How to make your own Home Page on

Step by step intructions.

You will need to copy some files called HTML documents as described below and store them in a subdirectory named WWW under your home directory.

Your math account should have been created with a WWW subdirectory in your home directory. To see if it is there, type


If it is not there, follow these steps to create a WWW directory for your home page:

NOTE: Your ~/WWW directory MUST be world-executable and world-readable and your home directory "~" must be world-executable.

When someone tries to open your personal WWW directory, the server looks for the file index.html (or Welcome.html in the old days, and this will still work).

Every document you place in the World Wide Web must be world-readable. Run the command:

chmod go+r file

on each file in your WWW directory that you want the world to be able to read.

The information you put into your personal home page will be displayed whenever someone tries to open the unique Universal Resource Locator (URL) for your account. The URL for your home page is of the form:

where YOUR_ACCOUNT_ID is your login id. For example, the URL for the account named bell is

I shall now give step by step instructions on how to set up your index.html file and other html files.

After you have verified that you have a directory called WWW in your Home Directory, type

cd WWW

in an xterm window. Next, type

ls -l

You might see a Welcome.html file listed. That file is not really there. It is a link to a dumby file that indicates that you have not installed your own home page file. Before you can install your own files, you must remove this link. Do this by typing

rm Welcome.html

and answer y for YES if you are asked if you really want to.

Now, while you are still in your WWW directory, (VERY CAREFULLY) type

cp ~bell/pub/*.html .
cp ~bell/pub/practice1 .
finger $USER > finger
chmod og+r *

If you want to see what these files will look like as elements of your Home Page, you can view them at

Many of the photos on the wall outside the Main Office have been scanned into jpeg files. If your login id is myloginid and you have been here for many years before 1999, then you should see yourself if you go to the URL

You can copy your image file to your account by typing

cp /pkgs/www/htdocs/images/people/myloginid.jpg  ~/WWW/photo.jpg

You can view the picture on a math dept SUN by typing

xv photo.jpg &

If the image is rotated and way too big, just right mouse click on the picture in xv. An xv control window should pop up. First click on the rotate button near the bottom to make the picture right side up. Then select HALF SIZE from the IMAGE SIZE menu near the upper right corner of the box. Then click on the SAVE box and then click on OK. (It is normal to reduce the quality by 75%. This will make the file smaller and easier to load on the web.) You can find a more detailed description of how to use xv in Volume 22 of the Network News.

Remember, you will need to type

chmod og+r photo.jpg

to make the file world readable for the web.

(If you have access to a scanner, you can even use a picture that is way too cool.)

Your home page should now be ready to view. Start Netscape and open the URL for your home page (see above). Edit the HTML files to change things like YOUR_NAME_HERE to your name there.

If Netscape gives you an error message, chances are that your file permissions have not been set properly. As mentioned above, your Home Directory needs to be executable to others. Your WWW directory and all its subdirectories need to be executable and readable to others. All files in your WWW directory and its subdirectories need to be readable by others. You can set these permissions by typing the following sequence of change mode commands

chmod og+x ~        % make your Home Dir execuatble to others
chmod og+xr ~/WWW   % make WWW executable, readable to others
cd WWW              % cd to WWW from your Home Directory
chmod og+r *        % make all files, directorys in WWW readable

To learn more about UNIX file permissions, see UNIX file modes.

To learn more about setting up fancier stuff, use Netscape to look at a nice page and select "View Source" from the VIEW menu to see how the page is set up.

It is rather easy to dispaly TeX'ed output on the web. For information, see

One last tidbit. As you modify and improve your Home Page, you can see the effect of changes as you make them by viewing the page in Netscape and by selecting "Reload" from the VIEW menu after each change.

How to write HTML:

The HTML language is easy. To see a summary of the meanings of HTML tags, click HERE.

For a more thorough explanation of HTML, see A Beginner's Guide to HTML.

Another common question: What editor should I use to write HTML? Since HTML is a markup language, any generic text editor will work nicely. For example, this document was written using vi. See this pico tutorial for a demonstration on how to use the very simple pico editor.

Have fun, but try not to get too carried away.

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