At IU, what should I do if people get an error message when they try to view my web page?
On this page:
- "404" or "File not found" errors
- "403" or "Forbidden" errors
"404" or "File not found" errors
If you or others receive a "404" or "File not found" error message when trying to view your Indiana University web page, the web browser has not been able to locate the page you are trying to access. Check the URL to make sure it is correct. In particular, consider the following:
- URLs are case sensitive:
Hobbies.htmlis different from
- Names of files must match exactly:
hobbies.htmlis not the same as
hobbies.htm, nor is
home.htmlthe same as
- Make sure your pages are in your
wwwdirectory or a subdirectory of
- Do not include the
wwwdirectory in the URL. The following URLs are correct: http://mypage.iu.edu/~dvader/sith.html http://www.indiana.edu/~deathstar/contact.html
The following are incorrect:http://mypage.iu.edu/~dvader/www/sith.html http://www.indiana.edu/~deathstar/www/contact.html
The web browser considers
~/wwwto be the top directory. Adding an extra
wwwto the URL causes the browser to look for a subdirectory of
- Check the link pointing to the page that is returning the errors. Make sure there are double quotes around the page's address, for example: <a href="foobar.html">
- Make sure the address is in the correct format. If you are using
relative URLs, refer to What is the difference between an absolute and a relative URL?
If you use absolute URLs, make sure the entire hostname is included in the address. If you include only the name of the computer, many people, especially those outside of the university, will not be able to view your page. A correct URL looks like this:<a href="http://mypage.iu.edu/~jdoe/foobar.html">
"403" or "Forbidden" errors
If you or others receive "403" or "Forbidden" errors when trying to view your IU web page, the web browser does not have permission to access your page. To change the permissions, follow the appropriate steps below based on where your page is hosted.
Before starting, check the web page's URL to make sure all of your files are where they are supposed to be and have correct names.
Changing file permissions from the command line on Mypage
If your web pages are on Mypage, use the spinweb command to set the correct permissions. Log into Mercury and, at the Unix prompt, enter:spinweb
Refresh your browser's view of the page in question to check that the problem is fixed.
You can also enter the Unix
For more, see In Unix, how do I change the permissions for a file?
Changing file permissions from the command line on Webserve
If your web pages are on IU's central web server (Webserve), log into your account and enter:chmod -R 755 ~/www
This command makes the
~/www directory, including all of
the files and subdirectories in
~/www, accessible by web
browsers. On Webserve (
www.iuk.edu), the default name of your web directory is
www, and it is located in your home directory. If the
name of your World Wide Web directory is something other than
www, or if your web directory is located anywhere other
than your home directory, you will need to replace
with the appropriate directory name and path.
Note: For security reasons, certain file types should not be made world-readable. For example, Perl or PHP files should be set to be readable for owner only.
Changing file permissions using a graphical interface
If you wish to use a graphical interface, use one capable of using SFTP, such as WinSCP or Cyberduck. For more, see SSH/SFTP clients supported at IU.
For help on WinSCP, see Changing File Permissions using WinSCP on a PC.
For help with Cyberduck, see Changing File Permissions using Cyberduck on a Mac.
Directory indexing and home page filenames
Directory indexing is disabled by default on IU's web servers. Therefore, your home page must have one of the filenames listed below. For details, see For my web page, what is directory indexing, and how do I enable it?
For personal home pages on Mercury/Mypage at IU, if your home page is not named one of the following, you will get an error:home.html home.htm home.shtml index.html index.htm index.shtml
Unless you have a file in the
www directory with one of
those names, the following URL will return an error (where
username is your username):
For web accounts on Webserve, if your home page is not named one of the following, you will get an error:home.html home.htm index.html index.htm index.shtml index.cgi index.php4 index.phtml index.php
Last modified on January 04, 2013.