About IU Sitehosting


IU Sitehosting, the replacement for Webserve, is IU's central web server solution for core and gateway university websites, including but not limited to www.iu.edu, www.indiana.edu, www.iub.edu, www.iupui.edu, www.iun.edu, www.iuk.edu, www.iue.edu, www.ius.edu, www.iusb.edu, and others.

IU Sitehosting is available for the IU community's use to publish web content for purposes related to the university's mission of education, research, and public service. Any full-time faculty or staff member may request an account for this purpose. For more about accounts and services for IU Sitehosting, see Manage accounts with the Enterprise Web Technical Services site.

Sitehost data classifications

As with Webserve, Sitehost is cleared for the storage and processing of Restricted data or lower. Account owners who wish to process data with higher classifications should work with Data Stewards and Sitehost administrators (via Web Services Support) to obtain authorization.

If you're using the WCMS, be aware that it is only cleared to host and process University-Internal data.

For more, see Types of data.

IU Sitehosting features at a glance

  • Apache 2.4
  • Server connections: SSH2/SFTP with two-factor authentication
  • MySQL 5.7
  • Perl 5.26
  • PHP 7.3
  • Python 2.7.15+
  • Text editors: vim, emacs, pico
  • Virtual hostnames: Accounts automatically receive accountname.sitehost.iu.edu; additional virtual hostnames can be created on request
  • Home directory: /groups/accountname/
  • Web directory: /groups/accountname/web

New features and other changes from Webserve

The following summary of changes will help smooth your migration from Webserve to Sitehost. For more about the migration process, see Migrate your site from Webserve to IU Sitehosting.

  • Apache 2.4: Sitehost uses Apache version 2.4, versus Webserve's older version 2.2. Syntax and other changes in .htaccess, especially the authentication control rules, will require special attention when migrating a site. For more about these changes, see:
  • PHP 7.3 and php.ini: Sitehost uses PHP 7.3. Although there are few incompatibilities between PHP 7.1 and 7.3, you should check your php code for issues:
  • PHP.ini name is not supported: Sites with php.ini must rename their file to .user.ini in order for IU Sitehosting to recognize the file.
  • Mandatory two-factor login: Sitehost requires mandatory two-factor login for all SSH and SFTP connections. you'll need to have your devices added to the Duo login for the group account your're attempting to sign into, or use the Group VPN if two-factor login is impractical. To use the Sitehost Group VPN, see the instructions in Connect to IU's SSL VPN using Pulse Secure for Windows or macOS. When connecting and prompted to chose a Role, select Groups 3833 (IU-Linux-Hosting-Users).
  • New file path and single directory for sites:
    • Sitehost accounts host their files in the following directory: /groups/accountname/
    • Published web files are hosted in the following directory: /groups/accountname/web/

    Users with scripts that point to legacy Webserve file path structure (/ip/accountname/...) will need to update those scripts to match the new file paths.

    Users with different content in their Webserve /www/ and /wwws/ directories will need to combine or discard content in order to use Sitehost's single /web/ server.

  • HTTPS traffic only: Sitehost only serves traffic via HTTPS/SSL. All non HTTPS/SSL requests will automatically be redirected to the HTTPS/SSL version of the site. There is no option for non-HTTPS/SSL site service.
  • Tilde URL retirement: Sitehost does not support tilde URLs (URLs that previously existed on Webserve as www.campus.edu/~accountname). All sites on Sitehost instead use the URL format accountname.sitehost.iu.edu for production and accountname.sitehost-test.iu.edu.

    A temporary translation service for tilde URLs has been configured to allow tilde URLs to exist, but this service is temporary and will be discontinued after Webserve's retirement.

  • Transform retirement: The legacy Transform form creation service is being retired at the same time as Webserve. No central form creation service is available at this time. Users who wish to create forms are encouraged to do so using Machform.
  • Siteshare retirement: The Siteshare service is being retired at the same time as Webserve. Site managers are instead encouraged to use SSH keys for their users, which will allow greater access via both SFTP and SSH. For more about SSH keys for Sitehost, see Generate and use SSH keys with IU Sitehosting.
  • Perl modules: Perl is available on Sitehost, but only with the default modules installed. To request additional modules, contact the Support Center Tier 2 Web Services Support team.

Request Sitehost accounts

Sitehost accounts must be tied to an existing group account. If you already have a group account you wish to use, you may perform all account management tasks for Sitehost on the Enterprise Web Technical Services (Webtech) site at https://webtech.uits.iu.edu; for instructions, see Manage accounts with the Enterprise Web Technical Services site.

Connect to the Sitehost servers

Sitehost servers support SSH and sFTP connections via two-factor authentication or by SSH keys. A Sitehost account features access to a production and a testing server for development work. The server URLs to connect in the application of your choice are:

  • Sitehost (production server): ssh.sitehost.iu.edu
  • Sitehost-test (test server): ssh.sitehost-test.iu.edu

You will need to be on campus, or be using a VPN if off campus. If you are unable to use two-factor authentication, you may use the Groups VPN, selecting Groups 3833(IU-Linux-Hosting-Users) to bypass the two-factor requirement. For more about connecting to the Sitehost servers via SSH keys, see Generate and use SSH keys with IU Sitehosting.

Support for IU Sitehosting

For technical assistance, contact the Support Center Tier 2 Web Services Support team for technical assistance. For site development and coding support, you may wish to contract with IU Studios.

This is document axnv in the Knowledge Base.
Last modified on 2019-08-14 13:01:33.

Contact us

For help or to comment, email the UITS Support Center.