Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member
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.
Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.Become a member
61 Video lessons · 100244 Viewers
56 Video lessons · 113221 Viewers
71 Video lessons · 82103 Viewers
131 Video lessons · 39401 Viewers
Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.
Search within course videos and transcripts, and jump right to the results.
Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.
Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.
Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.