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Frequently Asked Questions
CMS Unix Services
Q: Where can I find details on CMS Unix services? A: You can find details of the CMS Unix services on the main CMS Unix site at http://unix.cms.gre.ac.uk
Q: How do I contact the CMS Unix team? A: Click Here for the CMS Unix team's contact details
Q: How do I request help the CMS Unix team? A: Click Here for instructions on requesting help from the CMS Unix team
Q: I have completed my course, can I still use CMS Unix services such as email and web homepages? A: Once you have completed your course all your access rights and files will be deleted. This does not happen immediately but happens towards the end of summer and before the next new semester begins in September to allow you time to transfer/download your files and email to elsewhere. We can not continue to make storage available for students that have left. It is your responsibility to transfer your files and email once you have completed your course.
Q: I have been successfully connecting to server xxxx from my own computer at home; but now it does not work? A: Have you set up a firewall type product on your computer or internet connection? If so then try disabling this temporarily and retrying. If it works then the firewall is the probable cause of the problem and you will need to configure it correctly. We can not help with this as there are so many products available You are advised to consult the documentation or support forum for your specific product.
Q: I have developed my code on my own machine, but it doesn't work on your server? A: Click Here for information on avoiding this problem.
Q: I've just remembered a problem I am having, can I tell you in the corridor/toilet etc...? A: No. Please email all problems regarding CMS Unix services to UnixHelp@gre.ac.uk
Q: How do I change my unix password? A: Click Here for details on changing your Unix password.
Q: I can't think of a decent password, can you help? A: Click Here for details on using our password generating facility
Q: I have changed my Unix password, now I can not log into my email? A: Your Unix password and email password are the same, changing your Unix password changes your email password at the same time.
Q: Is my Unix password the same as my Microsoft Windows password? A: When accounts are created for new students at the start of the academic year, both Unix and ILS Novell systems are assigned the same initial password; which should be the one on your registration slip. CMS Microsoft Windows passwords have an additional !1 appended to the the beginning. However when you change your unix password your Windows password does not change and conversely when you change your windows password your unix password does not change.
Q: Should I send my password to stumail/unixhelp/anybody in an email? A: No - never ever put your password in an email - support teams will normally be able to help you without you giving them your password. They will probably need your userid - it is safe to include that and in fact it is recommended that you include your userid at all times when communicating with support staff.
Q: I changed my password but I can't login straightaway with my new password? A: The unix authentication system needs to propagate your new password to appropriate systems - this can take up to 10 minutes. Please be patient and try after 10 minutes.
Q: Why doesn't my password work? A: Are you sure you are typing it correctly?
A: Do you have the CAPS LOCK on - unix passwords are case sensitive
A: Have you changed it and forgotten it ?
Q: Can I give someone else my password? A: You should never give your password to anybody - not even support staff (except under exceptional circumstances - see Faq: "Should I send my password to stumail/unixhelp/anybody in an email?" If another user has your password word they will be able to access your account and could potentially do something against system policy. You will probably be held responsible in that case. Always protect your password carefully.
Q: I've changed my password - and forgotten it - can you tell me what it is now? A: No - all passwords are held in a one way encrypted format which makes unencrypting them impossible. So it is not possible to tell you what you changed it to. However we can reset it to your original password (the one on your registration slip) Please email us via the online email form on our contact page at http://unix.cms.gre.ac.uk/mail-unixhelp.html NOTE: Please Include your name, User ID and alternate email address where we can contact you when having problems with your account.
CMS Unix Related Questions
Q: How much disk space do I have on the Unix systems? A: All CMS students are initial provided with 200Mb of disk space on the Unix systems. This quota includes your email, web site and any files you may have on the Unix systems. If you have a particular requirement (ie project) to have an increased quota then please email email@example.com Click here to find out how to check how much disk space you are using
Q: What are .login, .cshrc and .logout, and can I delete them? A: These file setup up your unix environment and should NOT be deleted. Things will break if you delete these files.
Q: I have deleted an important file. What can I do about it? A: If the file was created on the same day of deletion then we will not have a copy of the file in the backups. If the file is older than one day, then email firstname.lastname@example.org with the files location and name (i.e. /public_html/project/index.html) and an approximate date the file was last modified.
Q: What does the ~ mean? A: The ~ is called tilde and is used to represent the root of your home area. I.e. /home/wug01 Click Here for a further explanation of what the ~ (tilde) sign means
Q: Can I change the default shell? A: The University Unix system relies heavily on csh(tcsh) been the default shell. The use of any other shell(bash/ksh) is unsupported. If you decide to change your shell you will find that some commands will not work for you ( e.g. mysql). So it is better to leave tcsh as the default shell.
