Homepages (CS, CSELabs)

Students, faculty, and staff have several options for creating a web presence at the University of Minnesota. Any user with a valid account can create a homepage in their home directory. If you would like to start a blog, IT@UMN supports Blogger. The University also hosts Drupal Lite sites for University departments, academic units, faculty members, and researchers, as well as Drupal sites for University departments. Since the University retired UMWiki, Google Sites are suggested for websites requiring collaborative content management.

If none of these options fit your needs, please contact CSE-IT at csehelp@umn.edu to discuss additional options.

Secure Web Programming

Webpage Policies

Create your homepage

To create your webspace, the first step is to check permissions on your CS or CSE Labs, UNIX home directory and create a .www/ directory within it. This is where all your webpages will be stored.

Set Permissions

Make sure your CS or CSE Labs UNIX home directory has the world-executable bit set (o+x), then create a .www/ directory in it. Your home directory, .www directory, and all subdirectories inside the .www directory must be world-executable, but not be group or world-writable. Your home directory and the directories inside it, must : if others are allowed to write to this directory, they could execute malicious code in your webspace. Use the following command to set the permissions:

% chmod 701 ~

% mkdir ~/.www

% chmod 701 ~/.www

Directory and file permissions may be checked as follows:

% ls -al <directory_name>

Create Content

In your .www directory you can create your homepage, PHP-enabled webpages, or CGI scripts. These tutorials will help you:

Your homepage will be a text file named index.html within your .www directory. If you want to edit the HTML directly, you can use a text editor such as xemacs, emacs, pico or vi:

% cd ~/.www

% xemacs index.html

This will call up the xemacs text editor. You can use any text or code editor to create and edit your HTML file, such as emacs, pico, vi, etc. Cut and paste the following code into your preferred text editor:

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml" xml:lang="en" lang="en">
<title>Hello world</title>
<p> This is my homepage.</p>

Check permissions on all your .www directory files. Anything you want readable on the Web needs to be 644 (world -readable). For example, after you create your index.html file above, execute:

% chmod 644 index.html

Permissions should look like (for example):

% -rw-r--r--+ 1 <username> <group_name> 331 Apr 14 2017 index.html

Test your homepage

In a web browser, open:

  • CS Users: http://www-users.cs.umn.edu/~<username>/
  • CSE Labs Users: http://www-users.cselabs.umn.edu/~<username>/

Note the "~" in the url before your username.

If you get an Internal Server Error, double-check that you followed all the steps above. You can also check the Error Logs for error documentation. If you still can't get your homepage to work properly, contact Systems Staff.