Web Admin FAQ's

General Questions

Your username and password is your NetID and NetPassword. If you change your NetPassword, your password on your virtual server changes as well. If you are unsure what your NetID is, please see: Determining your NetID (PDF)

Centos 6 64-bit GNU/Linux

Each server is running Apache 2.2.x.

Each server is running PHP 5.x in Safe Mode.

Each server is running MySQL 5.x.

Each server is running Perl 5.x.

By default each server has 256MB of memory.

By default each server is allocated 10mb/s worth of bandwidth.

By default each server has 250MB of disk space quota. This includes the OS, all logs, MySQL data and the website. If your site was migrated from Archive you will have as much space as you did there. If you would like to see how much space you are using, run the following command from the command line: 'df -h'. This command will show you how much space you have, and the percentage used.If you need an increase in disk space, please fill out the following form with the name of the website included: Mass Storage Request Form

No. Root access is not shared.

Yes. Each server is backed up nightly. If you need a file restored, please fill out the following form: File Restoration Form

Yes, but please bear in mind that maintenance of a software package is an ongoing responsibility. If you are installing a software package then you need to periodically check for patches and new versions and have a regular update schedule. The most frequent cause of web site defacements is unpatched software with known security vulnerabilities. If you are installing homegrown software consider who will fix it in a year, or two, when a flaw is discovered or some incompatibility with the latest version of server software causes it to not work. We cannot undertake to fix user installed software that stops working when we install a necessary server software update.

Yes. If you had to get a new domain because of moving to the new environment, the old URL will get redirected to the new URL. For example: www.msstate.edu/dept/its/ would redirect to www.its.msstate.edu/. Such redirects will be removed at some point in the future.


Accessing Your Web Site

To view your website, simply go to the domain you were given. Going to the IP address will not get you to your website. To upload files you must use either SCP or SFTP. These both use encrypted logins so no one can capture your password when you type it. You will need to log in with your NetId/NetPassword.

While not supported officially by MSU ITS, WinSCP is a free, easy to use application to transfer files to your website. After running WinSCP simply enter 1) hostname (e.g. www.its.msstate.edu) 2) username (your netid) 3) password (your netpassword) and click [Login]. The first time connecting a warning about a key will popup, click [Yes]. After connecting a link(a directory with a little arrow underneath) will be on the right to the website directory(e.g. its). Anything copied into the website directory will be on the website.

ExpanDrive offers a commercial SFTP software package that allows accessing an SFTP server as a regular network drive.

Telnet and FTP are not allowed as these are unsecured protocols.

SSL is available on request. We offer a free SSL certificate that works with most applications and browsers. If your application requires a Thawte or Verisign certificate you will be charged for the certificate. Please note that if you use NetID/NetPassword authentication it is REQUIRED that you use SSL. Also note that this service is not intended for the transmission or storage of sensitive information such as grades, social security numbers or credit card data.

  1. Open Dreamweaver.
  2. Go to Site => Manage Sites…
  3. In the Manage Sites window, click on the site name, then click Edit... Or click New to define a new site.
  4. In the Site Definition window, click on the Advanced tab.
  5. In the left-hand column under Category, click Remote Info.
  6. In the Remote Info panel, click on the check box next to Use Secure FTP (SFTP).
  7. Click OK.

You will have a link in your home directory. This link will be your Fully Qualified Doman Name minus the .msstate.edu. This link will go to /var/www/fqdn/html. Place your website files in this directory. For example: The website www.its.msstate.edu has a link in my home directory called its/ that links to /var/www/its.msstate.edu/html/.
If you are using SSL, there is a slight difference. Inside your home directory you will have a link called "ssl-fqdn". For example: The SSL files for www.its.msstate.edu has a link in my home directory called ssl-its/ that links to /var/www/its.msstate.edu/ssl/

If you choose to use CGI scripts you will notice a cgi directory under your html directory. This is where you put your CGI Scripts. Here is an example on how to access them: www.its.msstate.edu/cgi.

Your logs are under /var/www/fqdn/log/. For example /var/www/its.msstate.edu/log/.

Yes, a nightly Analog analysis is run. You can access the log stats by going to your website with /statistics/ after it. For example, www.its.msstate.edu/statistics/

All htaccess commands are available for you.

Samba sends data unencrypted and is not supported. Similar functionality can be achieved with the ExpanDrive software package.

No. WebDAV is not supported.


Managing and Using MySQL

No, MySQL is not running by default. If you require MySQL then please submit a help desk ticket to request that it be turned on. Please bear in mind that this service is not intended for the storage of sensitive information like grades, social security numbers or credit card data.

By default you have access to the 'webdb' database.

There are 3 users:

  • admin: Has all permissions for the 'webdb' database.
  • user_ro: Has only select permissions for the 'webdb' database. This user is here for security.
  • user_rw: Has select, insert, update and delete access for the 'webdb' database.

You can request access for additional databases, but this is usually not needed. Most packages which use MySQL can coexist within a single database. If you are writing your own software we recommend that you choose a prefix for all tables used by your package. For example, if you are writing a calendar application that has an events table, call it "mycalendar_events" instead of just "events" to avoid potential for name conflicts.

Yes. Anything you put on your virtual server will take up space on your server.

Add /mysql/ to the end of the url for your website. For example:
www.its.msstate.edu/mysql/. phpMyAdmin is restricted to on-campus address
ranges. Users can use the VPN to access it from off-campus.


Using PHP

PHP is running in Safe Mode. Group Safe Mode is also turned on.

Check to make sure that your script is readable by the world. Also check and make sure that you have opened and closed the <?php … ?> tags.

The short version of php open tags ( <? , <?= ) are not enabled.

Look in your error logs under the log directory. For example: /var/www/its.msstate.edu/log/error_log

No, Register Globals is turned off. This feature has substantial security implications and is now turned off by default. In the beta of the next version of PHP this feature has been removed completely.

Yes, however, mail delivery is limited to only to campus addresses. Relaying mail to off-campus addresses is not allowed by default.