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Department Server Info - Fall 15

  1. We have enter our eleventh year with our departmental server "gauss". This server is running Red Hat Enterprise (RHEL) as the operating system (Linux not windows server), so there will be some differences in connecting.
    This server is available from outside as:
  2. First Time users:
    1. Use your account username/password pair to log on to gauss (with the username/password provided) Windoze users: use PuTTy (see below), or something similar to log on to gauss.
    2. You may want to change your password. Your password may (but really should not be . . ) be the same as that for your other Mercyhurst account, PROVIDED, your password must be at least 8 characters, with either mixed case and/or mixed alpha numeric.
      Easily cracked passwords will have the account temporarily locked - until a new (stronger) password is in place.
      See below for further password information
    3. To change your password, at the command prompt type: passwd, you will be prompted for your NEW password, type it hit enter and then you will be prompted to CONFIRM your new password, type the new password again.
  3. Connecting to the server (outside the firewall - OFF-campus):
    Chances are the primary service you will need is transferring files to and from the server. For security considerations the only means you have for transferring files is using the Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP) subset of the Secure Shell Procotols (SSH). SFTP is the replacement for the old and insecure File Transfer Procotol (FTP), with the addition of strong Encryption/Authentication.
    You will need to install software to perform the following tasks (we suggest some possible - free - software as solutions).
    Note: below whenever you see   you may substitute   as appropriate.
    1. A SFTP and SCP (Secure CoPy) client for using SSH2 (Secure SHell). The main function is safe copying of files between a local and a remote computer. Some possible software solutions (with drag and drop support):
      Linux users: your system comes with all of the tools you need ( gftp, Filezilla, others), be sure to change the protocol to SHH2 for a GUI. There are MANY ways to transfer files if you have a Linux box at home. For most of you, I suspect the 'Connect to Server' method (using service type 'SSH') would be your favorite - Windows-like GUI's.
      1. MAC, Linux, and Windows users :
        FireFTP is a Firefox add-on that now supports sftp.
        Cyberduck is an open source SFTP, WebDAV, for Windows, MAC
        FileZilla Client - a Free FTPS and SFTP client with lots of useful features and an intuitive graphical user interface.
      2. Windows users:
        Core FTP - the LE version is a Free SFTP client for Windows
        WinSCP: is an open source SFTP and SCP client for Windows (installed in the labs).
      3. MAC users:
        MacSFTP - SSH FTP Client for the Mac
        Fugu - A Mac OS X SFTP, SCP and SSH Frontend
      This will allow you to scp (transfer files) between and your home computer in a GUI.
      Host name:     (inside the firewall you may use '' or just 'gauss')
      Port number: 22 (leave this)
      User name and Password are for your account on gauss (
    2. You may also need software to allow you to ssh to from home (open a terminal window on gauss). Linux and Mac this comes built in.
      For windows, one recommended solution is:
      PuTTY   (installed in the labs)
      The PuTTY help pages: PuTTY User Manual
      Use host name:; and hit open.
    3. Again, ftp in NOT permitted (feel free to try).
  4. All accounts have web content available by default. If your user name is lwilliams, then your web content will be viewable in a browser at the URL:
    All web content is to be placed in your public_html subdirectory on gauss. For example:
    The file: /lwilliams/public_html/index.html is viewed via
                the browser URL:
    Remarks: you may also use
    The index.html (or index.php) is the 'default page shown in any directory - if no file is specified.
  5. Think about directory structure BEFORE you begin development
    Remember on a Linux system `Images', 'iMages', 'IMAGES', and `images' are different directories
    You may even want to create a site map
  6. Naming conventions
    Not too long
    Don't use spaces (in names)
    No extraneous characters
    Should stick to lowercase file names (and extensions)
  7. When you have questions about getting to your account, HTML, PHP or MySQL ask Pat Kelly
Last modified: 25 Aug 15
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