CMS Unix Webserver Related Questions
Q: I don't have a cgi-bin directory? A: To create a cgi-bin direcrory log into student.cms.gre.ac.uk and run the following commands:
Q: My Perl CGI Script doesn't work A: We do not support the debugging of individual scripts. In the first instance contact the lecturer who taught you perl cgi scripting. A: All perl cgi scripts must have a file type of .pl, be executable and live in a directory called ~/public_html/cgi-bin Click Here for an explanation of what executable means Click Here for an explanation of what the ~ (tilde) sign means Click Here to go to the unix.cms perl page
Q: I want to debug my Perl/CGI script. Can I look in the Apache error logs? A: The best way to debug your Perl/CGI scripts is to run them from the Unix command line. Click Here for a short explanation of how to do this
Q: I received the following Apache web page error while testing my PERL/CGI script A: If you received the following error while testing your Perl/CGI script please check that you have included the print header() function as described on this page.
Internal Server Error The server encountered an internal error or misconfiguration and was unable to complete your request. Please contact the server administrator, email@example.com and inform them of the time the error occurred, and anything you might have done that may have caused the error. More information about this error may be available in the server error log. Apache/1.3.29 Server at stuweb.cms.gre.ac.uk Port 80
Q: I need to use a Perl module that isnt installed in the system version of Perl A: You will need to install the required module locally in your home area and include a use lib statement in your Perl script. Click Here for a detailed explanation of how to do this
Q: Can I password protect my webpage? A: Yes. You can restrict access to your webpages based on 2 criteria. 1 method is a username/password combination and the other method is by restricting access to only certain IP addresses and domains. Here is an example of how to password protect your webpage. Password Protection
Create a file called .htaccess (It must be called this.) in your ~/public_html directory. Copy the following text into the file replacing userid with your own userid.
AuthType Basic AuthUserFile /home/userid/public_html/.htpasswd AuthName "special directory" Require valid-userNow make the .htpasswd file (which stores the usernames and passwords of your valid users) with the following command htpasswd -c ~/public_html/.htpasswd username Once the .htpasswd file is created you need to grant access so that the webserver can read the file this can be done using the chmod command. chmod 644 .htpasswd or using the setfacl command as explained here. Restrict by IP Address
This is similar to the previous method. Create a file called .htaccess in your ~/public_html directory and place the following commands inside it replacing IP-ADDRESS with the IP address or domain you want to allow access from.
AuthType Basic <Limit GET POST> order deny,allow deny from all allow from IP-ADDRESS </Limit>
Q: How do I stop users reading my web passwords. How do I hide my db.inc/db.private files? A: To protect your password there are two procedures that you must follow:
1)Ensure your database connection string is in a file called db.private or db.inc ( the prefered filename is db.private ), this will stop the server displaying the file contents. 2) Then you need to run these two commands on the db.private or db.inc file. The example uses db.private as the filename substitute with db.inc if you are using that filename.chmod 600 db.private This command should be typed on one line
Q: I need to test my code to see if it sends mail. A: If you need to do this then you *must* ensure that the mail is sent to a valid email account. Do not just make up any email address as this is likely to fail (creating systems messages) or might send mail to a valid account anywhere in the world. The following two links provide an example of setting up a CGI mail form and a PHP form using the mail() function Using a CGI mail form Using the PHP mail() function Any script creating excessive mail error messages is likely to be disabled. WARNING: Inappropriate use of University email facilities will result in your account been disabled.
Q: What is the status of PHP register_globals? A: PHP register_globals are now turned off on all CMS Unix webserver installations of PHP after consultation with lecturing staff. If your code was dependent on using register_globals then information on the recommended way of achieving the same results can be found on the following link: http://www.goweb.com.au/faq/registerglobals
Q: What is the file upload limit for PHP? A: The current PHP upload limit is 1500K.
Q: How do I write to files from my website? A: This information is provide here http://unix.cms.gre.ac.uk/web/create.html#writing
Q: Can I use asp on stuweb/staffweb?? A: ASP is a not available on the unix web servers stuweb.cms.gre.ac.uk or staffweb.cms.gre.ac.uk However both these servers support a number of other programming languages; including PHP and Perl. For further details on supported languages please check: http://unix.cms.gre.ac.uk/web.html
Q: Can I browse my directories through a browser? A: No. Directory browsing is not enabled on .cms.gre.ac.uk Unix webservers, please follow the appropriate link from here for more information. However you can use the following script to create an index.htm file with a list of files in the current directory.
#!/usr/bin/tcsh echo "Removing old index.htm from current directory:" pwd rm -i index.htm touch index.htm echo "<html>" >> index.htm foreach i (`ls | grep -v index`) echo "<a href=$i>$i</a><br>" >> index.htm end echo "</html>" >> index.htm chmod 644 index.htmSave this into a new file and make it executable using the chmod command. Q: How can I enable PHP magic quotes? A: Please use the guide provided by PHP.net to enable magic quotes if needed. PHP: set_magic_quotes_runtime - Manual
Q: What is my university email address? A: Your university email address is your userid followed by "@gre.ac.uk". So for example the student's email address whose userid zz001 would be firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: How do I change my email password? A: See this FAQ on changing your Unix password.
