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Getting a Dragonfire Account

Getting an account with Dragonfire for World Wide Web or FTP access is a fairly straightforward process:

  1. Read the rules for accounts (terms of service), if you haven't already done so.
  2. Determine what type of account you want.
  3. Select a username, password, and account name.
  4. Select the types of access to allow to your account.
  5. Optionally, decide on directory names.
  6. Send the account request.

Username, password, and account name

You need to select a username, which must be no more than eight characters long, and a password, which you will use to log in via FTP to transfer files to and from your account. (See Dragonfire's guidelines for picking a good password.)

You can also, if you like, select an account name which may be of any length. Suppose, for example, you wanted to be known as "TheWizard". That's longer than eight characters, so it would not be a valid username. What you could do, however, would be to request a username of "wizard" and an account name of "TheWizard". Then everyone who accessed your pages would do so through the URL; only you would know that your actual username was "wizard".

If you do not choose a specific account name, your account name will be the same as your username.

Important notes:

Selecting the types of access to your account

While World Wide Web and anonymous FTP upload/download access are available for all Dragonfire accounts, you may find it preferable to limit the types of access to your account. For example, if you do not expect anyone to be sending files to you via anonymous FTP, you might want to choose not to allow anonymous FTP uploads, which will prevent other Internet users from using up your disk quota with their files. If you don't plan to serve anonymous FTP files at all, then selecting no anonymous FTP access will free up more space for your HTML files. Or if you plan on using your site for anonymous FTP exclusively, you can select no web access.

To select the types of access you want to allow to your account, circle the appropriate "yes" or "no" next to each type on the form. You can, of course, change your selection at any time, by sending E-mail to with your username, password, and a description of the desired change.

Selecting directories

Your home directory. When you get an account, you will have a directory called your "home directory." This is the top directory of your account; all your files will be placed in this directory or in sub-directories you create under your home directory. The home directory is analogous to the root directory of a disk (C:\ in DOS or Windows, for example, or the "Macintosh HD" window on a Macintosh). Note that all directory names are case-sensitive.

Home directories on Dragonfire take the form "/home/X/your-username". "your-username" is replaced by your actual username; the value of "X" is equal to the first character (letter, number, or symbol) in your username. For example, a user "ABC" would have the home directory "/home/A/ABC", and a user "jsmith" would have the home directory "/home/j/jsmith". This directory name will be given to you when your account is created, and is available from other sources as well, so it's not necessary to figure it out on your own; if this seems confusing, there's generally no need to worry about it.

Web accounts. By default, all of your Web pages will be served from your home directory. However, if you'd rather use a subdirectory to store those files, like "www", just specify that in the account request. Your URL ( will then point to that directory instead of your home directory.

Anonymous FTP accounts. Anonymous FTP files will never be served out of your home directory; this not only lets Dragonfire run more efficiently, but prevents anonymous FTP users from poking around in your account. The default directory name is "ftp"; if you prefer a different name, specify that in your request.

You have another choice to make when getting an anonymous FTP account: whether or not to allow anonymous users to upload files into your account. If you would like to allow uploads, give the name of a directory into which anonymous users will upload files. (The default is to not allow uploads.) For example, if you choose "incoming", then the URL for anonymous FTP uploads would be You would be able to retrieve those files from the incoming subdirectory in your home directory. Note that upload directories are automatically private; anonymous users can upload files, but cannot retrieve a list of files in the directory.

Sending the account request

Once you've determined all of the above information, you need to send it in so that your account can be created. You must also send your real name, as well as an E-mail address at which you can be reached. (This is important! Accounts requests without this information or with invalid information will be rejected!) We have a text form you can print out and fill in; we regret that at present, we cannot accept new accounts unless they are paid for in advance. On the form, you may want to list multiple usernames and account names, in order of preference, as your first choice may be taken. We will take the first available username in your list and give it to you; likewise, we will take the first available account name in your list.

After filling out the account request form, you also need to print and fill out the payment form. On the payment form, you can indicate what additional services you would like (e.g. domain service) and the duration of service you will pay for.

Once you have filled out the form, you should send it with payment for the account to this address:

Dragonfire Internet Services
Attn: New Accounts
(redacted for this retrospective)

We can accept payment in cash or check in any currency, or a money order or bank draft payable in US dollars through a US bank only. If you choose to pay in a currency other than US dollars, please see our exchange table for current exchange rates. We can also accept wire transfers; contact if you would prefer this method of payment. Unfortunately, we cannot accept credit cards at present. Important note: If you pay via a check from a non-US bank or via wire transfer, you must include an additional US$10 with your payment to cover our bank's service fee for accepting such payments. Also, if you choose to pay in cash, make certain it can't be detected without opening the envelope; we have seen cases (although rarely) where an envelope we received was already opened and payment was missing. Generally, this means you should enclose the money in a few sheets of paper so it cannot be seen through the envelope, or use preprinted "security" envelopes. Sending coins is a bad idea in any case, though it has been done.

If you don't get a response in a reasonable period of time (generally two or three weeks at most), send E-mail to find out what's going on -- your mail may have, for example, been lost. Also make certain that you can be reached at the E-mail address you listed in your mail.

Once your account has been created, you will receive an E-mail message confirming the creation, and giving details such as your URL(s).

Some do's and don'ts of sending the account request

Do include both the account request form and payment form.

Don't send payment for domain registration (e.g. InterNIC fees). You will be billed by the domain registrar separately.

Don't send the domain registration form on paper with your account request. Send it via E-mail to

Andy Church
Last update: 20 October 1998