Ok guys, I have read many of the previous posts and I admit that I'm not the most detail oriented person, nor am I coder, but I am having the same issues trying to enable the FTP layer during Joomla setup and wanted to put a different spin on it:
First, I am using Yahoo webhosting which is a shared hosting service (to the best of my knowledge).
Second, I am using the basic "easy" setup of Joomla which is basically a wizard [drive] version of the regular manual version of Joomla setup. Yesterday I had a problem getting Joomla to connect to MySQL but we solved that by tweaking the username and password and creating a new mySQL database specifically for my new Joomla site. Worked like a charm and no problems getting to next step.
Now my problem is that I simply can't connect to the FTP server via Joomla.
I have got errors similar to ones listed in previous posts on here about "my server may not be compatible with Joomla etc" (I'm paraphrasing here) and like others I have tried almost every conceivable combination of root paths, usernames and passwords, and now I have narrowed the error down to this:
If I try and "autofind path" I get:
"Could not logon to FTP server"
I think that accurately describes my problem.
It seems to me that if I am unable to even log onto the FTP server, then it really isn't going to matter what I put in for a server "root" path nor what FTP account I am actually using because I'm not even able to talk to the FTP server to have Joomla verify these settings.
So, I guess my question is this:
In laymen's terms what setting can I change in a manual setup that is NOT included in the automatic setup wizards and might make this work, and then a second question would be:
If there IS another setting or variable that needs to be changed to enable Joomla to logon to my FTP host, why isn't that setting included as part of the automatic setup wizard?
Not trying to be snide here, but it would be great if the automatic setup worked a bit better or could at least shed some light on why it's not working to the end user.
Of course I have verified that several different groups of logon settings work in my primary web editing environment which is Dreamweaver so I know the accounts themselves are working.
First, I'm really not sure what you mean by "I am using the basic "easy" setup of Joomla which is basically a wizard [drive] version of the regular manual version of Joomla setup", but that seems to be beside the point. So, on to the issue at hand:
There are so many variables in this situation that it is very difficult to guess exactly what the issue is.
The concept of building an FTP client seems very simple, but in practice, it is not. The FTP spec is so loose that it is very difficult to build a client that will work with all servers. So, indeed, it is possible that Joomla! will just not work with your FTP server.
On the other hand, there are other restrictions that a host might impose on their PHP setup which would prevent the FTP client from working. It is possible that they don't have the ftp functions compiled in, which means that Joomla! has to emulate these functions. If this is the case, it could be that your host is denying connections to URLs, which obviously would mean that the FTP client will not work.
Now, the more important question to ask at this point is whether you really need the FTP layer. In many cases, and in more and more cases, it isn't as necessary as it once was because many hosts are set up in such a way that you don't have the permission issues that you had before. Are you able to complete the installation without setting up the FTP information?
If the files created by PHP are owned by the same user as the files that you are FTPing to the server, then it really isn't necessary to enable FTP mode.
And to answer your question, there are no 'hidden FTP settings'.