Personal domain

Can I get my own web hostname?

Yes.

All CSE accounts get an automatic virtual hostname on our web servers: USERNAME.web.cse.unsw.edu.au.

For example, http://z1234567.web.cse.unsw.edu.au/ is equivalent to http://cgi.cse.unsw.edu.au/~z1234567/.

It runs on the CGI servers, so you can put PHP and other CGI Scripts there.

To be clear, this isn't a full virtualhost - you can't run an appserver this way, for instance - but it does give you prettier URLs for hosted content.

Redirecting web requests

If you want, you can automatically redirect visitors from www.cse.unsw.edu.au/~username/ to username.web.cse.unsw.edu.au/.

To do this, you need to create or edit your .htaccess file.

Because of the way these hostnames are implemented, you can't just use the Redirect directive to do this, or you'll get a redirection loop.

Instead, you'll need to use the Apache RewriteEngine.

Create or edit ~/public_html/.htaccess, which controls your top-level directory.

Add this to the top of the file, replacing <username> with your username:

RewriteEngine On RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} !^<username>.web.cse.unsw.edu.au [NC] RewriteRule (.*) http://<username>.web.cse.unsw.edu.au/$1 [R=301,L]

Important Notes

  • If you're POST forms, then you will need to make sure that the form uses the right domain name - POST data is lost on redirect
  • If you're using HTTPS, you need to change http to https in the snippet above.

How does it work?

See the mod rewrite docs - but put simply, the rule says: "if the hostname isn't username.web.cse.unsw.edu.au, then redirect the browser to that hostname."

See Also

Last edited by jbc 08/04/2020

Tags for this page:

domain, web, htaccess