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Web Options for UNIX and AFS Users

The Web server running on cannot directly see the AFS file servers or serve pages from them for security reasons. Another system,, runs a Web server that can directly serve pages out of a user's account.

Below are two options for people who want to have web pages, but keep them in AFS and maintain them directly from their AFS account.

Option 1

Make a public_html directory in your AFS account and put your pages in that directory. The machine runs a Web server and sees all the AFS server files, so your URL would be

Users cannot log in to directly, but it sees all your files. All AFS accounts are automatically enabled on Make sure your public_html directory is readable by the Web server. To make sure it is, run the command fs sa ~/public_html http_server rl or fs sa ~/public_html system:anyuser rl.

System:anyuser allows anyone to view any of the files. It is safer to allow access only from the machine on which the Web server runs (http_server).


  • Files are easily edited directly from any AFS machine (or any other machine with an AFS client installed).
  • Can use the Web development tools on the UNIX workstations to better advantage.


  • Slightly less efficient; files get pulled over the network twice.
  • URL is not

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Option 2

Follow the instructions to serve pages off as in Option 1, then obtain a account. In your account, place a file named .htaccess (the leading "." is important) containing the lines:

RewriteEngine on
RewriteRule ^(.*)$$1
RewriteRule /home/people/U/USERNAME/(.*)$1

Replace USERNAME with your own username (and U by the initial letter). This causes the web server on www to call instead for all requested pages.


  • The URL is


  • Less efficient. You will need to contact both servers.

Note: Both servers run PHP files. Neither server directly runs arbitrary user CGI scripts. If you want to dabble with CGI scripts, you should get an account on, then request a companion account by sending an e-mail to, requesting your account be enabled on www. WWW is an experimental server, with the same configuration as, but less restrictive policies and intended for learning and developing Web tools.

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Last Updated: 3/15/11