A dummy question for the experts

I've seen a number of scripts which allow a user to set up free hosting accounts on a server with the resulting URL structured like "http:www.domain.com/user_name". How can I do this with the URL structured like this: "http://www.user_name.domain.com"?


T.Y.I.A.
dhinckleAsked:
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jcondeCommented:
dhinckle,

there's several way's to do this....
using CGI, what you would do (I've done it before) is the following:

You register a domain that has the same IP address as your server.  your servers default page is a ssi script (usually with extension .shtml) that reads the REMOTE_HOST variable, and depending on its value you print the corresponding html code.
It's easy, but not so good!

The best way to approach this is by defining a virtual host or an alias. In that way, you can have username.domain.com with no ip registration involved.  I suggest you check the apache virtual host documentation to get more information on virtual hosts.  Its pretty simple, if you need help please let me know about it.


Regards,
Jorge
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dhinckleAuthor Commented:
Edited text of question
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raooolCommented:
User_Name in the first instance is simply a directory on the Web server.

User_name in the second example is a machine name meaning you must assign an IP address (though some servers can spoof multiple machines on a single IP address -- depends on your server software) to the user_name and make appropriate entries into the authoritative Name Server for that Domain.
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dhinckleAuthor Commented:
raoool,

If I understand you correctly, for this to work, I would first have to find a Web server that provides this "spoofing" feature. Is this feature common in Web servers or should I post this question elsewhere?
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raooolCommented:
dhinckle,

Most Web servers provide a variation for purposes of hosting multiple Domains on a single machine -- either the Web server software or as an option/3rd party addon. Some respond to multiple IP addresses, others use of different ports for different names. Multiple machine names is a slightly different issue (though seemingly less complex). I'd throw it at the manufacturer of whatever server you'd like to use and see what they say.

Will do some playing next time I'm working on IIs (next couple days) and re-post if I find anything useful.
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alweinerCommented:
1) Ask the ISP to set up subdomains of the form:
   user_name  at domain.com  for each user_name that you want.
   They should all point to the same IP as domain.com

2) Write a script, located at domain.com that parses the address
   used to reach the page and move the visitor to
   domain.com/user_name
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dhinckleAuthor Commented:
alweiner,

Please forgive my ignorance.

Regarding "ask the ISP to set up subdomains of the form: user_name  at domain.com  for each user_name that you want"

Is this something they have to be continually doing or is it a one time thing?

What I'm looking for is a method of automating the complete task and have it done in real time.

Thanks for your patience...

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alweinerCommented:
It's a continuous thang (sorry). The problem is, an internet name "somewhere.domain.com" represents a specific address on the internet that is assigned from a domain name server (it's a giant database of names and IP numbers) so that when somebody enters "somewhere.domain.com" in their browser, the DNS changes it to something looking like: 108.192.137.40.

There's no way that I'm aware, w/o placing this info into a DNS for an arbitrary person on the internet to be able to find the IP address by giving the name.  Thus, if you want to be able to keep changing the main part of the address name, you have to keep making DNS entries.  That's the way the "freebie" domain hosting companies do it...
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dhinckleAuthor Commented:
alweiner,

I appreciate your time but this answer is not acceptable.

F.Y.I.  I found an old thread which references this issue at http://www.iea-software.com/lists/9707/ntisp/index.htm#518

A working example of this stuff (completely automated) can be found at hypermart.net




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dhinckleAuthor Commented:
Jorge,

Thank you for the input, I'll check out the Apache site.

I KNOW I'll be needing more help :-) as I'm totally ignorant when it comes to this stuff.

This question is closed and the points have been awarded.

David Hinckle
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