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The Webserve environment is the standard IU platform for Apache/PHP/MySQL web hosting.  By default, you will have a url of the form http://www.indiana.edu/~account (where the "account" is your chosen group account username) or you can set up virtual hosting so you can select your own domain, like http://something.soic.indiana.edu/. This page is intended to be a quick guide to getting a site set up on Webserve and includes references to more detailed UITS documentation.

 

No Restricted or Critical Data

Please note that Webserve can NOT be used to host Restricted or Critical data as noted in the Webserve Service Agreement.


The UITS Quick Start Guide

The Getting Started With Webserve document provides much of the information presented here and is a great reference document.  In addition, there is a Detailed Getting Started Guide that provides more details. The rest of this document is somewhat streamlined and tailored to the SoIC audience and is not intended to be a replacement for these extremely useful documents.

Step 0: Show Me the Money

Webserve and MySQL accounts, including virtual domain hosting, are free for most SoIC uses but only with limited storage space.  If you exceed the 1GB file storage limit then you will have to pay the $2/GB/year recurring storage fee.  So, for example, if you wanted an additional 25GB of file storage and 25GB of additional MySQL database space, there would be a $100 annual charge and you must provide an account number for this on the request form.  If you are setting up an account that serves a school-sponsored function (ie. a class site) and want the school to fund it, please contact us via the SoIC Help Desk.  If you have another account number you want to use and you are authorized to use it, you can just provide that in the request form.  You can see the current billing charges on the Web Account Service Charges Page.

Step 1: Creating a group account

A group account must be created by either a faculty or staff member of the school.  In some cases, it makes sense for the SoIC IT staff to own the group account and, in that case, you can make the request via the SoIC Help Desk.  If you want to own the group account then you can create it per the instructions in the Webserve Document.

Step 2: Requesting the Webserve Account

The next step is to create the webserve account and, optionally, a MySQL database, virtual hosting, and a few other things.  The only thing you have to create is the Webserve account itself which you can do from the WebTech Services Management Page.  Your best bet for setting all of this up is to just follow the flowchart in the Getting Started With Webserve document.

Step 3: Publishing to Webserve

Once your site is created, you will want to publish your files to the site.  Please see the Webserve Publishing Document for all the gory details.  Below is information about ssh and drive mapping as a quick reference but see the  Webserve Publishing Document for more information.  Also, note that connections to webserve (for publishing content) from outside of IU require that you use the IU VPN.

Step 3a: File Upload via SSH/SCP/SFTP

If you want to use an ssh-based file upload method, you can do this using the hostname webserve.iu.edu and your group account username and passphrase (as you created in Step 1 above).  Your files must be placed in the www directory (http) or wwws directory (https).  Most content management systems allow ssh-based publishing or you can use something like WinSCP to drag/drop files into the site.

Step 3b: File Upload via Drive Mapping

If you want to map a network drive to your webserve account, you can do this using Siteshare.  When you use Siteshare, it is important to note that you will log in using your normal IU username and passphrase and NOT the group account username you created for your site.  You will use a path of the form \\siteshare.uits.indiana.edu\account (windows) or smb://siteshare.uits.indiana.edu/account (Mac) where account is your group account username NOTyour normal IU username. Your files must be placed in the www directory (http) or wwws directory (https).

By default, a webserve account is only accessible via Siteshare to the owner of the account.  If you are the owner and want to grant other IU users access, go to the Siteshare Authorization Maintenance page.  From there, you can select the webserve account from the pull-down menu and then add a space separated list of IU usernames for access to the Authorized Users field.

Please see the Siteshare User Guide for more information on using Siteshare.

Step 4: Selecting a URL

As noted earlier, you will have a URL of the form http://www.indiana.edu/~account (where the "account" is your chosen group account username) or you can set up virtual hosting so you can select your own domain, like http://something.soic.indiana.edu/ (where you provide the "something.  If you want to set up virtual hosting, you can do this using the Virtual Host Name Request Form as described in the Getting Started With Webserve document.  If you want to do this and you will be using the soic.indiana.edu domain, please let us know via the SoIC Help Desk.

