The Office of Information Technology provides a number of options and resources for students, employees, and organizations to host information and data online. OIT also provides Campus Web Solutions, a custom web development contract service.
- The UNIX server, known as Mallard, hosts the Auburn University homepage. Students and Employees have 100MB of web space already set up on this server (http://www.auburn.edu/~username).
Departments and Student Organizations can request web space on the unix server by sending the following information to firstname.lastname@example.org:
- Name of the Department or Organization
- Name and Position of person making the request
- Prospective URL, such as http://www.auburn.edu/aubie
- Names and usernames of the webmasters (We cannot provide webmaster access to non-AU personnel.)
- SharePoint is a browser-based collaboration tool that makes it easier for people to work together. It helps people set up Web sites to share information with others, manage documents from start to finish, and publish reports to help everyone make better decisions. Check out Microsoft's SharePoint 2010 capabilities page to find out more about how SharePoint can help your college, department, school or group.
- The WordPress server is also available to student organizations, employees, and departments. This server is dedicated to the installation of the WordPress blogging software and is updated regularly with the latest patches. To request space on the WordPress server, send the following information with your request to the Instructional Multimedia Group (IMG) at 334-844-5181
- Name of person making the request
- Auburn University username
- Name of Department if applicable
- Prospective URL, such as http://wp.auburn.edu/aubie
- A Windows server running IIS and ASP.NET and often using Microsoft SQL databases, is available to graduate students and employees by request. To request space, contact email@example.com.
|Secure HTTPS capability|
|VB.NET, C#, ASP, VB|
|Backed up nightly|
Every chartered student organization in good standing has a public web page linked from the Office of Student Involvement website. Officers of the organization may update the information displayed there, including a picture, description, purpose, meeting time/day/location, officers, advisor and a link to an alternate website, if any. Officers can also maintain the organization's roster and send email to everyone in the organization via the 'Manage Your Organizations' link on the Office of Student Involvement site. The president and advisor can appoint and change the officers of the organization there as well.
In addition to the web page provided by the Office of Student Involvement and the options above, the Office of Information Technology offers:
AU Access Groups
"Groups" inside AU Access offers organizations a web presence that is restricted to AU employee & students (or access by request only if desired) with no web skills necessary. Full information about AU Access Groups
Web Editing Software
To create web pages more quickly and easily, plus without having to learn HTML, you can use a web page editor or HTML editor. A free option is Microsoft SharePoint Designer 2007, which is installed in the OIT Computing Labs located around campus and is available to download at AU Install.
Adobe Dreamweaver is another popular web page editing program which is compatible with the Unix Server. Dreamweaver can be bought at special student pricing through the AU Bookstore.
Editing Websites on the Unix Server
These instructions help you create a web page from an OIT Computing Lab. There are a wide variety of uses for a web page, such as a resume, so be creative! Kind in mind, though, that you are subject to the rules set by the OIT Network Policy.
Follow these steps:
- Log into an OIT Computing Lab machine and open My Computer on the desktop.
- Select the (P:) drive, which is also your public_html directory
on your H: drive.
- Open Microsoft SharePoint Designer 2007 and select File > New > Web Site.
- Choose General > One Page Web Site > click the Browse button > find the P drive > OK > OK.
- In the folder list pane on the left, highlight the file named default.htm > right-click > Rename > enter index.html
- Double-click index.html to open the file and begin making changes to the page.
- Choose File > Save or simply press Ctrl-S and voila! Your page is now viewable on the web at http://auburn.edu/~username where username is your username.
- Point a web browser to your new personal page and see how it looks to the world. Whenever you save changes, refresh (reload) the browser page to see the changes.
Here's one of the many ways to create and modify your AU personal web page. Numerous web page creation tools are available for purchase and for free download on the Internet. OIT currently supports Microsoft SharePoint Designer 2007, which is available via free download. Any simple text editor, like NotePad, will work as well, but you'll need to know how to code HTML. Keep in mind also that you are subject to the rules set by the OIT Network Policy for any web pages you create.
