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Working with your web host's access restrictions

From: Drupal 7 Advanced Training

Video: Working with your web host's access restrictions

If you run your own web host, you can set up a server and give yourself godlike powers by taking control of what's called the root user or superuser. But chances are that you're like me, serving up your Drupal web site on a shared web host where you have only very limited powers. Web hosts vary in how much access they permit. So this video shows you tricks to determine how much you have. First, let's log in and get some basic information about ourselves. We do that with the ssh command, followed by username, domain, and password.

Working with your web host's access restrictions

If you run your own web host, you can set up a server and give yourself godlike powers by taking control of what's called the root user or superuser. But chances are that you're like me, serving up your Drupal web site on a shared web host where you have only very limited powers. Web hosts vary in how much access they permit. So this video shows you tricks to determine how much you have. First, let's log in and get some basic information about ourselves. We do that with the ssh command, followed by username, domain, and password.

One thing you'll notice is that we now have a different prompt than we had before, that's this section here before you start typing commands. This tells us that I am user tgeller@ web41, that's on my web host; whereas before, it was simply booth-06-mac. Another way to see who you are is with the command amusingly titled whoami, and you can see where you are with pwd, that says where you are on your web host that is to say in which directory. You can see what's in that directory with the ls command as you saw in a previous video and you can get the long form of that with ls -a for all and l for long form.

And here you see some files that you couldn't see before; that is, these ones that start with a dot (.). They are normally invisible unless you use that "a" option when you do ls. Here's the directory we created in a previous video. We see the name of it right here, but what do all these other things mean? I'll show you the most important ones and how they affect your access. The first section tells you that it's a directory, followed by three groups of letters which show the access restrictions for the owner, for the group, and for everybody else.

In this case the owner and the group both have read, write, and execute access. For directories, execute access means that you can actually go into the directory. However, everybody else has only read and execute access; that is, they can't write things to the inside of that directory. Then to the right we see the owner; that is, the person who has the access rights that are labeled Owner and the Group. Most often on UNIX these are going to be the same, it is possible to set up complex access structures using owners and groups, but we don't have to get into that here.

As I mentioned before, it finishes off with a filename. If you need to change any of these things you'll use the two commands chown and chmod that stands for Change Owner and Change Mode. So how does all of this affect us? Well let's go back to our directory listing and you'll see. You'll notice that most of these are tgeller tgeller, that's me. So both the owner and the group describe the sorts of rights that I have, but some of them are root and root; for example, this one here, certificates, and this one here, logs.

Now this logs directory has read and execute rights, but not write rights for everybody else; that includes me since I'm not root. Let's find out what that means? If I go in cd logs, yep, but let me do that; let me see what's in there. Yep, it lets me do that. Now I am going to try to make a directory in there called lynda. Ah! You see, it denied me permission because I didn't have write access. If you run into this and you can't change the permissions yourself, you'll have to contact your web host. So that has to do with file permissions, but I also want to mention that there is a separate set of permissions regarding the database that's part of your Drupal site.

We see how that comes into play by looking at the instructions for creating the database on drupal.org. To see those go to drupal.org, then click Documentation, Installation Guide, and Create the database. As we scroll down, we see some commands that are given for the command line; that is, in UNIX, starting here with mysqladmin. Once you've created the database you can then grant certain rights within the mysqladmin program. However, I've found that it's usually pretty uncommon for web hosts to allow you to create databases using the UNIX command.

You will probably have to do that through some web-based interface. For example, on my own web host, webfaction.com, there is this Databases link down here, which you use to create a new database. You can't actually do it in any other way. You'll see more about common web- based interfaces in a later video. Once again you have resources beyond what you saw here. One of them which I very highly recommend is lynda.com's Unix for Mac OS X Users course, particularly watch the section about Ownership and Permissions.

