Duke's WWW Server

John Gallagher and John McCann
Last update: March 20, 1996

This page describes techniques for creating your WWW applications and managing them on Duke's WWW server. If you have comments or suggestions, please send them via email to johng@mail.duke.edu.

The Duke WWW Server - Overview

Duke University provides a public WWW server for the use byf anyone who has an account on the Duke public computer cluster machines (acpub). As students at Fuqua, you have such an account, and you are free to use the Duke WWW server for the purposes of this class. Your account name and password for your acpub account will be the same as for your ECS Mail account.

To use this WWW service, you must first create a special directory on your acpub account. Then you must place your files in that special directory. This directory must be named public_html. This directory does not exist when your account is created. You must create this directory manually. You can then move your files to this directory using your WS-FTP software. Any WWW files you place in your public_html directory can be accessed by anyone, anywhere with access to the Web. So, you can show off your work to "outsiders" as well as others at Duke University.

For example, iff your account were named jjk2, and you have placed an html document named mypage.htm in your public_html directory, the proper URL for loading this document into a WWW browser would be:


Connecting to your account with WS-FTP

Here is a simple approach for creating the directory you need and managing your files on your acpub account. It uses the WS-FTP software. WS-FTP is the Windows-based FTP software provided to you in the Fuqua computer labs. It can be found in the CMLE Windows group. It is also available to you at home if you have installed the CMLE software.

Connecting to your Duke Account::

Start WS-FTP Fill in the fields in the Connect to... window much like the example below.

There are several things to note about the fields in this sample "Connect to..." form: Once you are connected to your account, you will see a screen that looks something like this:

Creating your public_html directory

Your FTP software shows matching windows and controls on the right and left sides of the screen above. The left side displays and lets you control files on your PC. The right side displays and lets you conrol files on the remote machine you are connected to.

Transfering your files to the Duke WWW Server

Now that you have created your public_html directory, and you have used the change directory button to move into that directory, you can begin moving your WWW files to this new location. Remember, it does no good to transfer your files into your account unless you are in the public_html directory. Your WWW files must be here.

  • Once you are in the public_html directory, you can copy files to it from your PC. You simply manipulate the windows on the left (your pc files) by clicking on drives and dirctory names until you see the directory in which you have stored your files, or you can use the ChDir button to help you.

  • Once you are in the PC directory that contains the files you want to transfer, you simply click on them once to highlight them, and then click on the arrow pointing right that indicates a transfer from the PC to the Duke machine. Your files will be transferred. They remain on your PC, but copies are placed in your Duke acpub account, in the public_html directory.

    Now that you have created your public_html directory, you can edit your WS-FTP configuration file so that you will be placed in this directory each time you log into your Duke account. In the configuration form (Connect to....), you see a field for "remote directory". If you put public_html in that field and save the configuration, WS-FTP will automatically put you in that directory each time you run this configuration. That way you can avoid the potential problem of accidentally transferring your files to your main directory because you forgot to "change directories" into your public_html. You can also specify a Local Directory in the Connect to... form. That will be the starting directory on your PC. So, if you generally create your WWW files in one spot on your PC, you can make sure WS-FTP starts up in the right directory by specifying it here.

    Using FTP to Reach Other Sites

    File Transfer Protocol (FTP) has been a part of the Internet for a long time, and was the major tool for moving files between computers prior to the arrival of GOPHER and then WWW. It is still commonly used by software companies to provide upgrades to their software. We use it regularly to reach sites, such as Microsoft, that allow us to log-in as "anonymous". The following image shows an WS-FTP Connect To screen for logging into Microsoft:

    It is common to use your email address (e.g., gfk3@mail.duke.edu) as the password. Notice that the "Anonymous login" box is checked.
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