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Server Guide


Basic UNIX Commands

Publishing a web page using SCP/SFTP

New accounts on Educ.jmu.edu will be ready to publish upon creation, while some older accounts or accounts which some individuals may have altered, might need any or all of the following steps completed, in order to make files accessible to the World-Wide Web:

  1. Check that the file protection on your login directory grants execute access to the world. If not, change the mod to allow access using the command:
            chmod o+x ~    
    Note that the ~ character instructs unix to use the home directory.

  2. Create a subdirectory WWW in your home directory. Be sure you use CAPITAL LETTERS for the directory name! You do so with the commands:
            mkdir ~/WWW    
            chmod o+rx ~/WWW  
  3. Create or move the web files via SCP/SFTP (secure shell or secure ftp) into that subdirectory.

  4. Use the chmod command to make all the files in your WWW directory readable. If this is not done, the server program will not be able to access the file when a user requests it.
            chmod o+r ~/WWW/<filename>   
    More advanced features of the server program do provide methods for specifying that certain files are accessible only to certain designated hosts, but this is not the common approach. Usually files are made available to anyone who wishes to read them.

  5. Your intended readers must be told how to access your file(s). The standard approach is to create one file named index.html which serves as a table of contents to other files by describing them and embedding hypertext anchors that contain references to the files you want to direct your readers to. This way they only need to specify the URL for your homepage, and from there follow your links.

    The server will look for the file named index.html by default if no filename is given, so you can direct your readers to use the URL: http://educ.jmu.edu/~jrsmith/ , where you replace 'jrsmith' with your own username.

    Any file in your WWW directory can be referred to with the URL http://educ.jmu.edu/~jrsmith/<filename> where you replace 'jrsmith' with your own username.

  6. You may choose to create subdirectories under your WWW directory to contain various groups of files. If you have a directory WWW/sub1 containing a file foo.html then the URL for it would be http://educ.jmu.edu/~jrsmith/sub1/foo.html

  7. Especially if you are developing Web pages that you hope will eventually be moved to another server or directory, be sure to use the relative form of href= rather than the full directory form. The difference is discussed in the Beginner's Guide.

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   Last Modified: 5-28-2010