without having to upload a new version of the file. This is useful for small changes, but would be inefficient for large alterations.
To edit a file:
- Navigate to the folder where the file is located.
- Click on the name of the file.
- Click on the Edit File link in the top-right corner of your window. This
will open a new window with the contents of the file displayed.
Note: Clicking on the Show File link will display the contents of the file. However, you will not be able to make any changes to the file.
- Alter the text of the file as you wish.
- Click on the Save button when you have finished altering the file. The file has been saved and any changes will take effect from now on.
You can quickly rename a file or folder if you originally labeled a file or folder with the wrong name, or if the name needs to be updated. This is useful if a small number of files need to be changed, since you do not need to upload any files for the changes to take effect, but inefficient if you needed to rename your entire site.
To rename a file or folder:
- Navigate to the folder where the file is located.
- Click on the Rename File link in the top-right corner of your window.
- Enter the new name for the file or folder in the text field. You need to enter an extension if it is a file, such as .html for HTML files.
- Click on the Rename button. The file name has now been changed and the display updated to show the modified file
All files on UNIX (including Linux and other UNIX variants) machines have access permissions. These tell the operating system how to deal with requests to access these files. There are three types of access:
- Read - Denoted as r, files with read access can be displayed to the user.
- Write - Denoted as w, files with write access can be modified by the user.
- Execute - Denoted as x, files with execute access can be executed as programs by the user.
Access types are set for three types of user groups:
- User - The owner of the file.
- Group - Other files which are in the same folder or group.
- World - Everyone else.
The web server needs to be able to read your web pages in order to be able to display them in a browser. The following permissions need to be set in order for your web site to function properly.
- All HTML files and images need to be readable by others. The setting for this is 644 (readable by User, Group, and World, and writable by User), and is set automatically when you upload files.
- All folders need to be executable by others. The setting for this is 755 (readable by User, Group, and World, writable by User, executable by User, Group, and World), and is set automatically when you create a folder.
- All CGI files (all files in the cgi-bin folder) need to be executable by other. The setting for this is 755 (readable by User, Group, and World, writable by User, executable by User, Group, and World), and is not set automatically when you upload files. You need to change file permissions manually.
Warning: It is important that none of your files or folders are writable by anyone else. Any file or folder which is writable by others can be erased by them. Generally there is no problem, just be careful how you set your permissions.
To change file or folder permissions:
- Navigate to the file or folder that you need to change.
- Click on the name of the file or folder.
- Click on the Change Permissions link in the top-right corner of the window.
- Click on as many tick boxes as you require to create the right permission. The permission numbers underneath the tick boxes will update automatically.
- Click on the Change button when you have finished setting the permission. The new permission level has now been saved and the display updated to show the modified file.
cPanel includes a Trash folder, which operates the same way as the Windows Recycle Bin. All deleted files are automatically placed in the Trash folder and can be restored to their original positions by a simple click. However, once you empty the Trash folder, the files are permanently deleted. Refer to Emptying the Trash for more information.
To delete a file or folder:
- Navigate to the file(s) or folder(s) that you want to delete.
- Click on the name of the file or folder to display the item's properties in the top-right corner of your window.
- Click on the Delete File link. The deleted file or folder is now displayed in the Trash area. Refer to Restoring an item from the Trash if you deleted the wrong file or folder by accident.
You can easily restore a deleted file from the Trash by moving it from the Trash to another folder. Restored folders are automatically moved back to their original location. However, you will not be able to restore the item if you have emptied the Trash since deleting it - it has been permanently destroyed.
To restore an item from the Trash:
- Click on the icon of the item that you want to restore in the Trash area on the bottom-right of the window. The folder or file will be automatically returned to its original location.
Warning: Make sure you do not need any of the files or folders in the Trash before you empty it, because the files are deleted permanently once the Trash is emptied.
To empty the Trash:
- Click on the Trash button in the Trash area. All of the files in the Trash have now been permanently deleted.
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