Web server on a Unix user's acct?

Web server on a Unix user's acct?

Post by cadm » Mon, 15 Jan 1996 04:00:00



Hello.

This may be a stupid question coming from a Webmaster newbie, but what the heck...

Our sysadmins won't allow access to cgi-bin directory, so we are not allowed to use
scripts and forms in our homepages.  I was wondering, is there any way at all to setup
a mini-web server on a user's own account (without root access) so that he/she is able
to write and execute cgi scripts?

If that's not possible, are there sites or gateways out there which allow access to
outside users to their cgi-bin directory??

I know, these questions sound stupid (and first impression to me is "NO, it can't be
done") but I would like to hear from some knowledgeable gurus out there if this is
really NOT possible or what...


 
 
 

Web server on a Unix user's acct?

Post by Brian Stole » Mon, 15 Jan 1996 04:00:00



> Hello.

> This may be a stupid question coming from a Webmaster newbie, but what the heck...

> Our sysadmins won't allow access to cgi-bin directory, so we are not allowed to use
> scripts and forms in our homepages.  I was wondering, is there any way at all to setup
> a mini-web server on a user's own account (without root access) so that he/she is able
> to write and execute cgi scripts?

Why, sure it is, assuming:
        A) the system you're talking about is a UNIX machine
        B) the user has a valid login on the machine

If these conditions are met, simply download an httpd (such as
Apache, NCSA httpd, or CERN httpd), and configure it as normal,
except instead of setting it up to run on port 80, sent it to
run on a port number greater than 1024.

The reason for the different port is that UNIX only allows the
superuser (root) to run daemons on ports less than 1024.

Now, to access your new web server (run it first :)), use URLs
of the form:

        http://your.web.machine.name:yourportnum/directory/file

etc.

That should be it -- any questions, email me.

- Brian Stoler


 
 
 

Web server on a Unix user's acct?

Post by Michael Co » Tue, 16 Jan 1996 04:00:00



>Hello.

>This may be a stupid question coming from a Webmaster newbie, but what the heck...

>Our sysadmins won't allow access to cgi-bin directory, so we are not allowed to use
>scripts and forms in our homepages.  I was wondering, is there any way at all to setup
>a mini-web server on a user's own account (without root access) so that he/she is able
>to write and execute cgi scripts?

>If that's not possible, are there sites or gateways out there which allow access to
>outside users to their cgi-bin directory??

>I know, these questions sound stupid (and first impression to me is "NO, it can't be
>done") but I would like to hear from some knowledgeable gurus out there if this is
>really NOT possible or what...



I don't see why not.  If the sysadmins will let you run a second copy of the httpd web-server all
the time in the background it should be quite easy.  You can start this httpd with your userid
so it will run as you.  Because it will not be root it will have to listen on a high port number
(I _think_ this means > 1024 but the actual number I don't know) - 8080 may be free, it
doesn't matter so long as it's available - ask your sysadmin for a number.

The URL for the root home page of that server will then be http://www.your.domain:8080

So in your current web pages you point to URLs under this new root for the cgi etc,.

That way you keep your current web pages and only call pages on the other server (httpd)
for the bits you cannot do now.  The configuration and html pages etc for the new server
will have to be in sub-directories of your account on the system.  Of course there's no reason
to use the same type of httpd that is currently running for the second one.

That's what I think anyway.  We ran Apache and Spinner on the same machine on different
ports for a while - worked fine.

Michael.

 
 
 

Web server on a Unix user's acct?

Post by Pat Wils » Thu, 18 Jan 1996 04:00:00




>> Our sysadmins won't allow access to cgi-bin directory, so we are not allowed to use
>> scripts and forms in our homepages.  I was wondering, is there any way at all to setup
>> a mini-web server on a user's own account (without root access) so that he/she is able
>> to write and execute cgi scripts?
>Why, sure it is, assuming:
>    A) the system you're talking about is a UNIX machine
>    B) the user has a valid login on the machine
>If these conditions are met, simply download an httpd (such as
>Apache, NCSA httpd, or CERN httpd), and configure it as normal,
>except instead of setting it up to run on port 80, sent it to
>run on a port number greater than 1024.

And be prepared to explain to your sysadmins why you're circumventing
the rules...

--
Pat Wilson

 
 
 

Web server on a Unix user's acct?

Post by Mathew Hennes » Fri, 19 Jan 1996 04:00:00




>Our sysadmins won't allow access to cgi-bin directory, so we are not allowed to use
>scripts and forms in our homepages.  I was wondering, is there any way at all to setup
>a mini-web server on a user's own account (without root access) so that he/she is able
>to write and execute cgi scripts?

        If your sysadmin isn't letting you use cgi scripts, it's probably
because they have a healthy fear of cgi exec security holes which would
occur if they didn't have control over their cgis.  Or because of
unintentional sloppy cgis which hog cpu/disk and sometimes crash the
system.  It is possible to run httpd standalone as a different port
number from the command line, but don't be surprised if you get kicked
off your service for violating your service agreement (which probably
includes some text about not doing stuff like running ftp/http/TIA, etc..).
--

<em><a href="http://www.cloud9.net/~hennessy>My useless page</a></em>
"Unix was the first OS where you could carry the media and system
documentation around in a briefcase.  This was fixed in BSD4.2."  - ?
 
 
 

Web server on a Unix user's acct?

Post by Richard Irwi » Sat, 20 Jan 1996 04:00:00




>>Our sysadmins won't allow access to cgi-bin directory, so we are not allowed to use
>>scripts and forms in our homepages.  I was wondering, is there any way at all to setup
>>a mini-web server on a user's own account (without root access) so that he/she is able
>>to write and execute cgi scripts?

  One partial solution involves the structure of the Internet itself.  If you have
a dedicated IP number on the 'Net, remember: it's a two-way connection. With a
dedicated number, your machine is capable of being its own server.  You don't even
need to use a domain name if you are comfortable using your IP address as a URL.
I've seen this done, with a Mac Powerbook, and it was pretty cool - the guy only
had a 28.8 dialup connection, but he had a dedicated IP number.
 
 
 

Web server on a Unix user's acct?

Post by Nathan Neuling » Sun, 21 Jan 1996 04:00:00





> >Our sysadmins won't allow access to cgi-bin directory, so we are not
allowed to use
> >scripts and forms in our homepages.  I was wondering, is there any way
at all to setup
> >a mini-web server on a user's own account (without root access) so that
he/she is able
> >to write and execute cgi scripts?

Just ask your sys admin to install CGIwrap:

ftp://ftp.cc.umr.edu/pub/cgi/cgiwrap

It makes it more reasonable to allow users to use CGI scripts.

------------------------------------------------------------
Nathan Neulinger                  Univ. of Missouri - Rolla

WWW: http://www.umr.edu/~nneul      SysAdmin: rollanet.org
WWW: http://pluto.cc.umr.edu      SysAdmin: pluto.cc.umr.edu