Personal Web Site Management

Colorado School of Mines provides server space for personal websites for faculty, staff and students.

Your home web page space does not exist until you create it (see details below). Personal home pages are housed under, on a server called "Illuminate." After you have created your personal home page you may view it at this location:

  • (where username is your own login name, following the tilde "~" character).

To alter your personal home page you may:

  1. Re-run the personal-home-page creation tool. Note that all previous content will be destroyed and that you must enter all data again. This may be the easiest way to manage your web page if you have a simple site and rarely make changes to it.
  2. Edit your personal home page(s) with your preferred web-editor software (examples include programs like Dreamweaver, NVU, or Kompozer). In this case, you must log in to the Illuminate server using your Mines username and MultiPass and navigate to a subdirectory of your home directory called public_html, where your personal home page files are stored. While this method requires some knowledge of web page editing and maintenance, it is a powerful way to manage your files, particularly if you maintain a complex website that changes frequently.

For more information about personal home page changes:

Access to Illuminate is the web server for Illuminate hosts several departmental pages, all personal home pages, and the web site. Users who have created a personal home page as described below, or who have had personal home pages migrated from the old Slate server, have access to Illuminate. Use your MultiPass username and password to access Illuminate.

Normally, you will download a copy of your web files to your local computer (via SFTP or via a web editor), edit them locally, then upload them to Illuminate, overwriting the older version. To do so, configure your preferred web editor or SFTP client as follows:

  • Host:
  • Username: Your current Mines email username (ex: jdoe)
  • Password: Your MultiPass (ex: myPa$$wrd)
  • Protocol: SFTP (not FTP)
  • Remote root (optional): ~username/public_html/

Personal Home Page Creation

Users desiring a new Mines-hosted personal home page should first go to to create an initial home page. The page address on the web will be and the files, once published, will reside on illuminate in the directory ~username/public_html. Once the initial page has been created and published you are welcome to use the web-authoring tool of your choice to modify or replace it. Or run the create-home-page utility again to overwrite your previous version (note that all information will need to be reentered at that time). See the above section on accessing illuminate directly for more details.

Personal home page content exists in a directory named public_html beneath the user's home directory.

  • The URL to access your personal home page will be
  • CGI code, if any, must go in~username/public_html/cgi-bin. It must also have the user's owner and group, and be mode 755 or suexec will not run the CGI. (Most users may ignore this directory. Relatively few people use CGI in their personal home page.)
  • File uploads to Illuminate must be performed with the SFTP protocol.
  • Your Mines email username and password is used to log into Illuminate.

Personal Web Site FAQ

  1. Q) I can't access my personal home page via telnet. What's the problem?

    A) Illuminate does not allow telnet access. You must use SSH instead of telnet.

  2. Q) Why can't I access my personal home page files via SFTP or SSH from an off-campus location?

    A) You can, but you must start the Mines VPN service to do so because of potential security issues. To set up VPN, follow the instructions at

  3. Q) Where are personal home pages stored?

    A) On Illuminate, all personal home pages are stored beneath your home directory in a subdirectory named public_html (ie, ~username/public_html). This applies to all faculty, staff and students.

  4. Q) How do I upload content to my personal home page?

    A) Your content must be uploaded with the SFTP protocol to Your personal home page content must be placed in your ~username/public_html directory, or a subdirectory of that directory.

  5. Q) What is the URL to my personal home page?

    A) All users' personal home pages will follow the same scheme,

  6. Q) My CGI is not working, what is wrong?

    A) There are several possible reasons for CGI problems.

    • Illuminate requires that your CGI be located in your ~username/public_html/cgi-bin directory.

      • Each CGI script must be owned and have the group of the owner of the personal home page.

      • The mode of the cgi script must be rwxr-xr-x, or 755.

      • The program that runs your CGI scripts will not run your programs if you do not put the CGI in your cgi-bin directory with your owner, group, and correct mode.

  7. Q) Do my pages use CGI?

    A) If you are unfamiliar with the term, it is unlikely that your pages use CGI, which allows a web page to interact with external application software.

  8. Q) I cannot log in, what is my username and password on Illuminate?

    A) Your username and password are your Mines username and MultiPass -- the same username and password you use to access email, Windows or Linux lab computers, or Trailhead.

  9. Q) Why does the server offer my web pages that have a '.old' extension?

    A) The new web server has a feature to help track down a web page. A request for a web page sometimes cannot be served because the requested file was misspelled or the capitalization was incorrect. The spelling feature will be called when the web page is not found and will search the directory for a similar document. If a similar web page is found, a redirect will be sent to the browser with the new page. The search for a document will only be called when there is no web page that exactly matches.

    Candidate web pages include:

    • Any web page that has one character in the file name that is at most one character different than the web page requested. The comparison ignores the case of the characters.
    • Any web page with a base file name component that is the same as the requested page.

    If there is more than one page with a name that is similar to the requested page, a list of pages will be sent to the browser so the user can select which page they would like to see.


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Last Updated: 08/07/2017 14:31:24