Follow these steps:
- Create a folder on your local computer for your website, perhaps in My Documents\My Websites.
- Open Microsoft SharePoint Designer and select File > New > Web Site.
- Choose General > One Page Web Site > click the Browse button > find and select the folder you created in Step 1 > OK > OK.
- Make changes to the page.
- If you plan to host the page on the UNIX server (www.auburn.edu), then do this: in the folder list pane on the left, highlight the file named default.htm > right-click > Rename > enter index.html. If you plan to host the page on the Windows server, you can skip this step.
- Choose File > Save or simply press Ctrl-S. When you have the page the way you want it, the next step is to place the file onto the server.
Using Microsoft SharePoint Designer 2007 makes it really simple to publish to your UNIX web space. If you used a text editor, like NotePad, to code your own HTML, you can also use a FTP program to access and upload to your web space.
Follow these steps:
- Follow the steps in Creating a web page outside the OIT Computing Labs.
- After saving your web page, select File > Publish Site.
- In the 'Remote Web Site Properties' box, for Remote Web Server type, check SFTP. For Remote Web site location, enter the following URL:
and for FTP Directory, enter the following:
- Log in with your own username and password.
- Panels labeled Local web site and Remote web site show your folders and files on your computer and on the web server. Highlight the folders and files you've created or changed on the local web site.
- Click the blue right arrow between the panels to copy the highlighted files to the remote web site.
- When publishing is completed, open a web browser and go to http://www.auburn.edu/~username to see your finished page.
- If you make changes to the web page, publish it again and reload your web browser to view the changes.
These instructions show you how to use WinSCP, which is installed on all of the OIT computing labs and is available for home computer download from AU Install, to SFTP Files to your Auburn University web space.
Follow these steps:
- If you are off-campus, you will first need to connect via an VPN connection.
- Open the WinSCP program. The Login Dialog window will open automatically.
- Choose the File protocol SFTP.
- In the Enter host text box, type mallard.auburn.edu.
- In the Enter username and Enter password text boxes, enter your username and password, then press OK. And if you get a message relating to cacheing, press "OK".
- The Connection Screen is where you transfer your files.
The left side contains the drives, directories, and files on your computer while the right has those of the remote computer that you're logged into.
- To transfer a file, click once to select an item
and then click on an option at the bottom of the screen or just drag the item. Use the folder
followed by two dots, "..", to go back a directory.
- To change the permissions of files, right-click the item on the remote server side of the screen and select "properties". Make sure that all files and folders are "world writeable" (folders are at least 755 and files are at least 644).
SecureCRT is provided on all OIT Computing Lab machines and is available for home computer download from AU Install.
Follow these steps:
- If you are off-campus, you will first need to connect via an VPN connection.
- Open SecureCRT on your computer. In the OIT Computing Labs, click on "Secure Shell to Mallard" on the computer's desktop.
- Use the Connection window to select where to access. If this window doesn't come up, click the Connection button on the far left.
- Select Mallard and click Connect. If Mallard is not an option, click the New Connection button (third from the left), enter mallard.auburn.edu as the Hostname, and click OK.
- Fill in your username for Login: and your password for Password: when prompted.
- You have now created an SSH session. There are a variety of UNIX commands available to navigate and perform actions with.
- To disconnect, hit the Disconnect button (second from the left) or exit out of the program.
IMG offers a short course on creating accessible courses. View the OIT Training page for more information.
Helpful Resources (external web sites)
- Listing of assistive technology resources available on campus
- Accessibility Checklist from IBM
Here are a few of the commands you can use (italic commands require changes):
pwd : determines the present working directory
cd directory: change directories; i.e. cd /home/home9/AUuser/subdir
ls : list of all the files in a directory
ls -l : detailed list of all the files, including file permissions, ownership, and groupname.
