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Virtual Paths - Allowing Users to See Multiple Drives in Serv-U  -  KB Article #1048

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Accessing resources outside a user's home directory can be difficult on an FTP server. By default it requires a user know a significant amount about the directory structure of the server, and an administrator may not wish to add that level of complexity. Serv-U allows the configuration of Virtual Paths, which point to the actual directory paths.

You can configure Virtual Paths both in Windows and Linux environments.

Configuring Virtual Paths In Serv-U

Serv-U 7.0+ allows Virtual Paths to be configured for individual users, groups, domains, or the whole server. For example, if there is a Virtual Path all users in a group should have access to, configure it for the group in group Properties. If all users on a whole domain should have access to the Virtual Path, configure it at the domain level, and so on. To configure Virtual Paths in Serv-U, follow the steps below:

  • Navigate to the level at which the Virtual Path should be applied. For a single user, navigate to Users | User Properties (by editing a user account) | Virtual Paths. For a group, navigate to Group | Group Properties (by editing a group) | Virtual Paths. For a domain, navigate to Directories | Virtual Paths. For a server, navigate to Global Directories | Virtual Paths. In this example, we will create a Virtual Path at the domain level.
  • Select Add to add a Virtual Path
  • Select the Physical Path and Virtual paths that should be used. For example, the Physical Path might be C:\Downloads (a shared repository of downloaded files) and the Virtual Path might be %HOME%\Downloads, which would place a directory called "Downloads" in the home directory of each user account on the domain.
  • Select Save

Virtual Path Configuration, Step 1

In order for users to be able to access this Virtual Path, they must have access to the Physical Path. Since this Virtual Path should exist for all users, a Directory Access rule granting access to C:\Downloads should be created in the Directories | Directory Access menu. This completes the configuration.

Virtual Path Configuration

Network Permissions Issues

A common problem with setting up Serv-U on a NT, 2000, XP or 2003 system is Serv-U's system service runs under the LocalSystem account by default. This account does not have access to any network resources. If Serv-U requires access to network resources, there are two options:

  1. Configure the Serv-U service to login as a user who has access to the required network resources rather than the LocalSystem account, which exists locally only and does not have access to netwok resources. To change the user account used to run Serv-U, go to the Windows Control Panel | Administrative Tools | Services menu. Edit the Serv-U File Server service and open the "Run as" tab. Please contact your network administrator if you need to know which accounts will grant this access. NOTE: Accounts used to run the Serv-U File Server must be granted the "Log on as a service" privilege in Windows.
  2. The simpler option is to disable Serv-U running as a service. Under Local Server in the Serv-U Administrator, uncheck Start automatically (system service).

There is another potential issue to consider when configuring Serv-U to run as a system service. System services cannot recognize mapped network drives by letter. Any network location specified must be placed in UNC format (\\server\share).

NOTE: When testing Serv-U we recommend using FTP Voyager because of its logging capabilities and our ability to support both Serv-U and FTP Voyager.