Web Service

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Admin Information

Usage Information

The web service currently runs on Toclafane, which also hosts the disks with the web content. You can find your webspace at: /var/autofs/www/USERNAME/, from Fez. If this directory does not exist, please contact an Admin.

This will contain the following directories: pages/ and cgi-bin/ (though cgi-bin is now on-request). The pages/ directory may be used to serve static content, and PHP. Most common libraries are already installed, but if you require a particular library please speak to an Admin.

Pages can be externally accessed via http://www.tardis.ed.ac.uk/~USERNAME/. CGI scripts can be found http://www.tardis.ed.ac.uk/~USERNAME/cgi-bin/.

If you are just interested in hosting static web pages, there is a directory public_html in your home directory in Fez. Putting regular HTML files here will make them show up in http://www.tardis.ed.ac.uk/~USERNAME/.

Note on installing web applications

Tardis is frequently crawled by web-indexing services and hence sites hosted on Tardis are very visible to the outside world, often unexpectedly. Unmaintained forums, galleries, blogs, etc. are frequent targets for spammers.

If you install a web-facing applicaions (eg. Gallery, etc), you MUST:

  • Keep all web-facing applications on Tardis updated with the latest security patches. Subscribe to the relevant security mailing lists.
  • Disable anonymous user input or use effective CAPTCHAs (A good option is reCAPTCHA).

While we will disable insecure applications if we find them, we cannot guarantee to. Security of Tardis services is the responsibility of all of the project members, and the existence of insecure applications may jeopardise the project's continued existence.

Supported Software


Tardis runs PHP4/5, and we can install extensions if you require them.


There are two options for running Python scripts, mod_python and mod_wsgi.


mod_python is the original python script hosting option. It supports both a simple Publisher handler, a PSP handler (like PHP or ASP), CGI compatibility handler as well as being able to write your own handlers.

To enable the Publisher hander add the following to a .htaccess file:

AddHandler mod_python .py
PythonHandler mod_python.publisher

To enable PSP interpreting of files add the following to a .htaccess file:

AddHandler mod_python .psp
PythonHandler mod_python.psp


mod_wsgi is designed to be a generic interface for running python based web applications such as webpy, django or even hand written applictions. To enable interpreting of wsgi files add the following to a .htaccess file

Options +ExecCGI
AddHandler wsgi-script .wsgi


Ruby scripts can be run using mod_ruby. To enable interpreting of files add the following to a .htaccess file:

Options +ExecCGI
RubyRequire apache/ruby-run
AddHandler ruby-object rbx
RubyHandler Apache::RubyRun.instance

All files that end with .rbx will now be interpreted with Ruby. NB: The .rbx file must have the Execute bit set or else a 403 Forbidden error will occur.


MySQL and PostgreSQL are available. See: Database Service.

Web Applications

Currently there are some packages which are installed site-wide on the webserver which you should be able to make use of. For these, see their individual pages for details. Any other popular Webapps should probably be manage globally if at all possible.

Useful Tricks

If you're lazy and don't like case sensitivity you can add this to your .htaccess file:

# Be lenient about case
CheckSpelling On
CheckCaseOnly On

Redirecting a URL to a new location:

Redirect /~username/oldurl http://www.tardis.ed.ac.uk/