Q: My email password has stopped working? A: Have you change your Unix password? See this FAQ
Q: What email address do I report spam or abusive email to? A: email@example.com
Q: Webmail - how do I send an email to multiple recipients at once? A: Place the mail addresses of the recipients in the TO:, CC: or BCC: fields separated by commas.
Q: Can I change my reply-to field in CMS stumail/staffmail? A: No. You may setup different personal identities to distinguish between work, home etc but you can not change the reply-to field. Click Here for full details available at the webmail help site
Q: I'm replying to an email - should I include the whole of the original in my reply? A: NO! Only quote the relavant bits - you will make the email clearer and waste less storage potentially. Occassionally is it is necessary to include the whole of the original email - this should be the exception and not the rule. Click here for some email netiquette Click here for more information about sending email
Q: How do I find out how to use the CMS student/staff webmail facility (stumail) A: Click Here for instructions on using webmail
Q: How do I set the default sort method for my emails in stumail/staffmail? A: Click here to view the Display Options section of the webmail help site
Q: Should i include quoted text after my reply in an email? A: No.
Q: Can I send an email to all staff and students when trying to sell something? A: No. this action would be seen as spamming because you are sending unwanted email to large groups of people, and may result in your email privileges been suspended. The appropriate place to sell your goods is located at: http://intranet.gre.ac.uk/carbootsale
Q: Should I send HTML formatted email? A: NO! It is a huge waste of bandwidth and resources and with many email clients configured (on purpose) to not read HTML email, you run the risk of your email being deleted without being read. Click Here to find out more about the sins of HTML email and how to configure your client to not send it
Q: What is IMAP? A: The CMS mail facility is IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol) enabled. This means that email is stored centrally on CMS servers that are backed up on a regular basis. With such a setup authenicated users with an IMAP enabled mail client can read their email from any remote location (inaddition to using the webmail frontend) without having to download it to a local machine. To ensure that your mail is backed up correctly you should store required emails on the CMS IMAP service and not download them to a local machine.
Q: How do I create subfolders within a folder? A: To create an email folder that will contain other subfolders you need to add a back slash to the name when you create the folder i.e.
Meetings/You can then create subfolders under Meetings. You can also add another subfolder which will contain more folders i.e. under Meetings add
Groups/Your email folder tree could look something like this:
Inbox Meetings/ Groups/ Course1 Course2 Student-union Personal-tutor Trash
Q: How do I check the size of my Inbox? A: To check the size of your Inbox you need to log into Unix: Staff should use the server staff.cms.gre.ac.uk
Students should use the server student.cms.gre.ac.uk
using a secure shell i.e. putty. Once you have logged in you need to enter the following command:
checkinboxThis will display the size of your Inbox ending with either K(Kilobyte), M(Megabytes, or G(Gigabytes).
Greenwich University Services
Q: How can I configure my web browser to use the University's proxy server? A: Click here to learn how to configure your browser NOTE: Some of the information on this link regarding email and logging into Unix is not relevant for CMS students.
Unix Related Questions
What is Unix? / Where can I Get it from? / Can I install it on my windows computer? Q: What is Unix? A: Click Here for a history of Unix Q: Where can I get it? A: Many free versions of Unix exist which can be freely downloaded over the Internet. Some of these include Linux, FreeBSD and NetBSD Q: Can I install it on my windows computer? A: Yes, but you will need a free disk partition with at least 500Mb of space on it to get a decent install. This would then be known as dual booting, a similar setup to what you see in the King William Labs.
What is Linux? / Where can I Get it from? / Do you recommend a distribution? / Can I install it on my home computer? Q: What is Linux? A: Linux is a free Unix-type operating system originally created by Linus Torvalds with the assistance of developers around the world. Developed under the GNU General Public License the source code for Linux is freely available to everyone. Q: Where can I get it? A: There are many distributions which package up the Linux kernel along with many tools and facilities to create a fully functional operating system with all the modern tools you will need to run a desktop or server machine. Lots of different distributions can be found at distrowatch.com Q: Do you recommend a distribution? A: Currently, for end users we recommend the use of the Ubuntu Linux distribution. This is a very well packaged and supported distribution. It is freely downloadable from http://www.ubuntu.com and support for it is available via the Internet, primarily via it's community forums. Details on the latter can be found at http://www.ubuntu.com/support Q: Can I install it on my windows computer? A: Yes, but you will need a free disk partition with at least 1Gb of space on it to get a decent install. NB This will vary depending on the choice of your linux distribution and specified requirements. This would then be known as dual booting. Before proceeding any installation please ensure that you check installation carefully as failure to follow these instructions could destroy your data.
Q: What is X Windows? A: Click Here for an explanation of what X Windows is
Q: Can I use X Windows remotely? A: Yes. STUDENTS: Click Here to find out how to use X Windows at home on Microsoft computers STAFF: Click Here to find out how to use X Windows at home on Microsoft computers
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