23 Apr 2012 [ 185 week15 hw ]

This week we'll cover some basic network communication tools and work with a remote system (the one that's hosting this website).


SSH is protocol for secure network communication, remote login, and remote command execution.

To log in to a server that you have an account on, use the command ssh USERNAME@HOSTNAME.

To run a command on the server, use the same command but also list the command: ssh USERNAME@HOSTNAME cat .bashrc will print the contents of your .bashrc file.

File permissions

After logging in, run the command ls -al to give a detailed list of your home directory. Here's a partial output for my directory:

drwx------ 15 jlepak jlepak   4096 Apr 24 01:58 .
drwxr-xr-x 15 root   root     4096 Apr 24 00:40 ..
-rw-r--r--  1 jlepak jlepak    270 Apr 24 01:31 add-csc185.sh
drwx------  2 jlepak jlepak   4096 Nov 22 00:39 .aptitude
-rw-r-----  1 jlepak root    27681 Apr  2 19:18 auth.log
-rw-------  1 jlepak jlepak   1648 Apr 24 01:20 .bash_history

The first field gives details of the file permissions for each entry. There are 10 columns: the first indicates if the entry is for a directory (or other possibilities); the next 9 indicate if read, write, or execute (allowing the file to be run as a command) permissions are enabled for the user (the primary owner of the file, shown in field 3), group (a group of one or more users, shown in field 4), and all others.

The chmod program can change file permissions to enable or disable any of those permissions.


Do this homework while logged in to the ilzd.org server, and save all your answers in a file called hw11.txt in your home directory (the nano editor will be available to use).

Due Tuesday, May 1.

  1. Type the whoami and groups commands. What is their output?
  2. Type the who command. Who else is logged in?
  3. Navigate to someone else's home directory: use the command cd /home to navigate to the folder that contains all the user directories, and then pick one. What happens when you try to create a file in someone else's home? (You can use the command touch my-file.txt to try).
  4. Navigate to the /var/www/ilzd.org/csc185 folder. /var/www/ilzd.org holds the files served up by the web server, and csc185 is a folder that everyone in class has permissions to write to.

    Create a text file (either a .txt file or a .html file if you are familiar with HTML) and put a short message in it. Name it something unique so I know it's from you. Verify that you can see it in a web browswer by navigating to http://ilzd.org/csc185/yyy.txt (where yyy.txt is whatever you named your file).