That will bring your knowledge up to snuff, but it's also possible that your web host simply enforces restrictions on how much you can do with the command-line interface. If that's the case, first try using whatever web-based access program they provide; you'll see how to do that in the video about using graphical web host interfaces. If that fails, contact your web host to find out whether you're actually allowed to do what you want and how they want you to do it.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Drupal 7 Advanced Training
Drupal 7 Advanced Training

72 video lessons · 11584 viewers

Tom Geller
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 4m 51s
    1. Welcome
      1m 7s
    2. Planning your Drupal career
      3m 44s
  2. 25m 46s
    1. Comparing development and production environments
      6m 22s
    2. Configuring your settings.php file
      7m 10s
    3. Running multiple sites from one Drupal installation
      7m 32s
    4. Troubleshooting common issues
      4m 42s
  3. 51m 20s
    1. Understanding your Drupal site's place on the web
      2m 44s
    2. Selecting a web host
      7m 20s
    3. Using Unix's command-line interface
      8m 23s
    4. Working with your web host's access restrictions
      4m 51s
    5. Using cPanel and other graphical web host interfaces
      3m 40s
    6. Transferring files to and from your web host
      5m 49s
    7. Moving databases using phpMyAdmin
      6m 34s
    8. Moving databases using Unix commands
      6m 8s
    9. Modifying server configuration files
      5m 51s
  4. 27m 10s
    1. Learning from case studies
      3m 13s
    2. Planning your site
      4m 18s
    3. Populating your site with Devel Generate
      3m 42s
    4. Managing URL paths
      3m 20s
    5. Restricting access to downloadable files
      5m 55s
    6. Reusing site components with the Features module
      6m 42s
  5. 21m 53s
    1. Understanding and installing Drush
      5m 23s
    2. Installing Drupal using Drush
      7m 24s
    3. Building a site using Drush
      9m 6s
  6. 31m 59s
    1. Backing up with the Backup and Migrate module
      8m 17s
    2. Moderating comment spam
      6m 47s
    3. Migrating from Drupal 6
      4m 28s
    4. Migrating to Drupal 7
      12m 27s
  7. 22m 24s
    1. Letting users log in through OpenID
      5m 10s
    2. Letting users log in through Facebook, Twitter, and other services
      9m 43s
    3. Republishing posts on Facebook and Twitter
      7m 31s
  8. 1h 5m
    1. Understanding Drupal's base themes
      5m 55s
    2. Introducing base themes: Zen and subtheming
      11m 35s
    3. Introducing base themes: Fusion and extensibility
      10m 44s
    4. Introducing base themes: AdaptiveTheme and responsive design
      7m 25s
    5. Introducing base themes: Omega and mobile devices
      7m 9s
    6. Using Firebug and other theming tools
      7m 20s
    7. Modifying themes with Sweaver
      6m 59s
    8. Modifying themes with Livethemer
      8m 45s
  9. 49m 35s
    1. Understanding the Rules module
      6m 48s
    2. Demonstrating how Rules works in Drupal Commerce
      3m 53s
    3. Creating practical rules
      6m 37s
    4. Improving rules
      9m 10s
    5. Defining conditions with the Context module
      7m 51s
    6. Varying layout with the Context and Delta modules
      5m 0s
    7. Varying layout with the Panels module
      10m 16s
  10. 52m 46s
    1. Enabling social features
      9m 46s
    2. Implementing a voting system
      9m 15s
    3. Rewarding good behavior with the Userpoints module
      5m 57s
    4. Setting up Organic Groups
      6m 28s
    5. Adding content to groups
      2m 21s
    6. Seeing group activity better with views and panels
      10m 13s
    7. Making groups private
      4m 54s
    8. Letting each group have its own permissions
      3m 52s
  11. 25m 32s
    1. Understanding packaged Drupal distributions
      2m 8s
    2. Getting a head start with Acquia Drupal
      7m 28s
    3. Creating online storefronts with Drupal Commerce
      6m 53s
    4. Creating government web sites with OpenPublic
      9m 3s
  12. 1h 30m
    1. Taking the assignment
      3m 26s
    2. Planning the project
      3m 43s
    3. Preparing the infrastructure
      8m 42s
    4. Starting the design
      7m 35s
    5. Filling in the content
      7m 29s
    6. Developing the layout
      10m 27s
    7. Finishing the layout
      7m 8s
    8. Refining the CSS
      6m 32s
    9. Setting up sections for regional offices
      4m 53s
    10. Configuring regional offices
      7m 18s
    11. Connecting to social media
      5m 9s
    12. Cleaning up
      12m 32s
    13. Securing the site
      5m 56s
  13. 37s
    1. Next steps
      37s

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