Club Hosting

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The Computer Science Club provides web hosting to other clubs free of charge. We host many club web sites and mailing lists. If you have a question about our hosting service, contact or visit our office in MC 3036.

Hosting Features

  • 4 GB web space
  • Scripting
    • PHP (mod_fcgid)
    • Perl (mod_fcgid)
    • Python (mod_fcgid)
    • Ruby (mod_fcgid)
  • Databases

This is not an exhaustive list. Contact us if you want something not listed or installed.

Getting Hosted

To get hosted, you need:

  1. a club account
  2. one user account for each person who will be updating the club's web site or other files

Club Account

Each club we host has a "club account" that owns and stores club resources. You can request a club account via email or in person. The club account:

  • Is named after the club, possibly abbreviated.
  • Has a home directory named /users/clubname, where club files are stored.
  • Is not permitted to login. You must use your own user account to login.

Syscom will create club accounts when sent a request from the club's email address to

User Accounts

Each user who needs access to the club account must have his/her own user account on our machines. There are two ways to get an account:

  • Become a member of the Computer Science Club. Membership is $2.00 per term.
  • Request a free "club representative" account. These accounts are to be used solely for managing the club account, and expire at the end of the term.

In both cases, you must come to MC 3036 in person for initial registration. Club representatives can request renewal of their free accounts if they still need the account in future terms. Renewal can be done in person or via email.

Your user account must also be authorized to change club files. Each club has a "club group" whose members may update the clubs files. We add (and remove) users to the group when we are asked to do so by the club exec. The exec must email Syscom ( from a club email address. We may ask for verification that the club is a Feds club when setting up a new account.

Any office staff member privileges may create and renew both member and club representative accounts using ceo.

Accessing Club Resources

Shell Access

At this point, you have a user account and a club account, and need to get started with your web site. Before you can do anything, you need to log into our machines somehow. You can:

  • Log in using a terminal in the office
  • Log in from anywhere using SSH. Our web server (caffeine) is available at

The club's files are stored in /users/clubname.

If you want, you can become the club user by typing "become_club clubname". This is not usually necessary, as the permissions usually allow you to make changes as yourself.

SFTP File Access

You may access files stored on our servers, or upload new ones, via SFTP and SCP. If you are a Windows user you should use WinSCP or a similar client with SFTP/SCP abilities. If you are using OS X you can use the sftp or scp Terminal commands, or you can install a graphical client such as Cyberduck. Similarly on GNU/Linux you can use the shell commands or a graphical client such as gftp.


Web Hosting

The /users/clubname/www directory is accessible via the web at This is set up by default and requires no special configuration.

If you want a domain of the form, you can request this via email. You can also use your own domain (e.g., if you purchase it yourself.

We strongly discourage the use of content management systems such as WordPress. These packages are notorious for the number of security vulnerabilites they contain and pose a threat if they are not kept up to date. The Systems Committee may, at their discretion, disable any website using a package such as WordPress that is not updated to the latest version or that is found to contain exploitable security flaws. In such a case, the member or club serving that site will be notified of the stoppage; the site will not be re-enabled until the issues are addressed.


MySQL databases are available.

You can create a MySQL database yourself through ceo by following these instructions.

Mailing Lists

We can set up GNU Mailman for you upon request.