About the Pages server

On this page:

Overview

IU Pages will be migrating to a new server on August 4, 2020. The Mercury server, where IU Pages accounts are currently hosted, will be retired and replaced with the new Pages server. Most websites will be active on the new servers without any further action required. However, some users will need to take additional steps to activate their websites; UITS will contact those users directly with more information. These steps do not apply to IU Pages websites created after the migration date.

The new server has the following changes:

  • User files have already been copied to the new Pages server. Most websites will be active on the new servers without any further action required. However, the following users will need to take additional steps to activate their websites:
    • Users that have content in the wwws directory on the Mercury server
    • Users that have an .htaccess file on the Mercury server

    If you don't have content in your wwws directory or an .htaccess file, you won't need to take additional steps to activate your website on the new Pages server.

  • The home directory on the Pages server will have a directory named web. This is where the files for the website will need to be placed. This differs from the two directory (www and wwws) style of the retiring Mercury server.
  • The SSH hostname is now ssh-pages.iu.edu.
  • Duo authentication is required for logins (SSH/SFTP); see About Two-Step Login (Duo) at IU.
  • The home directory on the Pages server will be /users/<username>, where <username> is your personal IU username.
  • All websites will use the secure protocol of HTTPS.
  • All websites will have a new web address of <username>.pages.iu.edu, where <username> is your personal IU username.
  • The old web addresses using the tilde character (pages.iu.edu/~account) will be redirected to the new <username>.pages.iu.edu URLs. This redirect will be in place for a year after the migration, and then the tilde URLs will be retired.

Connect to the Pages server

Note:
If you are off campus, you must be connected to the IU VPN while connecting to the Pages server. For instructions, see About the IU VPN.

Graphical interface client (SFTP)

Use graphical applications such as WinSCP (Windows) and Cyberduck (Mac) to connect to the Pages server. These applications provide a visual interface to manage your Pages files.

Connection details:

  • Hostname: ssh-pages.iu.edu
  • Protocol: SFTP
  • Port: 22
  • Username: Your IU username
  • Password: Your IU passphrase

A Duo push will automatically be sent to the first push device (such as a smartphone) configured for your account. If you do not have a push device configured, a phone call will be made to the first phone number configured for your account. Complete the Duo authorization to continue connecting.

For instructions on using WinSCP and Cyberduck with the Pages server, see Use a graphical SFTP client with the Pages server.

Command line client (SSH)

Use command line applications such as PuTTY, PowerShell, and Terminal (Mac) to connect to the Pages server. Because these applications don't offer a visual interface to manage your files, you will need to be familiar with Unix commands for managing files; see Introduction to Unix commands.

Connection details:

  • Hostname: ssh-pages.iu.edu
  • Username: Your IU username
  • Password: Your IU passphrase

PuTTY

To connect to Pages using PuTTY:

  1. Enter the following:
    • Hostname: username@ssh-pages.iu.edu
    • Port: 22
  2. A new window will open and prompt you for a password. Enter your personal IU passphrase.
  3. Select your Duo device when prompted.
  4. Optional: Enter a memorable name in the "Saved Sessions" field (for example, SSH for Pages) and click Save. This lets you quickly launch an SSH connection to the Pages server.

Terminal application

To connect to Pages using a terminal application (such as Terminal on Mac, PowerShell, or a command prompt):

  1. Enter ssh <username>@ssh-pages.iu.edu (replacing <username> with your personal IU username).
  2. When prompted to enter your password, use your personal IU passphrase.
  3. Select your Duo device when prompted.

Manage and use SSH keys

You may use SSH keys to connect to the new IU Pages server. SSH keys are a more secure alternative to logging in with a password or passphrase. For instructions, see Generate and use SSH keys with IU Sitehosting.

Note the following:

  • SSH keys for IU Pages are managed through the Webtech Enterprise website.
  • You should not manually manage your SSH keys through the authorized_keys file, either through ssh-copy-id or editing the authorized_keys file to change accepted keys. The authorized_keys file is periodically updated by the system to reflect the SSH keys on your Webtech Enterprise profile, and any manual edits will be overwritten.
  • SSH keys from the Mercury server will not be moved to the new Pages server. If you had SSH keys on Mercury, you will need to add the keys to your Webtech Enterprise profile.

