How to Set Up a Personal Site

Connect to mason.gmu.edu

Instructions on how to connect to mason.gmu.edu:

Create a Web Folder

Once you have the mason> prompt, enter the following commands:

Step 1

mason> chmod 711 .

Step 2

mason> mkdir public_html

Step 3

mason> chmod 755 public_html

Note: Please use spaces in between like: chmod [space]711 [space] .[enter]

Once you are done with these three steps successfully, the Mason prompt should look like the screenshot below.

How to Upload Files and Folders

When uploading files and folders to your web folder, DO NOT upload compressed files (e.g., .zip, .rar, .tar.gz, etc.). Extract your files and folders before uploading them to your web folder. For more information, see how to upload files knowledge base article.

Create an Index file

Your public_html folder must contain an index.html file. Without an index.html file, you will be unable to view your content. The steps below detail the easiest and quickest way to create and upload an index.html file.

Step 1

Open Notepad.

Step 2

Select File > Save As.

Step 3

Enter index.html for File name.

Step 4

Select All Files for Save as type:

Step 5

Select Save.

Step 6

Upload the index.html file to your public_html folder.

Fix Server Upload Permissions

By default, newly uploaded files are not available through the web browser. For more information, see the how to fix server upload permissions knowledgebase article.

Note: Changing the upload permissions will affect any files uploaded to mason.gmu.edu. If you have files that should be private, be sure to give those files proper permissions after uploading.

How to Upload Files

Files can be placed in the public_html folder and will be available at http://mason.gmu.edu/~username/filename.

Opening Your Website on the Server

Once you have uploaded your files, all you need to do is to go to your browser and enter mason.gmu.edu/~<username>.

If you have followed all of the above steps successfully, then you should be able to view your website.

Common Issues

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I get an error when I run the first command.
Example

mason> chmod 711

usage:  chmod [-fR] <absolute-mode> file ...
       chmod [-fR] <ACL-operation> file ...
       chmod [-fR] <symbolic-mode-list> file ... where <symbolic-mode-list> is a comma-separated list of [ugoa]{+|-|=}[rwxXlstugo] where <ACL-operation> is one of the following A-<acl_specification>
       A[number]-
       A[number]{+|=}<acl_specification> where <acl-specification>is a comma-separated list of ACEs
Explanation

The command needs to include the period. It also has spaces between chmod, 711, and the.(period). chmod<space>711<space>.

I get an error when I try to run the mkdir command.
Example

mason > mkdir public_html
mkdir: Failed to make directory "public_html"; File exists

Explanation

You have already created a public_html folder, skip step 2, and move on to step 3.

Nothing happens when I run the commands.
Explanation

If the commands run properly you should be returned to the mason> prompt. Here are examples of commands that ran successfully:

  • mason> chmod 711 .
  • mason> mkdir public_html
  • mason> chmod 755 public_html
  • mason>
I ran all the commands but I still don’t see my website.
Explanation

Ensure you have uploaded at a minimum an index.html folder into your public_html directory only after you fix server upload permissions. If you do not have an index.html file, the section below details the steps for creating one. You should also double-check that you are uploading your files INTO your public_html directory and not directly into your home drive. Finally, please ensure you are trying to go to the correct URL. It should be http://mason.gmu.edu/~username (tilde and then your username)

The first command changes the permissions on your home directory so your public_html directory can be viewable. The second command creates a public_html folder. The third command assigns appropriate permissions to it.

Note: The web server is case sensitive. If you create files or folders with capital letters, you must enter these in your URL. It is recommended NOT to capitalize file or folder names.