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Web Development Thread, Setting up a web server for pupils' use in Coding and Web Development; Hello all, I need a bit of inspiration please. The head of ICT wants all his pupils to be able ...
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    Setting up a web server for pupils' use

    Hello all,

    I need a bit of inspiration please. The head of ICT wants all his pupils to be able to create their own webpages (in php) and have them live on the internet.

    My initial reaction is that we probably need to host a webserver in school running Apache and MySQL. Multiple pupils will then need access to the web server (via FTP I imagine).

    The problem is, I have not set anything like this up before so need some advice on where to start with it all. How do you achieve this in your school? What platform and software do I need? What else do I need to consider?

    Any help and advice will be gratefully received.

    Thanks,

    Ben

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    Hi Ben,

    We offer this from an ubuntu webserver and it works well. - Up to you whether you use a windows or linux platform. We opted for linux so it was completely seperate from the Windows domain.

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    park_bench (19th March 2008)

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    Ryan's Avatar
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    As an external option, for about 35 a year you could get a web server then set them up with FTP accounts, subdomains, the full whack. Very separate from your internal network and won't use up your bandwidth/resources etc. You may prefer something internal, something to think about though perhaps.

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    Webman has something that is practically the same principal on his wiki

    This any use


    Jack

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    If you're running ISA server then you could just publish their sites - either publish the home folders or publish a specific space you allocate to each student.

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    park_bench (19th March 2008)

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    I do it with Apache on Windows and an individually mapped drive, that way we benifit from a decent HTTP platform and transparent permissions etc.

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    park_bench (19th March 2008)

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    Indeed. However I'd probably use a separate Linux box to do it. Samba/winbind (with Pam restrictions) + pam_mkhomedir + Apache2 + mod_userdir are the components you'd need.

    Advanced config would include file restriction/quotas.

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    I've done this with apache and mod_userdir on a SuSE box.
    users were created manually (on 15 ish per year), and they uploaded via winscp via ssh. (later versions of dreamweaver support sftp). Unfortunately when IT teaching staff moved on the course got scrapped, in favour of some multimedia buls*it.

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    God can you imagine the number of rules in an ISA list.

    You're better off doing home dirs on a linux box and just going cname.whatever.tld/~username such has been suggested already.

    Also...it always amuses me how staff intend on policing content to ensure kids aren't hosting their own pr0n sites etc from sub folders breaking the AUP. Leave that up to teaching staff eh? I reckon it's tempting fate personally....and a bit much for the IT services team to keep going through looking.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joedetic View Post
    God can you imagine the number of rules in an ISA list.
    Not sure why it needs to be more than 1 per set of home directories provided you're OK with getting:

    http://server.domain/username

    Even if you wanted to have individual names you can script the creation of the rules - ISA 2004/2006 have a very good object model so are very scriptable.

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    webman's Avatar
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    JackD was right; I did something similar to Geoff with Ubuntu Server and Apache, Samba/Winbind, Vsftpd etc. Notes here.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan View Post
    As an external option, for about 35 a year you could get a web server then set them up with FTP accounts, subdomains, the full whack. Very separate from your internal network and won't use up your bandwidth/resources etc. You may prefer something internal, something to think about though perhaps.
    I like this idea Ryan. Can you recommend a company?

    Thanks,

    Ben

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    PEO
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    Quote Originally Posted by webman View Post
    JackD was right; I did something similar to Geoff with Ubuntu Server and Apache, Samba/Winbind, Vsftpd etc. Notes here.
    Hi Craig

    how come does your school web address not have the .sch.uk rather than .net?

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    @MrHappy: We never had an IPS tag configured for our .sch.uk domain; so when I tried to get it sorted with Nominet, their process just wouldn't work and no matter what I tried - even after speaking with their support. We couldn't wait any longer so we just got our ISP, (DurhamNET, our then-webhost) to register the .net and sort it all for us.

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    Quote Originally Posted by park_bench View Post
    I like this idea Ryan. Can you recommend a company?
    The company i use is 4UHosting.co.uk - had nothing but good experiences with them. Not much in the way of phone support, but their online support ticket system is brilliant, and they resolve everything fast.

    Any questions, drop me a PM.

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