ls -R : recursive parameter; see all the subdirectories and files in and below the present one
ls -alR : recursive long listing including any hidden files
cp filename newname : make a copy of a file within the present working directory
cp filename targetdirectory : copy a file to another directory
mv filename newname : "move" or rename a file within the present working directory
mv filename targetdirectory : move a file to another directory
rm filename : delete a file located in the present working directory
mkdir newdirectory : make a new directory; use chmod command afterward and chgrp command if it is a shared directory
rmdir directoryname : delete a directory; will not work if files are in the directory
command1 | command2 : send the output of one program to another by putting a | (the pipe symbol) between two commands; for example, if you want to look at a list of your files, but you have too many files to see at once, you can prevent them from scrolling too quickly by piping the ls command into the more command like this ls | more.
command > filename : send the output of a program to a file; for example, to send the output of the ls command to the filelist.dat, use ls | filelist.dat.
man command : find more information about a particular command
cd /usr/bin : use this to display a complete list of
commands can be found and
ls : this to display all the commands
You can also use the asterisk (*) as a wildcard to set the permissions for all the files in a directory.
Permissions are divided into three types:
r - read the file or directory
w - write to the file or directory
x - execute the file or directory
Read permission allows a user to read the contents of the file, or in the case of directories, to list the contents of the directory.
Write permission allows the user to write to and modify the file. For directories, write permission allows the user to create new files or delete files within that directory.
Execute permission allows the user to run the file as
a program or shell script (if the file happens to be a program or shell
script, that is). For directories, having execute permission allows the
user to cd into the directory in question.
Each of these permissions is set for each of three types of users:
u - the owner of the file
g - members of the group to which the owner belongs
o - all other users
By setting the permissions, the file owner controls what users of each type can and cannot do to the file. The permissions to a file are listed as a string of nine characters like this:
user group other
r w x r w x r w x
You can view the permissions of a file by entering ls -l at the command line prompt. The output will be a list of all the files and directories in your present directory. An example of one line from such a list would be:
-rwxrw-r-- smithjo client 3754 Feb 24 15:30 my.txt
The first (-) tells you if the entry is a file(-), directory(d), or a link(l). It is followed by the permissions list for the file, directory, or link. This is followed by the username of the person who owns the file or directory, in this case smithjo. The owner's username is then followed by the name of the owner's group (client), the size of the file(in bytes,3754), the date the file was last modified (Feb 24 15:30), and finally the name of the file (my.txt).
File permissions are set or changed with the chmod command. There is a shorthand way of setting permissions by using octal numbers. Read permission is given the value 4, write permission the value 2 and execute permission 1. These values are added together for any one user category:
1 = execute only
2 = write only
3 = write and execute (1+2)
4 = read only
5 = read and execute (4+1)
6 = read and write (4+2)
7 = read and write and execute (4+2+1)
So access permissions can be expressed as three digits. For example:
user group others chmod 664 file1 -rw- rw- r-- chmod 644 file1 -rw- r-- r-- chmod 775 directory1 drwx rwx r-x
Use these UNIX commands to change file and directory permissions:
chmod 644 filename : if the file is yours alone, you must restrict the group permissions to allow read only (because everyone is a member of the group other); allow the "world" to read only
chmod 664 filename : if the file is to be shared, remember to first change the group ownership using chgrp command as above; give read and write access to the group, and allow the "world" to read only, by using the command
chmod 775 directory : allow read, write and execute permission to the owner and group, and allow the "world" to read and execute, by using the command
chmod 666 PHP_data_file : any data file that needs to be written to by a PHP script has to be world readable and writeable
Where filename is the name of the file or directory is the name of the directory. You can also use the asterisk (*) as a wildcard to set the permissions for all the files in a directory:
UNIX also allows files to be shared. In this way, files can be maintained by the persons responsible for them but altered by no one else. Although each file is owned by a particular user, it is also owned by a particular group, which is a system-defined group of users. Each user always belongs to at least one group. On the OIT Sun Network, there is a general group called other to which everyone belongs. Use these UNIX commands to view and change group access:
groups : determine what groups you are in
ypmatch groupname group : find out who is in a particular group
chgrp groupname filename : after uploading a file, will change file access to only those in your group
chgrp groupname directory : after uploading a directory, will change directory access to only those in your group
Note: The default access group for everyone on the Mallard server is "other". If you do not change the access group on your organization's Web documents and leave the file permissions set at "read and write" for the group, anyone that can log in to the OIT Sun can edit your Web documents.
