Requesting new site space
1) Send the request for the new/existing site to the E-shop (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Requests should include:
- Name of site, username, lab name, lab group or course
- System to
host site (zope or apache, undergrads only can use apache)
- If this is
an entity, a ME faculty or staff member must approve the request
2) If its an Apache based site, a file space will be available in the web
share on ME servers (tools and widget). This share has three root
directories, 'groups', 'entities' and 'users'. Person accounts will be in the 'users' space and all
non-person accounts will be in the 'entities' space or 'group' space.
Zope vs. Apache
When you create your site(s), you will be asked to choose between Zope and
Apache. The Apache option is an running a very basic Apache 2.0 based service. Zope
is a true content management system. The Zope server as an option requires more
effort to migrate but can provide many more features such as Wiki's, Surveys and
database connection with very little development time.
How can I access the new web space
The new space given for your web site can be accessed in many ways. The
actual file system is available on all UNIX and Linux machines in the path
Additionally, you can do a 'Map Network Drive' to this path
- Faculty, Staff and Graduate students will find their directory under
- Non-person accounts will find their directory under 'entities'.
- Non-person accounts with virtualhost configuration will find their directory
IE - web accessible files
How do I create a web site
Fundamentally, a website is nothing more than a collection of HTML files.
These can be static files that end in html or dynamic content using scripts or
programs to generate HTML pages on request. Given this, to create a website, you
need to create an html document. Save this document as index.html
and place it in your web space. Now, you have a web site.
Permission Denied Errors when accessing files
The web server is a UNIX based system. In the process of placing files,
especially when using a PC or Mac, the access permission can be set incorrectly.
To correct these, you will need to open a command prompt
on tools and use the 'chmod' command. To be web accessible, a file must be world
readable or be set to the UNIX group www and group readable. For a directory to
be accessible, it must either be world readable and executable or have its UNIX
group set to www and have the group read and execute permissions set.
EXAMPLE: Making A file (index.html) and Directory (sp3)
accessible for user loganm
tools: cd /web/users/loganm
tools: ls -la
-rwx------ 1 loganm other 67 Oct 26 2009 index.html
drwx------ 2 loganm other 3 Jan 28 20:36 sp3
tools: chmod 744 index.html
tools: chmod 755 sp3
tools: ls -la
-rwxr--r-- 1 loganm other 67 Oct 26 2009 index.html
drwxr-xr-x 2 loganm other 3 Jan 28 20:36 sp3
Using htaccess control files - 'dot htaccess' or
If you plan to use access control, CGI files or other more complex options in
your website, you may need to use a 'dot htaccess' file (.htaccess). This is a
specifically named file that has a period as the first character. These files
MUST be created and edited under UNIX to work correctly. Windows/Dos uses
a different text file format which when used in UNIX, appends ^M characters to
each line. This WILL break your website. Available editors include vi,
pico and emacs. If not familiar with their use - use a search engine such as
Google to find a suitable online tutorial.
Index.htm and specifying the default page to load in
On the new Apache server, the default index page for a directory is
index.html or index.php. If you wish to use a different file name for the
default page, you will need to specify it in your .htaccess file. An example
file is given below for the file index.htm.
EXAMPLE: .htaccess file for index.htm as default page
Posting Office 2007 or Later XML Documents
If you are prompted to open/save a compressed zip file when posting Office
2007 documents, you will need to add this mime type definition on the server in
your sites .htaccess file.
EXAMPLE: .htaccess file for Office 2007 Documents
ADDTYPE application/vnd.openxmlformats docx pptx xlsx
Enabling CGI programs
The mechanisms for using active content may differ somewhat from the old web
services. At this time, the Apache 2 based machine does not support mod_perl
based scripts or extensions. Perl is still available but it will not have access
to dynamic server modules as before. Also, to use CGI, perl and pythons
programs, you must add information to the your .htaccess file. Below is an
example of a file to allow cgi scripts with the .pl and .cgi extensions.
EXAMPLE: cgi and pl file extensions for active content
(placed in the .htaccess file)
AddType application/x-httpd-cgi .pl
AddType application/x-httpd-cgi .cgi
Many sites have areas or
directories that you wish to have protected from the unknown viewer. In these
cases, our apache web server offers two options to protect directories of
information, I2A2 (career account) authentication and the generic Apache basic
Authentication. Both of these options are implemented using a file in the web
directory named .htaccess
This file MUST be created and edited on the UNIX system. If you use
Windows to create, edit or modify this file, it will cause a server error when
the page is requested.
Detailed information for I2A2 Authentication can be
here. The Basic Authentication module is implemented using standard Apache
mechanisms and documentation can be found
here. ECN has
made a small customization which required an 'AuthBasicProvider' directive for
basic authentication to work. Be sure to include that if you use basic
EXAMPLE: .htaccess file for I2A2 authentication
# Require Specific logins to have access
require i2a2-user loganm
EXAMPLE: .htaccess file for Basic Authentication
# Configure the ECN Apache Server to use Basic Authentication
# Standard Apache Basic Authentication Commands
AuthName "MECL Basic Authentication Protected Site"
require user meclmember mecladmin
Sometimes, you may wish
to redirect portions of you website to other portions of your site to the other
sites completely. We offer a few methods to do this. The first is an
automatic redirect and does not prompt the user or change the displayed URL. The
second offers a page to let you know a site has moved and will re-write the
The last method is using Mod-Rewrite and .htaccess files. This is the most
powerful and the most complicated method for creating redirects. This method is
also the only one to allow the entire site to redirect even if a specific file
was requested. This method also allows you to define what to do with error 404
conditions - file not found. To use this, please see the Mod-Rewrite web site
under the Apache project. An example is NOT provided for this method.
The choice of mechanism is up to the user.
EXAMPLE: index.cgi file placed in a subdirectory for
direct site redirection with no delay or URL rewriting. (Be sure to
Enable CGI scripts and set the correct Directory
echo Location: https://engineering.purdue.edu/MECL/
EXAMPLE: index.html placed in old web directory for
displaying a notice page prior to page redirection
<meta http-equiv="refresh" content="5; url=https://engineering.purdue.edu/~loganm">
<h1>This page has moved and you will be automatically redirected in 5 seconds</h1>
Mod Perl is not available on the web servers.
PHP is available and fully configured on the Apache server. Many modules
are installed and loaded by default and and page ending in .php will
automatically be processed and interpreted as PHP. (unlike other CGI scripts).
PHP is NOT available with Zope.
Page wrappers are supported but require a slightly different configuration to
work correctly. Please reference
for directions on enabling page wrappers on your site.