Standard SSH Access vs. Root SSH Access

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:

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


    • Hello Alex,

      Thank you for your question regarding SSH access on your shared hosting account. Unfortunately, without the exact command you ran to establish the connection, it is difficult to determine why the connection was unsuccessful. It is possible that the SSH keys were not properly configured. Please ensure that you are following the instructions found here:

      If you continue to experience issues with this task I recommend contacting our 24/7 Technical Support team by emailing [email protected], calling 888.321.HOST(4678), or by starting a a session via your Account Management Panel.

      Best Regards,
      Alyssa K

      • Alyssa: I am in process of migrating approx. 25 websites to InMotion. In the past, I have always had root access to my server and don’t know any other- I have my root access password now- where is my login prompt to get into the server with full access and how do I make this my default access? Also, your specific directions call for all websites to be located inside the public_HTML directory yet a domain that I just purchased & set up live is accessible outside that directory?

      • You can log into SSH and Web Host Manager (WHM) with the root username. If you’re on a Cloud Server, the public-facing website will be in /var/www instead. How you log into root depends on your hosting plan.

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