Building a website on SDF



Creating your own websites can be fun and SDF gives webspace to all its validated users, so the moment you become validated you can begin creating your own websites straight away.

In this tutorial when text looks like this this means it's a command you can run in your shell, once you've logged into SDF.

Getting Started

  • mkhomepg - This command needs to be executed before you can start building your web pages.
  • When you execute this program, it will create a directory in which you can put all your web files. This directory is sym-linked into your home directory, under the name 'html'. (A sym-link is sort of like a shortcut in Microsoft Windows.)
  • You will be prompted to select a URL for your website. This URL is what other internet users type into their web browser to view your web pages. If you're not an ARPA member then you may only use url's in the form of <your login> If you're an ARPA member, there are many different domains you may use.

Your First Page!

Creating your first page is SO easy! First you'll need to open a text editor. SDF has many text editors installed but new users to UNIX often find that “nano” is the easiest to work with.

  • nano ~/html/index.html - This command starts the nano text editor, creating a new file, called 'index.html' in your html directory.Once you've executed the command above. You'll notice that the terminal layout has changed. If you press keys on your keyboard you'll notice they appear in the “text buffer”. Write out the text below into this program.
    <title>My First Page!</title>
    <h1>My First Page!</h1>
    <p>This is my first html web page!</p>

Now that you have copied the text out into 'nano', you need to save the file. To do this, hold down the 'CTRL' key on your keyboard and whilst pressing that, press the letter 'o'.
Right, now, do you remember that URL you selected when you ran mkhomepg? Open a web browser and type that into the address bar. Hopefully, after a few seconds. You should see your very own web page!


The most important thing you need to have is patience. Sometimes updates when running mkhomepg may take a few hours to complete, sometimes they will occur almost immediately. By using the higher functions of your brain and patience you will solve a lot of the problems you may meet!

In case a page is not found on your site, the client may be forwarded to a page of or redmartian, which can be confusing (but which is in fact completely reasonable, as all the domains belong to one entity). If you want to prevent this also for broken links, you have to set up error handler documents. Please consult the FAQ item for this!

$Id: building_a_website.html,v 1.6 2007/08/21 19:16:46 yargo Exp $