User accounts

A user account is required in order to provide access to the file server. At its most basic level, a user account defines login credentials (that is, login ID and password), a home directory, and a set of directory access rules that define the areas of the system that are accessible to the user, and the actions the user can perform in those locations. Each active session on the file server has a user account associated with it that identifies the client to the administrator.

User accounts can be defined in various ways on the Serv-U File Server, including the following:

Domain users

Defined at the domain level, domain users can only log in to the domain under which they are created.

Global users

Defined at the server level, global users can log in to any domain on the file server.

Database users

Available at both the server and domain level, database users are stored in an external database accessible through ODBC and supplement the local account database.

Windows users

Defined at the domain level, Windows users use the credentials and often, the home directories, of Windows accounts from the local machine or Windows domain controller (including Active Directory). Windows users only work on Windows, and require a Serv-U MFT Server license.

LDAP users

Defined at the domain level, LDAP users use the credentials and often, the email and other attributes, of LDAP accounts from a remote LDAP server. Unlike Windows users, LDAP users work on both Windows and Linux, and may access LDAP servers, including Active Directory and OpenLDAP, in any accessible domain. LDAP users require a Serv-U MFT Server license.

Because user accounts can be assigned at the various levels with the same login ID, a hierarchy is used by Serv-U to determine which account takes precedence. The user account types listed previously are listed in the order of precedence. Where user accounts can be specified at both the domain and server levels, the domain level account always takes precedence over the server one.

When you create users, consider what kind of access they need, and select the appropriate location for the user account accordingly. You can save time and effort by entering such settings at the server level to remove the need for multiple user accounts at the domain level.

In Serv-U MFT Server, you can organize user accounts into collections to make account management more logical and organized. This can be useful when you manage all users from a department or physical location. For example, you can place all users in the accounting department in a collection named Accounting, or place all users at an office in Topeka in a collection named Topeka Users.

To create a collection, click Add in the Select user collection area in the users window. In the new window, type the name of your collection, and then click Save. You can add users to this new collection by selecting them and clicking Add below the user list. To move a user from one collection to another, click Move below the user list, and then select the destination collection for the highlighted user accounts. You can also rename or delete collections by using the appropriate button.

When deleting a collection, all user accounts contained in that collection are deleted, too. If you want to keep the user accounts, make sure you move them before deleting the collection.

By default, all users are created in the General user collection.

New User Wizard

Click Wizard on the Users page to open the New User Wizard. The New User Wizard walks you through the four steps required to create a user account with the minimum number of required attributes. After it is created, you can edit the user account to configure more advanced settings, such as group membership or additional directory access rules. For more information about using the New User Wizard, see the Installing and upgrading the Serv-U File Server.

User Template

While the New User Wizard provides a way to quickly create a user account with the minimum number of required attributes, most File Server administrators have a collection of settings that they want all user accounts to abide by. Groups are the best way to accomplish this task, however, there are times when it may not be the course of action you want.

Serv-U allows an administrator to configure a template for new user accounts by clicking Template. You can configure the template user just like any other user account, with the exception of a login ID. After these settings are saved to the template, all new user accounts that are manually created are done so with their default settings set to those found within the template.

By using user templates, you can add users to a specific default group. If you set up the user template as a member of the group you want all users to be a member of. This way, when new users are created, they will automatically be added to the particular group which is specified in the user template.

Copy user accounts

User templates offer a way for large numbers of users to be created with the same settings. In cases where only the settings of a single user must be duplicated or there is a need for multiple user templates, use Copy to create a copy of a user account that only lacks the user name and the password. To copy a user, select the user account, and then choose Copy.

Recovering passwords

Serv-U supports password recovery both through the Management Console and through the Web Client. For password recovery to be available, you must configure the SMTP options for the server or domain, and the user account must have an email address listed. To use password recovery from the Management Console, select a user account, and then click Recover Password. If the password is stored using one-way encryption, the password will be reset and the new password will be sent to the user's email address. If the password is stored using two-way encryption or no encryption, the original password will be sent by email.

Password Recovery from the Web Client requires that the Allow users to recover password limit be enabled for the user account. Once this option is enabled, users can use the Recover Password option in the Web Client. Password Recovery from the Web Client otherwise works the same as from the Management Console.

Importing and exporting user accounts

User accounts can be imported and exported using the Import and Export options. Click Export to export all users in either the current domain or server, or the current Collection to a comma-separated values file (CSV file), which can be viewed in Excel and analyzed by database engines, among other things. Additionally, by creating a CSV file using the same format as the export it is possible to import lists of users from CSV files into Serv-U.

Filtering user and group ID lists

In larger deployments of Serv-U, the user list can grow very large. In order to easily find a specific user account, you can filter user and group lists by login ID using input from the administrator. The following wildcards are also supported:
  • Use the "*" parameter to filter for Users or Group login IDs when the whole ID is unknown (for example, *Department, *Admin*, Tech*).
  • Use the "?" parameter when a specific character is unknown (for example, ????Lastname, Firstname???).
  • Use the "[]" parameter when a specific character is unknown but should contain one of the specified characters in the brackets (for example, [utr]sername, User[fmn]ame).