All of our VPS Hosting, Dedicated Servers and Shared Hosting allow standard SSH access. By default, the ssh access you have is for your specific cPanel account. For example, if your cPanel username is userna5, when you log in via SSH you will only have access to edit files under the userna5 user and not for anyone else.

What is Root Access?

If you're familiar with managing a Windows server, you know then that the Administrator can edit any files on the server and perform any tasks they need to. Linux has a similar administrative account, but it is named "root" instead of "administrator".

The Root user on the server can do much more than the standard user. The root user can perform various tasks that other users cannot, such as:

  • Install server wide applications
  • Configure server wide applications, such as Apache or MySQL
  • Edit any file on the server

Root access is not given by default on VPS or Dedicated Hosting Accounts. Because the root user can do anything they want, the level of support we can offer varies slightly for accounts that have root access. Because of this, we require users to accept our Root Access Disclosure before we allow root access to their servers.

Requesting Root Access

To review our Root Access Disclosure or to request Root Access:

  1. Log into AMP
  2. Under your account name, click the Request Root Access button.
  3. Click Request Root Access under the Add Additional Services menu.
  4. Read the root access disclosure agreement, and click the provided link to proceed.
  5. Enter your preferred nameservers, and click the SUBMIT button.

    You will then see a message stating “Root Password Request Submitted.” Our team will process this request as quickly as possible. You will receive a notice with the IP's of your nameservers, and at that time you will be able to complete creation of your nameservers and proceed to full root access.

Get a VPS Hosting Solution

If you are currently on a shared hosting account and are considering upgrading to a VPS, then read here to see what makes a good vps. For more information on this course please visit An Introduction to Web Hosting

Continued Education in Course 101: An Introduction to Web Hosting
You are viewing Section 5: Standard SSH Access vs. Root SSH Access
Section 4: cPanel vs. WHM ( Web Host Manager )
Did you find this article helpful?

We value your feedback!

Why was this article not helpful? (Check all that apply)
The article is too difficult or too technical to follow.
There is a step or detail missing from the instructions.
The information is incorrect or out-of-date.
It does not resolve the question/problem I have.
How did you find this article?
Please tell us how we can improve this article:
Email Address

new! - Enter your name and email address above and we will post your feedback in the comments on this page!

Related Questions

Here are a few questions related to this article that our customers have asked:
Ooops! It looks like there are no questions about this page.
Would you like to ask a question about this page? If so, click the button below!
Ask a Question
n/a Points
2014-03-09 6:01 am

Issusing the root password with your standard cPanel username won't work, as that user isn't given root privileges when you request root access.You need to ssh with the user root, and the root password.I didn't receive and email from InMotion after requesting root, so I am not sure if this information is also located there.

9,162 Points
2014-03-10 10:53 am
That is indeed correct. You will need to log in using root and not the cPanel username.
n/a Points
2014-05-02 3:08 am

Is there any way to cancel root access request after submitting the step 5 (by mistake).If yes than please let me know??

9,162 Points
2014-05-02 7:45 am
In some cases, you may cancel your request by submitting a verified ticket to our Technical Support department requesting the change.
n/a Points
2014-05-16 5:03 am

I have requested root access, now I have root access but I don't have a password to ssh as a root. Where can I find the root password?

9,162 Points
2014-05-16 7:50 am
The root password would have been sent to you after your request has been approved by our systems administration team. If you did not receive this email, you may contact technical support and they will be happy to re-send the email or reset your root password.
n/a Points
2014-06-27 9:32 pm

Within the last month I have received different answers from support on the issue of name servers for root access. The last two clients that we requested root access for did not need to change name servers. Level one tech support had to check with level two to confirm this. What, exactly, is the policy, and what is the purpose for having different name servers if a client has been granted root access?

9,968 Points
2014-06-27 9:53 pm
Hello Craig,

Thanks for your comment, and I apologize for the confusion.

We did use to have a policy as stated in this guide among others, that when taking root access on a server custom name servers did have to be setup for the client.

The reason for this had to do with name server clustering, and basically if someone had root access without running custom name servers they could potentially modify other client's DNS zones due to the zone clustering infrastructure of our public name servers.

A few months back we rolled out a completely new clustering system developed by one of our senior system administrators that allowed servers to still be clustered to our public name servers, but also setup a keying system so they could only modify the DNS zones belonging to that individual client even with root access.

It looks like we've got some article updating to do, because I see that the old messages indicating they have to have custom name servers setup still persists throughout our Support Center.

Thanks for letting us know! I'll go ahead and start clearing those up tonight starting with this article.

- Jacob
n/a Points
2014-09-09 3:52 am

Hi I Had a Issue With How to Login with Root ...I Dont Know Where I Need To Access My Servers Thanks

19,557 Points
2014-09-09 8:21 am
Hello Vishnu,

To access the Web Host Manager (WHM) interface, you simply use any domain name on that server followed by '/whm', for example: When the login box appears, use 'root' as the username along with your password and you will be in!

Kindest Regards,
Scott M
n/a Points
2014-10-26 7:30 pm


this article was useful for me and I have used it on my personal website

Thank you

Post a Comment

Email Address:
Phone Number:

Please note: Your name and comment will be displayed, but we will not show your email address.

11 Questions & Comments

Post a comment

Back to first comment | top

Need more Help?


Ask the Community!

Get help with your questions from our community of like-minded hosting users and InMotion Hosting Staff.

Current Customers

Chat: Click to Chat Now E-mail:
Call: 888-321-HOST (4678) Ticket: Submit a Support Ticket

Not a Customer?

Get web hosting from a company that is here to help. Sign up today!