The IU Webmaster

Personal Home Pages (Php) at IUB

With an IUB network ID you may create and publish your own personal World Wide Web pages using UITS central Unix hosts (Cobalt, Steel, IBM SP). Your pages will be served to web browsers via In this document you can find out about Setting up for Php, Creating Your Personal Home Pages, The Directory of Personal Home Pages, and Finding Your Home Pages.

Php is for personal Web pages only. If your Web pages have to do with official IU business (e.g. instruction, research, administration), you should check out the central IU Web server,, where you'll have access to Web utilities not available through Php. You'll find the information you need on the IU Webmaster's Web page at

Setting up for Php

If you're an IUB student or faculty/staff member you may already have an account on one of the Unix hosts mentioned above. If not, you can create one using Network ID Services at

Files stored on the UITS central Unix computers are stored on the Network File Server (NFS). That means that your files are really on one disk, in a directory named /N/u/username (where 'username' is your username) with subdirectories named for the central Unix hosts on which you have accounts. As a result, no matter which of these computers you are logged into, you can get to your files on any of the others.

In the past, users have logged into Ezinfo to create and maintain their personal home pages in their Ezinfo/www subdirectory. You may now log into Steel (or one of the other central Unix computers) to access a www subdirectory to be used for your personal web pages. In order for your pages to be viewed with a browser, a symbolic link that Php recogizes must be created. A tool is provided to create both the www subdirectory where you'll store your personal Web pages and to create the link necessary for Php to recognize them.

Creating Personal Home Pages for the First Time

You should create a Steel account and log into this account. Once logged in, type spinweb at the command prompt. The spinweb command does a number of things for you.

Maintaining Your Personal Home Pages through Ezinfo

Although the computer known as Ezinfo is scheduled to be retired, your Ezinfo directory will not automatically be removed from your NFS space. If you're already using Ezinfo to maintain your personal web pages, you may continue to do so for the time being. The link necessary for has been created for you. The link, WWW, points to Ezinfo/www. You may run spinweb on Ezinfo to correctly set your file permissions when adding pages to your Ezinfo/www directory.

If you do not already have personal web pages in Ezinfo/www, you are encouraged to create them through Steel. Spinweb will no longer create a new Ezinfo/www directory.

Moving Your Personal Home Pages from Ezinfo to Steel

It is not necessary for you to move your pages from Ezinfo, however a tool has been provided to accomplish this task. Your Ezinfo directory will continue to exist and you will be able to get to your files there from Steel (or the other Unix central computers) with the following command cd /N/u/username/Ezinfo (where username should be replaced with your username).

To move your existing web pages from the Ezinfo directory to the Steel directory, log into Steel and type moveweb. You need do this only once. Moveweb will create a Steel/www directory and move your pages and then reset the link for Php (WWW will point to Steel/www). If you have sufficient disk space and would like to make copies of your web pages, rather than simply moving them, you may type moveweb -c. Moveweb with the -c option will still change your link so that WWW points to Steel/www.

Creating Your Personal Home Pages

For information about how to create HTML documents see Learning About HTML.

The easiest way to get started is to edit the home-template.html file that Spinweb places in the www directory of your Steel directory. Save your edited version as home.html in Steel/www so that browsers will automatically look for it, and it will automatically be added to the IUB Directory of Personal Home Pages at

A good way to enhance your page while you learn HTML is to borrow coding from a Web page that you like. Assume that everything you find on the Web - text, graphics, sound, video, etc. - is copyrighted, unless express permission to borrow is given on the page. If you use something from another Web page, cite the URL (or even link to it) on your page, just as you would cite an author in a paper publication. View your work in progress to be sure it appears as you wish.

To work with your pages you may select tools that you can use on Steel or the other Unix central computers, such as a Unix editor. Or you may select a desktop tool to create your pages. In this case you will need to transfer your pages to your Steel/www directory using a file transfer package. You will also need to be sure to save your files in text or HTML format and with the appropriate extension (e.g. .html).

To transfer your files:

The Directory of Personal Home Pages

Your primary Web page for Php is automatically included in the "IUB" Directory of Home Pages" (at as long as it's in your www directory (in either Ezinfo or Steel), is named home.html, and you've run Spinweb at least once. Your listing in the home page diretory will include the URL for your page, your name, your e-mail address, and anything you've included in the <title> field inside your file's header.

If you want to publish information via Php, but do not wish to be automatically listed, simply create files with names other than home.html in the www subdirectory.

If you have an existing home page on a personal or departmental machine that you would like to have listed in the Directory of Personal Home Pages, do the following:

Note that the forward.home file takes precedence over the home.html file. That is, if a forward.home file exists, it will be honored even if a home.html file is present.

Finding Your Home Pages

Once you've got your Web page set up for Php, you'll want to check it to make sure everything works correctly. To locate your Web page, do one of the following:

Find it with its URL (Web address)

The URL (Uniform Resource Locator) for a file in your www directory is: http://machine_name/~username/filename.html. For example, if your username is 'bcrocker' and your file is named 'recipes.html', the URL for your file will be:
Note- Normally in URLs you would include the complete path to the file (e.g. in the example above, ~bcrocker/www/recipes.html). Because of the way this software is configured, however, always leave www out of the URL. For similar reasons, if your primay web page is named 'home.html' you may also leave out this part of the path. Thus, you may only have to type in to get the home.html file in bcrocker's www directory.

Find it in the home pages directory

As discussed above, assuming you've got a file named 'home.html' in your www directory and you've run Spinweb, you'll be able to find your Web page in the Directory of Personal Home Pages. This directory is available from the IU Bloomington WWW home page. You may browse for personal home pages alphabetically by username or you may use a search query.

Last Modified: 22 July 1999
Copyright 1999, The Trustees of Indiana University