When you fill out the virtual host name request form, you will be asked "Will this service have secure content".  If you plan to do any authentication whatsoever with the site, you must say 'yes' so you can use https for secure authentication.  If you say 'no' to this, then your url will not work using https, only http.  The downside is this can cause confusion if someone goes to the https url instead of http since they will get SSL certificate errors and a page not found error.  So, if you want both http and https urls to work, you must answer 'yes' for this.  For this reason, we always recommend selecting 'yes' here and setting things up so the https url works.  If you need help with this, please let us know via the SoIC Help Desk.

Step 5: MySQL Database Access

After you have created the Webserve account, you can optionally create a MySQL account from the WebTech Services Management Page.  Just log into the web interface, locate the group account, and click Add to request the MySQL account.  You will need to answer a number of questions regarding your use of the database.   You should hear from UITS within a day or so after making the request with details about your database.  You will receive two MySQL instances, one for testing and one for production as follows:

  • Server: mysql-test.iu.edu (test) and mysql.iu.edu (production)
  • Port Number: UITS will provide non-standard port numbers for each
  • Username: root (you will need to create non-root accounts yourself)
  • Password: UITS will distribute the passwords via either phone or campus mail

Armed with this information, you can access your MySQL instances per the setup section of the  IU MySQL User Guide.

Step 6: Digital Media Streaming Service

After you have created the Webserve account, you can optionally create a access to the Digital Media Streaming Service from the WebTech Services Management Page.  Just log into the web interface, locate the group account, and click Add to request the service.  There is more information about this service in the Detailed Getting Started Guide and the Video Streaming Page.

Step 7: SSL/https Access

When your site is created, you will have both www and wwws directories in the account.  Content placed in the www directory is accessible via http and that placed in the wwws directory is accessible via SSL-secured https using a url like https://www.indiana.edu/~account.  If you want to use https with a virtual domain like https://something.soic.indiana.edu/ then that has to be requested (see the note in section 4 above).

No Restricted or Critical Data

Please note that even if you are using SSL/https, Webserve can NOT be used to host Restricted or Critical data as noted in the Webserve Service Agreement.


Notes, Tips, and Tricks

  • Web Logs -You have access to web usage data using the url http://www-reports.iu.edu/[account name] (where you replace [account name] with the name of the group account you are using.  This data includes any virtual domains being hosted under that account.  For more information see the User Documentation for WebHost Services Web Usage Reports.

  • Directory Indexes - By default, you will not be able to get directory listings when a directory doesn't contain and index file (like index.html).  However, you can enable this feature by following the instructions in the help page Enabling Directory Indexing on Webserve.  However, they suggest using "Options Indexes" in the .htaccess file but that also removes the default Options settings.  If all you want to do is add indexing then you can use "Options +Indexes" instead.

  • Canonical URLs - If you are hosting a virtual domain you probably want to set up a canonical URL for your site and redirect all other URLs to this preferred URL.  For example, if you have music.informatics.indiana.edu but the site is also reachable using urls www.music.informatics.indiana.edu and http://www.indiana.edu/~musicweb then you can force all URLS to use music.informatics.indiana.edu by added this to a .htaccess file at the top of the site:

    RewriteEngine on
    RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} ^/~musicweb/ [OR]
    RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^www.music.informatics.indiana.edu$
    RewriteRule ^(.*)$ http://music.informatics.indiana.edu/$1 [R,L] 

    There is more information about this in the document Redirect to a Different URL using .htaccess.

  • Redirecting All Requests to HTTPS - If your site works using https and you want to force all http traffic to use https, then you can do that by 1) putting all your content in the wwws directory (instead of the www directory) and then redirecting http to https by creating a .htaccess file in the www directory that contains something like the following:

    RewriteEngine on
    RewriteCond %{HTTPS} !on
    RewriteRule ^(.*)$ https://something.soic.indiana.edu/$1 [R,L]  

    You will need to replace the domain (something.soic.indiana.edu in the above example) with the correct name for your virtual domain.

Getting Help

Your best source of information about Webserve is the IU Webmaster web site.  If you get stuck and want to contact the IU Webmaster team, see their Contact Page.  If you are affiliated with the School of Informatics and Computing (SoIC) and would like help setting up your web site, please submit a request using the SoIC Help Desk.