I have seen tutorials and read on how to connect to my website using the shell and basically getting a SSH access to it. But the problem is, SSH access is disabled for my account and I can't get it enabled (extra $).

How do I connect to my website hosting server without SSH? I need to do this because I want to be able to install software on my server. So how do I do that without SSH?

5 Answers 5


If SSH is turned off then you are probably using shared hosting. This means you can't install software on your server. If you want custom software on your server you either need to find a host that already supports it or get a dedicate server or VPS.

If you already have a dedicated server or VPS then you need to have them turn SSH on for you as there is no reason for it to be turned off. If they won't turn it on then you need to find a new host.


Have you tried FTP/SFTP? SSH may be disabled, but if you had FTP, you can create directories and upload files. This could be labor intensive, but I've worked with software that did this. It had you upload (via FTP/SFTP) a CGI program. You then accessed this program via the browser. When you did that, the program initiated an installation. I thought it was clever at the time, but I remember fighting lots of permission issues with this. Good luck!

  • This wouldn't install anything, only add or remove things.
    – dkuntz2
    Commented Apr 22, 2011 at 1:53
  • I agree, but the software I was thinking of had you upload a CGI program, which you then accessed via the browser. Hitting this CGI program caused an installation. I thought it was crafty at the time!
    – rickumali
    Commented Apr 22, 2011 at 11:04
  • (if you edit your answer to include what you just said, I'll up vote it)
    – dkuntz2
    Commented Apr 23, 2011 at 4:40
  • That's fair, I appreciate it!
    – rickumali
    Commented Apr 23, 2011 at 17:29

You could attempt to use the exec() function in php, which will attempt to run the action inside the exec function. It would take a lot longer than SSH, and it might not work (hosts can disable it), but it's an option.


try ajaxterm or C99 shell (make sure the latter one is not backdoored thou)

  • oh. installing software. sorry, misread. you might still be able to succeed with ftp upload and ajaxterm as commandline, if all else fails.
    – kuhkatz
    Commented Apr 22, 2011 at 6:37

You could check to see if telnet works. It's insecure, which is why no one should use it, but if that's all ya' got ... and that's what we all used back in the day.

I'd show you how to try it but it's been so long I don't remember how but first, just type telnet in a terminal on your computer to see if you have it installed on your computer.

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