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I have end users who are allergic to the command line, and they want some way to create, edit, delete and move their files much as they do with Plesk desktop. Is there a way to give them a way to edit files without logging in and using the command line and vi?

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

If on Windows client, I would also second the WinSCP option as it is really easy to setup. Sometimes that extra step of copying files using another application is too much for users. If you want something with a more native feel, you can share the linux filesystem out with WebDAV and then you can mount the DAV share from a Windows box as a drive letter.

2 caveats: 1-You lose individual permissions, because everything through WebDAV will get written as the web server. You can still require individual logins to get access to it, but all the files will be owned by the webserver. 2-If you are working with PHP files (or something else the web server knows something special about) it is challenging, because when you download a PHP file, the webserver still processes it and all you get is the rendered HTML page, not the source.

It is possible to share it out with NFS and mount the NFS share from windows. I am not familiar with that process though, and last I knew it required additional software installs on the Windows box.

Edit: It looks like with the default Windows DAV offering, it shows up as a "network place", not a drive letter. So it is still native windows look-n-feel, but it would be like clicking "My Documents" instead of "c:\Documents and Setting\Blahblahblah"

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If Linux clients, then if they are using something like ubuntu they can use there built-in file manager, nautilus, to browse remote server just like their local workstations. Just type in: s into the address bar. Or use 'Connect to server' from the menu.

You could also probably put together ssh keys + fuse/sshfs + automount to create something similar to network drives for them, but never combined all of those myself.

If windows, I second Mikey's WinSCP recommendation.

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likewise, if Linux, I second nautilus and Kyle's recommendation :) – MikeyB Oct 14 '09 at 13:36

Presumably they're on Windows clients?

FTP may be an option for you. Usually users can live with viewing their files via iexplore.

If you want more security, WinSCP is a nice SCP client that our users use to manage their files. (We have a similar arrangement)

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I use WinSCP, and I am not even allergic to the command line and vi! – Dave Drager Oct 14 '09 at 13:46
FTP is ancient and not very secure. I'd prefer CIFS drive sharing with Samba - or scp of course. – reinierpost Oct 14 '09 at 14:15
I mention FTP & SCP because usually when this question is asked, it's for users over the Internet or a remote network where CIFS doesn't make sense. I'm quite confident that ptomblin already knows about CIFS. :) – MikeyB Oct 14 '09 at 15:56

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