These notes are personal opinion/advice on using

Many/(most?) Brandeis users might be better served by using Google Sites which is now available to all Brandeis users through our Google Apps setup.

Personal UNet pages


All UNet accounts have a default website associated with them. The URL (address) of your personal website is

where unetid is your official UNet id. E-mail aliases do not work. For example, my UNet id is karel, and both karelsf and sfkarel are aliases. Thus, the first address below works, the second does not.

Files within the folder, or subdirectories, are appended to the base name above with slashes. For example,

returns the file named index.txt within the folder WWW, and

returns the file named index.txt from subfolder example_index inside WWW.

Directory listings and Index Files

Depending on how you want to manage your personal webpage, you may want to create some index files.

Index files

If you want to keep the names of the files in your web folder hidden, or if you want to customize the look of your personal webpage, create a file with the name index.html inside the folder WWW, and edit it appropriately. This also works for any subdirectories inside WWW. Example:

Advanced users interested in using PHP could create a file named index.php

Automatic Directory Listings

If none of those files exists, the webserver will return an automatically generated list of files in the directory. This works very well for lazy people (like me) not too concerned about appearance. Example:

Naming files

Webservers and web browsers agree on how to handle a file according to its MIME type. Our webserver assigns a MIME type depending on the name of file (specifically, the file extension -- everything in the name to the right of the last period). You should name files with extensions based on file type. Generally, the file extensions automatically assigned by Windows work. Some common types:

Extension Type
.html HTML file (webpage)
.txt Text file
.pdf Portable Document Format file (Acrobat Reader)
.doc Microsoft Word file
.xls Excel file
.ppt PowerPoint file
.jpg JPEG image

Short names with no spaces or funny characters in them work best. Letters, numbers, hyphens and underscores work well.

Putting files in your UNet web folder

Windows File Sharing

  1. From Start Menu > Run, type \\UNETHOME\unetid where unetid is your UNET id (e.g., I would type \\UNETHOME\KAREL)
  2. Login with your UNet username and password. If your computer is not already in the USERS domain (most student computer will not be), you need to specify your username as USERS\unetid, i.e., I would enter USERS\KAREL
  3. A new folder titled with your UNet id in it somewhere will open on your desktop. Open the folder WWW inside this folder.
  4. Copy any files you want on your web space into this folder

Secure FTP

Use an SSH client to do SFTP. For more details, see SecureFTP.

Make sure to request public shell server access before you attempt to SSH/SFTP.

You want to connect to one of the UNet shell servers:


Example (SSH Secure File Transfer client on Windows)
  1. If necessary, install the SSH Secure Shell software. You can find it at
  2. From Start Menu > Programs > SSH Secure Shell click on SSH Secure File Transfer Client to launch the program. There may also be a shortcut for this on your desktop.
  3. Choose File > Quick Connect
  4. Enter Information as follows
Host Name:
User Name: your UNet id ( e.g. karel)
Port Number: 22
Authentication Method: Password
  1. Click Connect
  2. Type in your UNet password
  3. A new window should open, showing you the contents of your home directory. In the right hand side, double click the folder WWW
  4. Drag files into this folder, or use Operation > Upload to select files to transfer to your UNet directory


Putting large files in your UNet directory instead of sending them by e-mail.

Let's say I (username karel) want to send large powerpoint file MyPresentation.ppt and an excel spreadsheet YourBill.xls to a collaborator and the files are too large for her e-mail account. Here's a recipe to do that.

  1. Following the instructions above for SSH Secure File Transfer client on Windows, connect to my home directory on UNet. Go into the folder WWW.
  2. Create a folder named janedoc (use the command New Folder)
  3. Open janedoc
  4. Move the files MyPresentation.ppt and YourBill.xls into janedoc
  5. Quit SSH Secure File Transfer client on Windows
  6. Open Netscape or Internet Explorer and check the web folder I just created (in this example, See that the directory listing looks reasonable.
  7. Send an email to with a link to the folder I just created -- it might read something like this:
To      :
Cc      : 
Subject : We have finished your custom PowerPoint presentation
----- Message Text -----

I have finished the custom PowerPoint presentation you requested. It is
ready for your review on my website. To retrieve it, please visit

I have also prepared a bill for services rendered:

Steven Karel
MacLeopard Publishing

Note I haven't done anything to secure these webpages, other than keep them obscure. Probably I should put an index.html page in my WWW directory to prevent web browsers from finding the janedoc directory by browsing. Use this method only if the files are public or at least not too private. See also (UsingHtAccess)

Some questions

Am I limited to 1 webpage?

No. You might have a departmental webpage, a research group page, and a personal website. Your UNet space itself could have many pages

-- Main.karel - 29 May 2002 SaraKunz - 14 Mar 2008

Topic revision: r17 - 2014-02-18 - 10:04:37 - wrussian
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