ARCHIVED: At IU, how can I publish personal pages on Mypage?
On this page:
- Getting a Steel account
- Preparing your Steel account
- Creating web pages
- Transferring web pages
- Finishing up (file locations and permissions)
- Accessing your web pages
This document offers a very broad overview of using Steel to publish personal web pages on Mypage at Indiana University. Once you create an account on Steel, and then create a web directory, you can place files in that directory to publish them as web pages. The sections below cover these actions in detail and in the order in which you will need to do them.
Steel is not the only option for hosting web pages at IU, but it is the main server of personal pages. Some IU departments provide their own web servers; additionally, departments, student organizations, and other groups within IU can use the main university web servers for their official web pages. For more information about web publishing options, see At IU, how can I publish on the web?
Note: The IU South Bend Mypage service is different from the Mypage service noted here; see IUSB's Web Publishing: Mypage.
Getting a Steel account
If you do not have an account on Steel, you will need to create one. To do so, see At IU, if I already have some computing accounts, how do I get others?
Preparing your Steel account
Once you have an account on Steel, you will need to select a login shell. Connect to Steel using SSH and log in with your IU Network ID. (If you need to obtain an SSH client, see At IU, what SSH/SFTP clients are supported and where can I get them?) To connect to Steel, next to "Host Name:" enter
Next to "User Name:" enter your IU Network ID username. Enter your Network ID passphrase when prompted.
After logging in successfully, enter
bash shell. In five minutes or less the
setting will take effect, and you can continue preparing your Steel
account. You will need a subdirectory in your home directory named
www. Only files in your
www directory, or
in its subdirectories, are accessible on the web. No other files in
your Steel account will show up on the web. The simplest way to create
www directory is to use the spinweb
command. To do so, at the Unix prompt on Steel, enter:
spinweb utility is a locally developed program that
takes care of several mundane tasks associated with setting up web
pages on IU computers. Among other things, the
command creates a
www directory if one does not exist,
and places in it a file called
can be used to design your web page; finally, it sets file permissions
within the directory so that others may read the pages within it.
To change to your
www directory, at the prompt enter
Note: Since Steel uses the Unix operating system, you will need to be familiar with some basic Unix commands. For starters, see Introduction to Unix commands and For Unix, where can I find online tutorials?
After you have entered the
spinweb command, you should be
able to view your page with a web browser. However, when
you get a new Steel account, there may be an initial delay of up to
six hours before your web pages are viewable.
Creating web pages
Web pages are ordinary text files that also contain some special instructions, or tags, to tell web browsers how to handle the text. For example, some tags create links or give text a special appearance. These tags constitute HTML (Hypertext Markup Language).
For example, if Luke Skywalker ran
home-template.html file would look like this:
<HTML><HEAD> <!-- This is a comment. It won't show up in a web browser. --> <TITLE>Sample Personal Home Page for Luke Skywalker </TITLE> </HEAD> <BODY> <H1>Sample Personal Home Page for Luke Skywalker</H1> <!-- Your name here comes from your finger information (set by chfn). --> <P> does not yet have a personal web page. <!-- Put whatever you want here. --> </BODY></HTML>
If Luke chose to edit his
home-template.html file, he
might change it to look like this:
<HTML> <HEAD> <TITLE>Luke Skywalker</TITLE> </HEAD> <BODY> <H1>Welcome to my home page!</H1> <P> I'm working on this page in my spare time (when I'm not out saving the galaxy). Stay tuned for more! </P> <!-- Add link to Death Star plans soon. --> </BODY> </HTML>
You can create a web page with any of the several text editors on
Steel, including Pico, Emacs, and
vi. If you are familiar with any of these Unix editors,
this is probably the easiest and most convenient way to create or edit
your pages. For example, enter
to use Emacs to edit the template home page file created by
Note: If you edit the template file created by
spinweb to create your home page, you may want to rename
home-template.html to simply
home.html. To do so, at the Unix prompt, enter:
mv home-template.html home.html
You can also create web pages on your computer at home or in your office, using any text editor or word processor with which you are familiar. Some of these programs, such as WordPerfect, Microsoft Word, and BBedit, come with tools that assist in creating HTML documents.
Note: If you use a word processing program, make sure to save the file you create as a plain text file (or as HTML text, if that option is available) rather than the default word processing file format. Also, if you create your file using a word processor or an HTML editor on a home, office, or Student Technology Center (STC) computer, you will need to transfer the file or files to Steel.
Finally, you can also use HTML programs specifically designed for creating web pages. These programs help you manage HTML tags and format your text. You can find a massive list of HTML editors at:
In the "Search Software Library" box, type
editor. Then, from the drop-down menu, select your
operating system, and click .
If you use an HTML editor with built-in file-transfer capabilities, you can upload files to Steel only if the program permits secure file transfer. For help, consult the software's documentation.
Some good introductions to HTML are available on the web, including those listed below:
You can also learn a great deal about HTML by looking at the source text (text coded with HTML tags) of pages already on the World Wide Web. Your browser can usually show you the source of any web page you are viewing. For more information, see ARCHIVED: How can I view the HTML code of web pages?
Transferring web pages
If you created your web page on Steel from within your
www directory, using an editor such as Pico, Emacs, or
vi, your files are already in the right place.
However, if you created a web page on a workstation or at any computer other than Steel, you will need to move the file to Steel. You need to use a secure FTP (SFTP) program such as MacSFTP for Mac OS or Mac OS X, or SSH Secure Shell for Windows.
For specific instructions for transferring files, see:
- In Windows, how do I transfer files using an SSH or SFTP client?
- In Mac OS X, how do I use Cyberduck to transfer files over SFTP?
Finishing up (file locations and permissions)
As mentioned earlier, your web pages must be inside the
www subdirectory of your home directory.
You must also make sure your files and directories have the correct
permissions before they will be available on the web. The easiest way
to do this at IU is by using
spinweb. If you have
subdirectories within your
www directory, make sure that
spinweb sets permissions within those directories. To do
spinweb in recursive mode by entering:
Alternately, you can set proper permissions by using the Unix
chmod command. For more information, see ARCHIVED: How do I create subdirectories of my www directory for my web
Accessing your web pages
All pages on the World Wide Web have a unique address called a URL (Universal Resource Locator). For your web pages on Steel, the URL will always begin with:
username with your actual username. This URL will
take you to the
home.html file in your
directory. Thus, the full URL for your home page will be the
username replaced by your username:
For files other than
home.html that are in the top level
www directory, the URL must include the
filename. For instance, if your username is
you have a file in your
www directory called
secrets.html, the URL for the
page would be:
If the file is inside a subdirectory of the
directory, then its URL includes the name of that directory, the
/ (slash) character, and the filename. For
dvader has a directory called
death-star inside his
www directory, and the
death-star directory contains a file called
blueprints.html, the URL for
If you have a file named
home.html in your
www directory on Steel, this page will be automatically
listed in IU's Directory of
Personal Home Pages. For more information about using this
directory, see At IU, how do I add or remove a link from the Directory of Personal Home Pages to my web page?
This is document cafu in the Knowledge Base.
Last modified on 2015-04-06.
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