Login shell to access website files and perform linux commands

I have a website hosted at Global Internet Solutions on a linux machine running some flavor of Apache.  The only access to the files there that I am aware of is through FTP or the tool they provide, WebShell.  Is it typical with a commercial hosting company that there is no login shell that I can use to have access to linux commands, or have I overlooked some means of logging in.  I would ask them, but it is nearly impossible to reach anyone who has real technical knowledge there.
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TintinConnect With a Mentor Commented:
I have my websites hosted by bluehost.com and they provide ssh access.  I've found them to be very good since I've been using them.

Why do you need to login to the remote server? If you need that to update your scripts, then ftp is enough.

Most web hosting providers do not provide login shell to their clients. They provide FTP to upload / download files. Some may provide a control panel (through web) to do certain tasks.

Again, If you can till what particular need you have, then there could be an alternative.

elupinAuthor Commented:
I want to renew my SSL certificate, and I am supposed to execute some OpenSSL commands on the server to generate a request.  My website developer took care of that for me last year, but he is no longer in my employ.
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omarfaridConnect With a Mentor Commented:

You may request your hosting provider to do the commands on the server for your account.

ilkerduranConnect With a Mentor Commented:
hi, you can have a php shell script like here :   http://mgeisler.net/php-shell/
But as the user, that you will get access, will be a very unprivileged user(like apache or www), you cannot execute or rewrite most of the configuration files.
But you can have a try and see which level the security of your hosting firm is?
Gabriel OrozcoConnect With a Mentor Solution ArchitectCommented:

you need to create the new certificate, have it signed by an authority, and then you can upload to your hosting using ssl.

complete steps are here
and much more help about terms and processes is here:

you can however ask your provider to help you, or ask for help to the authority that will sign your certificate (you do not need your certificate signed by an external authority. you can sign your certificate becoming your own authority, but I bet your users will not look at it with good eyes)

hope that helps
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