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These instructions assume you are not using the IU WCMS to manage your site.  If you are using the WCMS then go straight to the instructions in Migrate your site from Webserve to IU Sitehosting and follow the instructions in the section If you use the WCMS.

The IU Webserve environment has been the primary web hosting platform at IU for many years.  This system is being decommissioned in favor of the new IU Sitehosting environment per the following deadlines:

  • December 23, 2019 -- PHP will stop working
  • March 20, 2020 -- All other content will stop working

This page provides some quick instruction for migrating sites from Webserve to Sitehost.  This page is not intended to be a replacement for the more detailed UITS documents but provides a step-by-step set of instructions that might be adequate for migrating most simple sites.


Site Removal

If you have a Webserve site that is no longer needed, then you should do the following:

  1. Log in at
  2. Click 'List Your Accounts'
  3. For each site you want to remove, click the 'Manage' link for 'Basic Web Account (webserve)' for the associated group account.
  4. Scroll down in the page and click the 'Remove' link (request that all services associated with this group account be removed)

Just keep in mind that the site files will no longer be accessible from Webserve once this is done so you should archive any files you want to keep before you do this.

This will remove Webserve services associated with the group account but will not affect any other services associated with that account (including email).  If you also have no need for the associated group account(s) and email address then email and ask to have the group account(s) removed entirely.

Simple Site Migration

These steps assume you have a group account that you own where you are hosting a web site on the IU Webserve system and need to migrate that to the IU Sitehost system.  For example purposes, these instructions assume your your group account is named "mygroup".

  1. Create Sitehost Account - Go to, click on Manage Your Sitehost Account, and click on the Account Details link for your group account.  From there, click on Request Sitehost Account, set the Purpose at the bottom of the agreement page, and click Request.  Once you get word the account is active, you can proceed.
  2. Tar Up Webserve Files - You can tar up the files from Webserve as follows:
    1. ssh    - you will need to log in using the passphrase of the group account

    2. tar up the files by running "tar cpf www.tar -C www ."    - This assumes your content is in the www directory but it may be in wwws instead.
  3. Log Into Sitehost - Log into sitehost as yourself with:  ssh
  4. Become The Group Account - Once logged into sitehost, you need to "become" the group account by running "become mygroup" which will prompt for your normal IU passphrase (not the group account passphrase)
  5. Transfer Files From Webserve - See the File Uploads section below for more details but once you have "become" your group account, you can transfer the tar file over that you created in step 2 and untar it with:
    1. scp .
    2. cd web
    3. tar xf ../www.tar
  6. Check For .htaccess – If you have a .htaccess file in the root of your site, give it a look and make sure it looks okay.  If you have rewrites there that will conflict with the new location of the site, remove or edit those.
  7. Test The Site - The new url for your site will be (where you will obviously replace mygroup with your group name).  Sadly, the ~username url that you may have previously been using will not carry over to the new system so that URL must be abandoned.  But, you can set up an arbitrary virtual host domain (or transfer an existing one) per the next section.
  8. Transfer Virtual Host - If you have a virtual host/domain set up for your site (eg.,, etc), you will need to request that this be transferred over or you can request a new one.  To do that, just go to, and click on the Account Details link for your group account.  From there, click on View Virtual Hosts and then click on Request a New Virtual Host, fill in the form, and click Request.  Just note that virtual hosts take a while to create and transfer so don't be surprised if this process takes longer than a week.
  9. Grant Other Users Access - If there are other uses who need to be able to manage the site, you can add them.  Just go to, and click on the Account Details link for your group account.  From there, click on Account Details link for your group account and then Manage Access.  From there, you can add various levels of access for other IU users.  Once another user has access, they will then be able to ssh into and run "become mygroup" as you do to manage the site.  Just keep in mind that you won't be able to add a user until they have logged into the system for the first time.  So, have them first go to and click on Manage Your Sitehost Account.  If they have never logged in and you try to add them, you will get a rather non-intuitive error "invalid username".
  10. Using SSH Keys - If you want to use an ssh key for ssh access to then you can do that per the KB page Generate and use SSH keys with IU Sitehosting.  Note that even when using ssh keys you will still need to use DUO 2-factor authentication to log in and you still need to run "become mygroup" and enter your passphrase there so using ssh keys is not as seamless as you may have hoped.

File Uploads

It is significantly more cumbersome to upload and edit files with Sitehost but once you know how to do it and get things set up, it isn't terribly onerous.  Here are some options:

  1. Simple, Direct File Edits - If you just want to log in and edit a file, that is possible as follows:
    1. ssh to as your normal IU account (not the group account).  There is additional information about using PuTTy in Use PuTTY to connect to IU Sitehosting
    2. run "become groupaccount" (where you replace "groupaccount" with your sites group account name) to become the group account user
    3. cd to the web directory and edit files directly using your linux command-line editor of choice (eg. nano, vi, emacs, etc)
  2. Using scp Without the Groups VPN - You can also use the command-line scp program to copy files but without using the Groups VPN you can only copy from sitehost.  So, just log in and become the group account as in the previous section and then you can do things like "scp username@some.server:/some/remote/file /some/local/file".
  3. Using scp With the Groups VPN - UITS has things set up so you can use a special groups VPN connection and, once connected, you can then copy files directly to the group account.  The basic steps are:
    1. Set up ssh keys (if you don't already have keys you are using) and upload them to your Sitehost account per Generate and use SSH keys with IU Sitehosting
    2. Make a Groups VPN connection per Use the IU Groups VPN with IU Sitehosting
    3. You can now do things like "scp /some/local/file"
  4. Using GUI Tools Like CyberDuck and WinSCP - You can use these GUI tools and we recommend doing it with SSH keys.  See these documents for more information:
    1. Use Cyberduck to connect to IU Sitehosting
    2. Use WinSCP to connect to IU Sitehosting


  • The existing url format will not be supported on Sitehost so those URLs will eventually stop working.
  • It is not possible to ssh directly to as a group account for automatic, unattended file updates.  If this is a requirement for your site, you will need to get special permissions to have things opened up for you.
  • Sitehost supports only https and all non-SSL http urls just redirect to https.  For this reason, there is a single web directory on Sitehost as opposed to the split www and wwws folders on Webserve.
  • Once an existing Webserve account is migrated to Sitehost your old Webserve account will be locked.  To regain access you will need to contact the Support Center Tier 2 Web Services Support team.

Getting Help

If you are affiliated with the Luddy School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering and would like help setting up or migrating your web site, please submit a request using the SICE Help Desk.  If you need to contact the Web Services support team use the form Support Center Tier 2 Web Services Support team.