How to Create Your CSE Home Page

Introduction

Your personal home page is a web destination where you can post content that will appear on the web.

Your default CSE home page URL will be of this form (where UBITName is your UBIT Name (userid)):


http://cse.buffalo.edu/~UBITName

Procedure to Create Your CSE Home Page

When people invoke your home page, our HTTP server software, Apache, directs their requests to a directory named public_html in your home directory. If that directory does not exist, or if filesystem permissions do not allow the HTTP server (which runs as a normal "unprivileged" user) to get into that directory, the HTTP server will return a "404: File not found" or "403: Forbidden" error message.

Your CSE system accounts' default file and directory permissions are set such that only you can access things in your home directory. To make a public_html directory that the HTTP server can access, follow these steps:

You can follow this procedure on timberlake.cse.buffalo.edu, or any other CSE general computing server. Those servers mount your home directory that's accessible by the web servers.

  1. Change directory (cd) into your home directory:

    
    % cd
    
    

  2. Enable execute permission on your home directory for all users:

    
    ~% chmod a+x ~
    
    

  3. Make a directory named public_html. Enable read and execute permissions on it for all users:
    
    ~% mkdir public_html
    ~% chmod 755 public_html
    
    
  4. Now you're ready to create the files and directories that will make up your web content. The first file you'll probably want to create in ~/public_html/ is the default index file, index.html:

    
    ~% cd public_html
    ~/public_html % vi index.html
    
    

  5. Enable all users to read index.html. Do the same thing for any other files and directories that you subsequently create within public_html. Directories will need their execute bits set for all users.

    
    ~/public_html % chmod a+r index.html
    
    

  6. Make sure all directory and file permissions are correct. Your read, write, and execute permissions should look like this:

    
    ~/public_html % ls -al
    
    drwxr-xr-x   5 username groupname      4096 Nov  4  2010 .
    -rw-r--r--   1 username groupname      2121 Nov  4  2010 index.html
    
    

  7. Finally, verify that people can view your web page:

    
    http://cse.buffalo.edu/~UBITName
    
    

Troubleshooting

  1. 404 - File not found usually means the file you are attempting to access does not exist.
  2. 403 - Forbidden usually means the permissions on your file or directory are too restrictive.

Notes

  1. Because your CSE webpage is hosted on a University at Buffalo server, you must comply with all UBIT Policies and Guidelines.

References

  1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homepage
  2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Url
  3. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Http
  4. http://httpd.apache.org