On the latest Webarchitects shared hosting servers you can request SSH access if you have uploaded your public ssh key(s), see SFTP#SSH_Keys — we only allow SSH key based authentication.
The main advantage of this is for people who want to manage their WordPress, Drupal or MediaWiki sites using the commands line interfaces for updating etc, see the respective pages for these content management systems for more information about their command line interfaces.
If you don't know what a command line interface is then you don't want SSH access.
When we grant SSH access we also revoke SFTP and SSHFS access (but you can use SCP and
rsync over SSH so this shouldn't be a problem).
The environment you have access to via SSH is not the environment in which Apache and MySQL are running (you SSH into a chroot which has your home directory mounted in it), however you can use the
mysql command line client and
If there are any tools you need and which are not installed please ask for them to be installed (for example if you need an editor other than Vim!).
Please note that your home directory is owned
root and in the group
root, this is because the sub-directory
~/logs has to be owned by
root as Apache runs as
root and if it is unable to write log files Apache won't start — if home was owned by the user account then users would have permission to move
~/logs (even when it is
root:root) and thus break Apache for all users on the server… if you need any additional sub-directories in
$HOME creating and chowning please ask us to do this for you.