The system administrator creates groups for various purposes. For example, the persons maintaining a home page for an organization are all placed into a group for that organization (e.g., sga or upc). There are similar administrative groups, as well as a few system-defined groups used to control access to resources.
The following method uses basic HTTP authentication. It is important to note that passwords sent via this method are considered to be "clear text", meaning that they could possibly be viewed by a third party, since this communication method is not inherently secure. While this method is fine for basic security, it is important that you do not use the same password that you use for more important applications, such as: e-mail, computer or network login, etc.
Follow these steps:
- Open a text editor, like NotePad, and enter the following lines:
For single user access:
AuthName "Aubie's Private Page"
require user tiger
For group access:
require group my-users
- Open a FTP program to your Mallard account and look at the location on the remote system side to find your directory path (i.e. /home/home9/username). Use this to replace path with and replace username with your username.
- Replace private with the directory that you want password protect.
- Replace Aubie's Private Page with what you would like to show up on the login box.
For single user access: Replace tiger with the user name you'd like to use.
For group access: Replace my-users with the name you'd like for your group.
- Save the file as .htaccess and upload it to the private directory.
For group access: Create a group file by typing the following in a text editor and saving it as .htgroup.
my-users: tiger eagle aubie
Replace my-users with the name of your group and tiger eagle aubie with the user names you'd like to us.
- Open an SSH session or application (SecureCRT is recommended), log in to Mallard (mallard.auburn.edu) and change to the private directory to change the file permissions on the .htaccess file.
chmod 644 .htaccess
- Set the password for your user name by typing in the command below. You will be prompted to enter a password twice.
htpasswd -c .htpasswd tiger
Note: You may issue the htpasswd command again to change the password any time.
For group access: Set the password for the additional user names using the following commands without the -c:
htpasswd .htpasswd eagle
htpasswd .htpasswd aubie
- Change the file permissions on the .htpasswd file that was just created.
chmod 644 .htpasswd
Note: The .htpasswd file is readable, but the password is encrypted.
- Open a web browser and go to your password protected directory. Enter your user name and password.
Note: There is no correspondence between user names and passwords on specific UNIX systems (e.g. in an /etc/passwd file) and user names and passwords in the authentication schemes we're discussing for use in the web. As illustrated in the examples, web-based authentication uses similar but wholly distinct password files; a user need never have an actual account on a given UNIX system in order to be validated for access to files being served from that system and protected with HTTP-based authentication.
Editing Websites on the Windows Web Server
You can issue queries to the mySQL database either via an SSH session, via MySQL Control Center or directly from a PHP script.
NOTE: The campus firewall blocks off-campus traffic on port 3306. To connect to your AU mySQL database, you must be logging in from a machine on campus (such as mallard.auburn.edu) or running the AU VPN client.
Follow these steps:
- To access your database through SSH, open an SSH session or application (SecureCRT is recommended), connect to the OIT Sun Network (mallard.auburn.edu) and enter the following command:
mysql -h acadmysql.duc.auburn.edu -u username -p
Replace username with the one specified in your confirmation e-mail. Supply your password when prompted and press Enter.
When you get a mysql> prompt, type in the following:
Replace name with the database name in your confirmation e-mail. You're now connected to your mySQL database via telnet.
- To access a mySQL database through a PHP script, insert the following code inside the PHP script:
mysql_connect("$DBHost","$DBUser","$DBPass") or die("Unable to connect to server");
mysql_select_db("$DBName") or die("Unable to select database");
Assign $DBHost to the database host name (acadmysql.duc.auburn.edu), $DBUser to the username in the confirmation e-mail, $DBPass to the password, and $DBName to the database name.
You can now start issuing queries from the PHP script.
Last Updated: Nov. 26, 2012