Restore files on IU Pages

IU Pages is supported by the Comodo data backup and recovery service. This includes 14 days of nightly backups, which can be recovered manually or by contacting Support Center Tier 2. For more, see Restore files on IU Sitehosting.

Activate your website on Pages

Notes:
  • If you had no content in your wwws directory and no .htaccess file, your website will automatically be active on August 4, 2020. If you had any files in the wwws directory or an .htaccess file, you will need to manually activate your website by following the instructions below.
  • Your files have been moved from the retiring Mercury server to the Pages server. They will be in the following directories on the new Pages server (replace <username> with your IU username):
    • /user/<username>/www
    • /user/<username>/wwws

To activate your website on Pages:

  1. Move your website's files from the www or wwws directory to the web directory:
    • Graphical interface client (SFTP):
      1. Open the client and connect to the Pages server.
      2. Open both www and wwws to see where your files are located.
      3. Select your files, copy them, and then paste them into the web directory. You can also drag and drop the files from one directory to another.
    • Command line client (SSH): UITS recommends using a graphical interface client (SFTP) if you are not familiar with using the command line in Unix or Linux to manage files. To learn about common Unix commands, see Introduction to Unix commands.

      The new Pages server has a command to assist in migrating your files with a command line client, move_to_web:

      1. Open the command line client and connect to the Pages server.
      2. Use the following commands to see if your files are in the www or wwws directory:
        ls -al ~/www
        ls -al ~/wwws
      3. Enter move_to_web. This command will overwrite any existing files in the web directory. Accept the warning prompt to proceed.
      4. If your files are in the www directory, enter 1. If your files are in the wwws directory, enter 2.
  2. Test your website. Navigate to the new web address for your website (<username>.pages.iu.edu) to verify images are displaying, URL links are working, and the website is styled as expected.
    • A "forbidden" error will be displayed on the main web page (<username>.pages.iu.edu) for any account that does not have a file named either index.html or home.html. This file acts as the home page for your website. You can fix the error by:
      • Renaming the file for your home page to either index.html or home.html.
      • Creating an .htaccess file in your web directory with the line DirectoryIndex filename.ext, replacing filename.ext with the name of the file used for your home page (for example, DirectoryIndex index.htm). This tells the server your directory will use a specific file as the home page.
    • If your site has access restrictions, verify that they are working as expected. You may need to modify your .htaccess file as described below.
    • Links using the old tilde URL (pages.iu.edu/~<username>) need to be updated within a year of the migration to continue working. Any links directing to a pages.iu.edu/~<username> web address will need to use <username>.pages.iu.edu addresses instead.
    • Files that reference a location on the server using the full path (for example, /fs/<username>/wwws/image.png) will need to be updated to use the new directory names (for example, /user/<username>/web/image.png).

You may activate your new Pages website before August 4, 2020, and test it using the new https://<username>.pages.iu.edu URL. However, any changes you make on Mercury after activating your new Pages site will not automatically be reflected in the new Pages site. You will need to move any changed files to the web directory on the new Pages server, or run the move_to_web command again.

Note:
Files are synchronized from Mercury to the new Pages servers every six hours, at 12am, 6am, 12pm, and 6pm.

Technical changes

  • If you implemented site access restrictions in your .htaccess file, you may need to update its syntax. This is because the Pages server uses Apache version 2.4. For more about these changes, see:
  • You can manage your own robots.txt file on the Pages server. This file controls if a website is indexed by search engines. By default, each account on the new Pages server has a robots.txt file that blocks all web indexing. You can edit that file to allow certain search engines to index your website, or you can remove the file entirely to allow all indexing. For more about the robots.txt file, see Introduction to robots.txt.

This is document bggi in the Knowledge Base.
Last modified on 2020-07-17 13:33:38.

Contact us

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