[cs631apue] Request like /~jschama/

Jan Schaumann jschauma at stevens.edu
Wed Dec 5 23:29:40 EST 2012

ccui1 <ccui1 at stevens.edu> wrote:

> The request like
> /~jschama/ we transfer that to /home/jschama/sws/.
> If we get a request like /~jschama/testdir/ we transfer that into  
> /home/jschama/sws/testdir/.
> Does that means when we get such kind of request, we find the files or  
> directories under /home/jschama/sws/?


> What if we get a request like
> /~jschama/../testdir/file ?

Here, you are attempting to go one directory above the ~jschauma
directory, ie /testdir/file.  This is then resolved relative to the
servers document root just as if the request had been for

> Shall we just pick the requested file name and find the same file name  
> under ./usr/htdocs/ ?

If your server was invoked with "./usr/htdocs" as the document root to
serve content from, yes.

> Why do our web server support such kind of request?
> If I run this server, it means others can see the information in my  
> personal folder.

Correct.  If you decide to run a web server serving the contents of a
specific directory under your home directory, then other people can
access contents of that specific directory under your home directory.

> How can that be useful for a web server?

Think about it.  How do you think the course website works?


If we want to allow different users on a system to have their own
websites with content they control, we can't have that data in the
document root -- otherwise, all users on the systems would require write
access there.

For example, if you would like to have your own website under
http://www.cs.stevens.edu/~ccui/, then you can create a directory named
"cs_html" on linux-lab.cs.stevens.edu, and any files you place there
will be available on the above URL.  Here, the web server uses the
"cs_html" directory to perform the per-user translation.


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