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I have a small project for a client and there are some requirement that initially pointed me toward using a VPS.

However, after reading a bit more online, I saw I could work out with shared hosting and that VPS would require lot of undesired maintenance.

Basically, the part that bugs me is that I need to be able to fetch a zip file on a remote ftp server, open it, parse .txt files and feed them to a (mysql) database. On a daily basis and at specific hours.

Would that be possible with limited shell access from a shared hosting provider?
(Less management is way better for my client too!)

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closed as not constructive by Lucas Kauffman, Tom O'Connor, Tim Brigham, jscott, Jacob Mar 15 '12 at 20:14

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Depends on the hosting provider. – Lucas Kauffman Mar 15 '12 at 18:30
up vote 2 down vote accepted

Most shared hosting providers don't allow shell access. But if they do, they usually put each customer inside a chroot environment. You then should have access to wget and some other common tools.

In this case, I highly recommend to contact your favourite shared hosting provider and send them the commands you want to use. They should be able to reply to your question.

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Depends on the hosting provider and what he allows. You should contact them and ask.

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A lot of shared hosts will give you regular "bash" ssh access instead of the usual "jail-shelled" access (default if included). Even with a jailed shell you should be able to do what you described. Stay away from a VPS unless you really want to get your hand dirty (or it's fully managed). You will get less support on VPS accounts due to their ability to be customized. I'm not going to tout the company I work for but we offer regular bash shells on shared accounts, so I know it's possible:-)

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