Manage Shell Access for cPanel accounts within WHM

What is SSH (Secure Socket Shell)

SSH known as Secure Socket Shell, is a network protocol that provides administrators with a secure way to access a remote computer. SSH also refers to the suite of utilities that implement the protocol. Secure Shell provides strong authentication and secure encrypted data communications between two computers connecting over an insecure network such as the Internet.

SSH cPanel Accounts

Indeed Most cPanel clients accounts  will not need nor know how to utilize and use SSH,providing SSH access to cPanel account can be quite a security risk , this is why most of hosting providers disable the SSH access for cPanel user accounts.

How to Manage Shell Access through WHM

  1. Login to WHM as root account.
  2. Navigate Home »Account Functions »Manage Shell Access.
  3. From Manage Shell Access Page you can see the list of your cPanel accounts and their associated domain, there are three types of shell access:
    • Normal Shell : Select this option to grant the user access to the shell with no limitations.
    • Jailed Shell : Select this option to grant the user access to a jailed shell, which limits the user’s ability to run certain commands that could harm your server that host your cPanel/WHM.
    • Disabled Shell : Select this option to deny shell access to the user ,This is the better choice for best cPanel/WHM Server security.

    from the list you can choose for each account what shell access type you want to grant for the user,you can use Apply to all button under each ssh access type above the list to grant all the users in your list.

What is Jailed Shell

VirtFS (Jailed Shell) provides a jailed shell environment for a user connected to your server via SSH. Unlike a normal shell environment, a jailed shell environment prevents access to data outside of the user’s home directory, So “jailed shell” provides the illusion of an actual server environment complete with directories that would normally be accessible only to (root) administrators.

How Jailed Shell work

When a user login as a jailed shell environment via SSH for the first time, the system creates the /home/virtfs/ directory. This directory contains configuration files, utilities, and BIND mounts which create a virtual link between two locations on the file system. 

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