Posted on 1999-01-22
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-12-25
I don't know if this is the correct area to put this query so apologies in advance if it isn't:
    i want to set up a server in order to have a set up with a
    teacher and some users. I want the teacher to be able to add and remover users and for the
    users to be able to post things (like in a guestbook)
    I have a homepage and haven't a clue how to go about this.
    Any suggestions?
Question by:paulwhelan

Expert Comment

ID: 1859113
Does your home page have access to run CGI scripts?  This is a vital piece of information.  If you are allowed to run scripts, it is a piece of cake.  If not, you may need to find a better place for a homepage.

For further information, you can email me as well.

Terrence R. Williams

Author Comment

ID: 1859114
i am allowed run cgi scripts but i dont know how to...

Expert Comment

ID: 1859115
Ahh.. a bulletin board service is ok.. the "teacher" can be like the administrator, and the "students" are the posters basically.. the administrator can delete postings and moderate them etc etc etc

You can see one at www.beseen.com :)
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Author Comment

ID: 1859116
can u be more specific?
where abouts in bseen are instructions on how to do this?

thanks paul

Expert Comment

ID: 1859117
alot depends on which operating system you're running..

eg. if you're running Windows NT workstation, (and possibly Windows 98), there are many options at your disposal..

one if to load the Personal Web Server software that comes with NT on the options CD.. it allows a simplistic web server, guestbook, and provides basic tools..  

another is to use the Microsoft Frontpage editor and related server software.. you can generally download these from the MS web site if you don't have them I believe..

if you're running UNIX, then you can grab Apache software, ot httpd from the network.. they're simple to install and configure as long as you read the readme files and directions..

without more specifics on your system though, it's hard to respond..


Author Comment

ID: 1859118
i want to set up my homepage so i can logon as an administrator and view what users have posted and also add and delete users

i could also logon as a user and post messages on the page
any ideas?

Expert Comment

ID: 1859119
okay, I understand that.. but again,

what server software do you have??

what type of machine are you running??

are you hosting your pages at an ISP??

do you have a direct internet connection??

do you have control of the machine to add / delete users??

since you reject my response, I'm compelled to ask these questions..

if your machine is running NT Workstation, the Personal Webserver Software that comes on the Option CD will do what you ask and more..  if your setup is different, you've got to tell us what it is so we can give an intelligent answer...

if you don't know what your setup is, then your first goal is to find out.. and that precludes setting up a server, administering it, or otherwise hosting pages...

the biggest problem around is poorly administered machines that are vulnerable to attack..  so get up to speed on what you've got, before you jump in with both feet...


Author Comment

ID: 1859120
The homepage is being run on a Sun machine and i  have outside access to the www. I have setup an apache server but don't know how to configure it, i know i can allow or deny access but i want to be able to control that on the homepage in the following way. I want to be able to logon to my homepage (as any one can do with the http address) and then be able to logon as an administrator or one of a predefined amount of users(ie by using a login name and password). The administrator can the add and delete users (ie by removing their usernames and passwords) and users can post messages like a guestbook.

I am not hosting my pages at an ISP, they are located on a unix host apache server.

Thats it.....
Sorry for making it sound more complex that it should be...

Expert Comment

ID: 1859121
okay, that narrows the focus some..

next set of questions..

1) when you want to add/delete users, do you want to add/delete them from the machine itself, ie. from /etc/passwd or from access to the web page???

if the former, things get really complicated..  

if the latter, they're not as complicated..

lats talk about server protection schemes..

running an Apache server means that (like most other servers) you can control access to pages or directories by using the .htaccess file and the commands in it..    

similarly, to control user accounts and passwords for accessing a page, you can use the .htpasswd file...

for a discussion of the format of these files, see url


so, if you're asking about the latter case (ie. simply adding or deleting users from the
htpasswd file), what you're really asking is for help in writing a script file to do the steps outlined in the article from a web page based interface..

if you're asking about the former case (ie. adding / deleting user from the machine itself), your first task is to protect the server directories themselves as directed by the scenario, then you've got to write scripts to do the functions on the /etc/passwd file.. my guess is that you're not asking about this..

2)  if you have "outside access" to the system via WWW, do you also have this access to it via telnet??  is so, why wouldn't you use telnet to administer / control these functions directly by logging onto the machine itself as an administrator, and issueing the commands directly on the machine??

adding administrative functions to a web page is a dangerous step if you're not sure of what you're doing..  it's much safer to stick with conventional administrative methods..

let's talk telnet versus WWW..  

WWW relies on access to a machine through port 80, or some other predefined and agreed upon port... if you have access to port 80, you ought to also have access to the telnet port 23.. if not, your system may be running TCP Wrappers (is it?) or the port traffic may be blocked at a firewall (if you have one)..

in either case, the wrapper, or the firewall can be configured to allow a specific host inbound telnet access with less trouble / effort than writing scripts for WWW administrative function..

am I complicating your life more than you want??


Accepted Solution

dqa21 earned 100 total points
ID: 1859122

 If you want to make a server in which the teacher can add or del user...and user can post info on it..that's easy.(i think )
You just have to make a message board on your server...you can write it by Perl or C++ or Java and anything else...
 You can get some document about it on www.freecode.com

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