Linux cPanel web hosting FAQ

Q. How do I add additional users to my group account?

A. We do not yet have a way for you to add additional members to your group yourself. To add additional group members, please send a request including the NetIDs of the additional group members and the name of your group web hosting account to engrit-help [at] illinois [dot] edu.

 

Q. Can I install software?

A. You are welcome to install software to use in your web hosting such as content management systems. However, all installs must be completely within your home directory. Some installation scripts try to write files in system directories which you don't have access to. Normally you will just need to specify the install path to be your home directory at /home/NetID or /home/yourGroup in order to get these install scripts to put all the files in your home directory. Your default disk quota is 1G. If you need more, please send email to engrit-help [at] illinois [dot] edu.

 

Q. Can I have a PHP extension installed?
A. If there is a common PHP extension you would like to have but don't see installed, please request it by sending email to engrit-help [at] illinois [dot] edu

 

Q. Can I use Shibboleth to password protect my website?

A. You can use Shibboleth to restrict access to all or parts of your website. Shibboleth is automatically available if you use the following form of your web address:

https://web.engr.illinois.edu/~yourAccount

To use this, put the following lines in a file named .htaccess (please note the period at the beginning of the filename is required)

AuthType Shibboleth
ShibRequireSession On
require valid-user
ShibRedirectToSSL 443
ShibUseEnvironment on

Put the .htaccess file in the directory of the content you want to protect. For example, if you want to protect your entire website, put the .htaccess file in /home/yourAccount/public_html. When visitors navigate to https://web.engr.illinois.edu/~yourAccount, they will be prompted for their NetID and NetID password.

If you want to protect just part of your website, put the protected content into a directory and put the .htaccess file in that directory. For example, to protect the content in the directory /home/yourAccount/public_html/protected, you would put the .htaccess file in that directory. When visitors navigated to https://web.engr.illinois.edu/~yourAccount they would not be prompted for a password. When they visited https://web.engr.illinois.edu/~yourAccount/protected, they would be prompted for a password.

You can also use Shibboleth with a custom web address such as youraccount.dept.illinois.edu. You will need to have an SSL certificate to use Shibboleth with a custom alias. cPanel provides free SSL certificates issued by Comodo. Please send email to engrit-help [at] illinois [dot] edu with a request for a cPanel SSL certificate. 

 

Q. Can I use an SSL Certfiicate with my cpanel account?

A. Yes, you can use an SSL Certificate with your cPanel account. cPanel provides free SSL certificates issued through Comodo. Please send email to engrit-help [at] illinois [dot] edu to request a cPanel SSL certificate.

 

Q. Can I use Python on cPanel?

A. You can, but it can sometimes be a challenge. You should install virtualenv to have control over the python environment.  The cPanel server does not run fcgid. Your python scripts will need to be in your /home/yourAccountName/public_html/cgi-bin unless you put the following into a .htaccess file in your public_html folder:

Options +ExecCGI
AddHandler cgi-script .py

 

Q. Is there a Tomcat server available on cPanel?

A. No.

 

Q. Can I have a CNAME (web alias) for my site?

A. You can have a CNAME for your site if it is a more permanent site such as your personal site or a site for an RSO. Send email to engrit-help [at] illinois [dot] edu to request your CNAME. Homework assignments or projects for classes don't get CNAMES.

 

Q. Can I have a hosting account for an RSO?

A. Yes as long as the RSO is affiliated with the College of Engineering.

 

Q. How can I get more help with a specific task?

A. You are always welcome to ask for help by sending email to engrit-help [at] illinois [dot] edu. However, because cPanel is such a popular hosting platform, there are many resources online to help you accomplish what you need to do. Try including "cpanel shared hosting" in your searches. For example, if you want to deploy a Flask app, search for "how to run flask on cpanel".

Q. Is the server backed up?

A. The server is backed up daily over night. Daily backups are kept for 7 days. Weekly backups are kept for 8 weeks. Monthly backups are kept for 3 months. Databases are NOT backed up individually. You MUST backup your own database through the cPanel graphical interface.
 

 

Get Help

Questions about this topic? Don't see what you're looking for?

Email engrit-help [at] illinois [dot] edu, call the Help Desk at 217-333-1313, or contact your primary IT support professional.