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Introduction to your server

Just got a new server? You will receive an email containing the details of the server and a separate email with the password for the 'admin' user which you will use to access the server. Here's some extra information about it you may find useful. (Not all information may be relevant to your server. e.g. the Apache section is only relevant if you requested a web server.) See also the FAQs linked on the right.

User accounts

It will soon no longer be possible to log in as the admin shell user. For details see

All servers are supplied with a shell user called admin that has the capability to manage web content (where applicable). Where applicable there is also a database user called admin which can administer databases . When your server is set you you will be sent an email containing a temporary password for both these users. As the server owner, all password reset requests will come through to your email account. We do not know this password and we will not ask for it. If you need to reset it, a simple call to the IT Services Helpdesk will generate a new password which you will be sent to the server admin contact.

We can enable login with University usercodes on request. You will need to provide a list of names and either their usercode or University ID number. Note that usercodes given the ability to log in are members of the admin group and hence have the same filesystem rights as the admin user.

SSH access

SSH access is limited to the campus network. Access from off campus can be achieved by way of the VPN.

How can I upload files to my server?

Files can be copied to the server using SFTP or SCP. See also How can I upload files to my server?

The limitation to SSH access described above also applies to SFTP and SCP.


Unless otherwise stated elsewhere servers have 1 CPU core, 2GB RAM and 10GB of disk space for customer content. These can be increased if required. (Increasing CPU cores or RAM requires the server to be briefly shut down.)

Servers are provisioned with two separate disks. One contains the OS and core applications, the other is mounted at /data and contains all customer content (home directory of the admin user and home directories created for any additional users for which log in has been enabled, web content, databases.)


All servers have updates applied and are rebooted between 04:00 and 04:30 every Monday. You should take this in to account when scheduling cronjobs. If your server needs to stay up during these times, we can work out a maintenenace schedule to suit you.


See Information about cronjobs


A snapshot of your server is taken nightly for the purposes of Disaster Recovery.


The DocumentRoot is /var/www/html and this is where you should place your content.

HTTPS is enabled with a wildcard certificate that matches your server's hostname. We can also set up an additional alias and SSL certificate if required.

Single Sign-on integration is available on request.

You can apply configuration by way of .htaccess files (see note about php_value below).

If you use .htaccess files to re-write urls, please ensure http://localhost/server-status remains accessible. You can verify this with

$ curl http://localhost/server-status

You may need to use an exclusion such as

RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} !=/server-status

Logs are in /var/log/httpd/

PHP is invoked by way of PHP_FPM. This means that php_value can't be used in .htaccess

MariaDB/PostgresSQL Databases

MariaDB/PostgreSQL is configured with one database called db1 to which the admin user has complete access.

You can create additional databases (as the admin user) however, it must begin with db (e.g. db_supersecretproject. This restriction makes it easier for us to back up any databases that may get created).

A daily cronjob runs mysqldump or pg_dumpall creating a backup of all databases at /data/my_backup.sql.gz or /data/pgsql/

Where Apache is also installed, phpMyAdmin can be accessed at https://fqdn.of.your.server/phpmyadmin


See this page


Please note that root access is not provided.