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Enabling Your Student Web Space

Your web space will be deactivated on January 20th of each year. If you need to use SWE again for another class you'll need to re-run the activation script.

 

After logging in to one of the linux.gl servers, run /afs/umbc.edu/common/bin/enable_student_web_space.sh. This will create a webspace for you as well as a symbolic link to that webspace in your home directory. Your new web space will be reachable at "swe.umbc.edu/~username".

Security Considerations

By enabling your student webspace or by granting the www.swe_web AFS user read or write access to files you control you are exposing these files to:

  • In the case of read access, be read by others who may execute CGIs on our system. Any private information stored in those files could be disclosed.
  • In the case of write access, be written to by others who may execute CGIs on our system. Files may be modified or destroyed. New files may also be created which could cause your user volume to fill up.

Neither UMBC nor DoIT will take responsibility for the security or integrity of files stored in areas where the www.swe_web AFS user has read or write access. We also ask that any user asking for "input" on web forms that store data in those areas make it clear that any information entered on such forms is stored using an insecure method.

Acceptable Use

The Student Web environment is maintained for instructional purposes. As mentioned in the Policy for Responsible Computing, use of UMBC systems for commercial purposes is not allowed. We reserve the right to remove any content that interferes with the instructional mission of the Student Web Environment or attempts to access content outside of your own home volume.

We reserve the right to make significant changes to the Student Web Environment that may cause your older web content to no longer function as you intended. For this and other reasons the Student Web Environment should not be used to host long term content. That said, we will do our best to minimize changes to the Student Web Environment during the academic year.

For more information please refer to the Policy for Responsible Computing

Available Scripting Languages

LanguageFile ExtensionHow To Use
PHP 5.4.phpAny content in a file ending in .php will be interpreted by PHP
Perl 5.16.cgiBegin the file with "#!/usr/bin/perl". All content below that line will be interpreted by Perl
Python 2.7.5.cgiBegin the file with "#!/usr/bin/python". All content below that line will be interpreted by Python
Ruby 2.0.cgiBegin the file with "#!/usr/bin/ruby". All content below that line will be interpreted by Ruby

Automatic Directory Indexes and Index Files

By default our web server will display whatever files and folders you place in your web directory. You will be able to browse your files using this automatic directory index. To change this behavior for a specific directory add an index.html, index.php, or index.cgi file to that directory. Directories with files like that in them will not generate automatic directory indexes. Instead they will display the content of your index file interpreted by php, cgi, or as html depending on the file extension used on your index file.

Preventing a Directory from being Served by Apache

You may come across the need to access content in your scripts that should not ever be served by Apache. You can prevent Apache from serving the content in a particular directory by denying access in a ".htaccess" file. Using your favorite text editor create a file named ".htaccess". The file should contain a single line that says "deny from all". Content from any folder with such a .htaccess file will not be served by Apache.

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