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Personal Web Pages

Any user with an EECS account may create a personal web page. Any web documents that reside on EECS systems must abide by the Acceptable Use Policies. Failure to adhere to these policies will result in the removal of public access to your web documents and possible deletion of your EECS account.

Quick Overview (Experts)

  • Web home directory: ~/webhome (or ~/www-home for legacy support)
  • CGI support directory: ~/webhome/cgi-bin
  • CGI scripts need to have .cgi file extension.
  • Web server supports PHP (.php file extension)
  • Basic permissions: 644 for files, 755 for directories and cgi scripts

Creating a Personal Web Page

To create a web page for your EECS account, follow these steps:

If you are uploading files from Windows or Mac OS you can connect using the following:

From Windows:

  • Map a network drive to: \\\webhome (you may also be able to enter the address into the address bar of a Windows Explorer — not Internet Explorer — window).
  • Login using your netid and password.
  • Drag and drop files from your computer into the explorer window to transfer them to your webhome directory
  • Any files uploaded to the webhome folder following this method will authomatically set the permissions to where they can be read by the web server.
From Mac OSX:
  • From Finder, click Connect to Server under the Go tab in the top bar.
  • In the Server Address bar type smb://
  • Login using your netid and password
  • Drag and drop files from your computer into the finder window to transfer them to your webhome directory
  • Any files uploaded to the webhome folder following this method will authomatically set the permissions to where they can be read by the web server.

From an EECS/Linux machine:

Log into an EECS/Linux machine (e.g. one of our Linux lab systems).

Make sure that you are at the root of your home area:

#> cd ~

Create a directory called webhome:

#> mkdir webhome

Make sure that the webhome directory is world readable and executable:

#> chmod go+rx webhome

Note: For backwards compatibility, the web server will also serve out web pages stored in a www-home directory. If you are setting up a new directory, however, we ask that you use webhome as outlined in this document.

The directory structure is now in place. The name of the index HTML document should be index.html. (The full path to this file is /home/username/webhome/index.html.) The EECS user web server also supports PHP web pages. If you wish to use PHP for your primary index page, name it index.php instead of index.html.
Make sure that any documents placed within the www-home are world-readable:

#> chmod 644 *.html *.php

The above command makes all files with a .html or .php extension readable and writable by you (the owner), but only readable for everyone else. Any documents with extensions other than .html or .php that you wish to make available via the web (e.g. PDF files or Microsoft Word Documents) will need to have the same permissions.
If you have sub-directories within the webhome directory, those subdirectories themselves (not the files within them) must be world-readable andexecutable.

#> chmod 755 subdir

If you do not change the permissions for files to be viewed via the web, visitors to those documents will be presented with an error.

CGI Scripts

You can add CGI scripts/programs to your personal home page. The prerequisites for the successful execution of CGI programs are:

  1. Create a cgi-bin directory directly inside your webhome directory.
  2. Set the permissions on the cgi-bin directory as for other sub-directories.
  3. All CGI scripts/programs must reside inside that directory and have a .cgi file extension, e.g. my_cgi_script.cgi.
  4. Add the world (other) executable bit to your CGI script/program:

#> chmod 755 my_cgi_script.cgi

Languages available for writing CGI code include Bourne Shell (/bin/sh), Perl, Python, C, C++, etc. The EECS IT staff asks that you avoid sending email from CGI scripts/programs as that can often lead to exploitation by spammers. We reserve the right to disable any potentially harmful CGI code as well as removing email capabilities from the user web server.

Viewing Your Web Documents

Once your web page has been created and the appropriate web documents put in place (e.g. your index page), open the following URL in a web browser:

where username is your EECS username.


Connection Problems

If you cannot properly connect to your webhome network drive, please check the following:
  • If you are using the UTK wireless network, be sure that you are not using the “ut-open” network. You will have to use one of the secure networks (currently “ut-wpa2” and “eduroam”).
  • If you are connecting from off-campus, you will need to connect to the UTK VPNbefore you can connect to the wehome network drive.
  • If you get a connection but cannot get authenticated, try prefacing your NetID with “UTK\”. For example if your NetID is “jruser”, try using “UTK\jruser” as your username.

Web Page Problems

The most common problems pertaining to web pages are permissions-related. A quick way to set the correct permissions is described below.

#> cd ~/webhome
#> find . -type d -exec chmod go+rx {} \;
#> find . -type f -exec chmod go+r {} \;

Note: The above commands will make every file in your webhome directory accessible via the web.
For further assistance with your personal web page, contact EECS IT Support.

If the web page loads with a 403 Forbidden error, check the permissions for your entire home area folder. The home area needs to be world executable for the web server to traverse through the various directories to get to the web files.

Other Web Page Topics

For information on how to create a web page for a CS or ECE course, please see Course Web Pages.
You can also password protect certain web pages.

External Resources – Tutorials and help pages on all web-related topics. – Documentation for the PHP programming language.

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