Web Directory Setup

In order to publish a web page to the World Wide Web, you must create a directory in your abacus account, and make it accessible for viewing. You should only have to set up this directory, and the permissions to view it once. Depending on how you add additional directories to your public_html, you may also have to set the permissions for new directories in this way as well.

Note: In the following instructions, please make sure to include all the spaces and punctuation for each command. Otherwise you may be given an error “Command not found”. If you get this error, check the punctuation and the syntax of your last command.

A. Log into Abacus with your abacus user id and password:

  1. You should see a prompt:
    WIN: requires a third party application to establish a secure shell (ssh) connection to abacus. PuTTY is the recommended SSH client (and is fully supported by Help Desk Services).
  2. A helpsheet on obtaining (free) and installing PuTTY can be found at:
  3. A helpsheet to configure PuTTY to connect to abacus can be found at:
  4. MAC: Applications: Utilities: Terminal:
    Type in: ssh abacus.bates.edu Press return

B. Check for an existing web directory:

  1. At the abacus prompt, type: ls -l
  2. There is a space between the “s” and the “-“
  3. If you see a public_html directory see below

ls stands for list. This command will show you the available files and directories.
-l stands for Long list format. This will show a detailed list view of the available files and directories.

C. Create a web directory:

  1. Type: mkdir public_html
  2. Press return

mkdir stands for Make Directory (named) public_html. A directory is the same as a folder you work with on your desktop. It contains other folders and files.

D. Check your work:

  1. At the abacus prompt, type: ls -l
  2. There is a space between the “s” and the “-“
  3. If you don’t see public_html return to step 3

E. Make your account executable:
These directions set the permissions for your group, and all others to Execute files in your web directory. chmod is the command to change permissions. (g) & (o) stand for Group and Other. The (+) symbol stands for add and (x) stands for Execute. The file or folder to which you are assigning these permissions is last. Please also consult the basic steps for file permissions.

  1. At the abacus prompt, type:
    chmod go+x .
  2. There is a space after the “x” and then the period
  3. Press return.
  4. Type in chmod go+rwx * [NOTE: there is a space between the x and *]
  5. Press return

Image files and/or other files can be viewed in a web browser by the following url construction:  http://abacus.bates.edu/~username/filename.ext

F. Close your abacus account:

  1. At the abacus prompt, type: exit
  2. Then FILE: Quit the ssh application

G. After you’ve uploaded your webpages, your URL will be:

  1. www.bates.edu/~abacusID
  2. For example: www.bates.edu/~hpotter