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Our Class Web Server,

Backup your work

Students should, at all times, keep a backup copy of all work on the server. This is a reliable server, but anything is possible. You, and no one else (not Cabrillo, not your instructor), are responsible for keeping copies of your work.

Once this class is over, the Web space will be cleared out. In other words, very shortly after the end of the class, the space will be erased to make way for the next class that needs it. There are absolutely no guarantees that you will have access to your online files once the course is over. Your files will be deleted; don't be surprised when they disappear.

Logins and passwords

Logins and passwords are case-sensitive, and contain no spaces. See the Logins and passwords worksheet.

File naming

Unix file and directory (folder) naming conventions apply. See How to name files and directories.

Default home page

The default home page is index.html for any directory. (Because file names are case-sensitive, Index.html will not act as a default home page.)

This means that all of the following URLs will sometimes yield the same result:

In other words, if you enter an incomplete URL into your browser (such as one the first two URLs above, that points to a directory instead of a file) the server will first look for a file named index.php in the directory and, if it exists, will reutrn that file to the browser. If it doesn't find a file named index.php in the directory, it will then look for a file named index.html and then a file named index.htm and will serve one of those to the browser.

Note that if you enter an incomplete URL into a browser (and point to a folder, a not a file, as the first two URLs above do), and there is no home page (an index file) in the target directory, most servers will do one of two things: either create a listing of all the files within the directory (resulting in the user seeing a list of all the files and folders in that directory), or deny the user access to such a listing, resulting in the user seeing an "access forbidden (403 error)" message.

Uploading and downloading (FTP)

You can upload from home, work, or from anywhere on the Internet (assuming no firewall problems where you are). If you have problems uploading from work, a firewall may be causing the problem. Contact your network administrator if you suspect this (although s/he will probably not make changes to accommodate you).

If uploading from the a computer lab or corporate network, due to the way the connection works, you may need to toggle the "passive mode transfer" setting in your FTP software. High-speed connections such as DSL, ISDN, T1s, etc. may require using passive mode.

If you exceed your storage quota because you are storing excessively large files, you will no longer be able to upload. (This happens when you abuse the space by using it to store huge multimedia files.) Do not use this Web space for storage of unnecessary files!


If you suspect a technical problem with the Web server, contact your instructor.

If you have a file (or directory) on the server that you cannot delete with your FTP program it may have special characters or spaces in its file name. Try renaming such a file with your FTP program. Especially problematic are file names that begin or end with a space, as it is not easy to see that this is the case. Most FTP programs have some kind of "transcript" or "server messages" window that will allow you to see the true file name.

Files or directories with inappropriate permissions can also be a problem. If you have a file or directory that you cannot move, delete, or rename, or if you have a directory will not allow you to view its contents, you may need to change its permissions. The standard permissions for a Web page should be 644; the standard permissions for a directory should be 755.

Students' problems almost always have nothing to do with the server, even though many students quickly jump to the conclusion that the problem is with the server. The overwhelming majority of problems are due to:


This server supports PHP.

Web pages with PHP require a ".php" extension. Like most servers, this server will not execute PHP in any Web page whose name does not end in .php.

CGI (common gateway interface)

This server will run CGI scripts written in Perl 5.

The path to Perl 5:

Llike most servers, this server will not execute CGI scripts unless put them in a directory called cgi-bin, or a subdirectory of cgi-bin. You can create your own cgi-bin directory within your personal directory.

Web pages will not be visible on the Internet if they are in a cgi-bin directory or a sub-directory of a cgi-bin directory.

As with any server, the overwhelming majority of problems with CGI scripts are due to:

Usage Policy

Please use this space responsibly. You may not use this space to send junk e-mail (spam), to send harrassing e-mail, to try to gain unauthorized access to this or any other system, to store files unrelated to the class, or to engae in illegal activity.