Cannot Direct Domain Name to FBX User Website

Hi all,

I have a domain name that I purchased with namecheap.com, which I would like to use for my FBX User Website. However, namecheap will not allow me to set the CNAME as username.freedombox.rocks/~Username/Index

This is prohibited as the site insists that I enter a Fully Qualified Domain Name.

I can confirm that the website is being served up correctly, and that I am able to set the CNAME as Username.freedombox.rocks

When I do this I am able to access the user website as expected at:
www.mydomainname.co.uk/~Username/Index

However, this is a bit unwieldy and I would prefer to use the shorter, more memorable domain name I paid for. Is this possible? All help greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

CM

OK so… I think I’ve cracked it. About to break off for the evening, but it seems I need to go to System / General Configuration and set Webserver Home Page to Apache Default so that it serves up the content of freedombox.local/var/www/html

In order to conveniently drop my html files into this location from a PC on LAN I will need to change the permissions of this folder. I am always reluctant to start playing with permissions because I don’t want to cause any security issues but am willing to go read up on this if need be. I can always chmod these folders to make them editable temporarily then lock them up again, I suppose.

Is this the simplest/best way of tackling this?

Thanks in advance,

CM

go to System / General Configuration and set Webserver Home Page to Apache Default
so that it serves up the content of freedombox.local/var/www/html

Is this the simplest/best way of tackling this?

Frankly, it would be much better if the user websites would also be selectable from the “Webserver Home Page” drop down menu selection.

(But I’d look @sunil 's workaround in Installing and containing custom applications/software .)

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Thanks Nick.

Great suggestion. Seems obvious now you mention it. I’ve gone to the trouble of requesting that feature here: User Websites To Be Selectable As Webserver Home Page

Not entirely sure I understand how the link you shared solves this particular problem, unless you mean to suggest I alter the content of a config file - which may indeed be the best way to go for now. I’ll look into it.

Thanks again,

CM

Usually, the main website is placed under /var/www/html and user websites are placed under their home directories under a directory called public_html. It seems like you want to put your main website under your user for ease of editing.

The files under /var/www/html can be owned by root but should be world readable. As long as the files are readable, the Apache server should be able to serve them.

I am personally using GitWeb to store the files of my website. I push from my desktop, ssh into the FreedomBox, switch to root and do a git pull. I have to agree that this kind of flow is not user-friendly for non-technical users. Also, this is just one index.html under /var/www/html with links to everything else. For example, my blog is in a different directory under my user. I use rsync to update it from my laptop (SFTP may be used with most file managers in Debian desktops).

Maybe providing a proper static site generator or WordPress helps improve the situation.

Allowing admin to make one of the user websites as the default web page feels like an unconventional workaround to this problem, but can still be considered since the alternative needs knowledge of Linux file system permissions. Maybe we should also allow Ikiwiki blogs/wikis to be set as the home page.

Thanks Joseph,

Appreciate you taking the time to respond.
Some additional points that I think are germane.

  1. If the main website is stored in var/www/html then I think this needs to be clarified in the documentation. The only reference I was able to find regarding site hosting relates to “user websites”. This implies that if you want to host a site, this is how you do it. No clear distinction is made between “user” (someone with an account on the FBX) and Sys Admin (the owner/operator with root access). I just assumed that “user” referred to me, and that my site should be served from my public_html directory.

  2. Knowing what I now know, I am convinced that user sites should be included in the homepage drop down, and perhaps also that there should be a simple way for Admin to change file permissions for var/www/html, which doesn’t involve the command line.

  3. How would a user who is not the Admin, nor on the same LAN, set up a website on a FBX? It seems that currently the only way is for them to either a) send html files to the admin who can move them into location (problematic for a number of reasons), or b) SSH into the freedom box to transfer their html documents (not user friendly enough for general users). A static site builder (Hugo/lektor) or CM system (WordPress) would solve this for such users. Nevertheless, I still think direct access to user directories should be offered via a front end file manager as this provides further options without making things too technical.

  4. I agree that ikiwiki and Mediawiki sites should be added to the Homepage drop down, plus any other such apps packaged with FBX in future.

I think that anything we can do to prevent non technical users from having to go spelunking in the terminal changing access rights to folders is an overwhelmingly positive thing. Thanks for reading.

CM

Created an issue to update the manual page.

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Thanks Joseph. Is this an invitation for me to get involved and help edit, or were you simply informing me that you have raised the ticket? Will take a read of the links as soon as I can. Cheers.

Maybe both :wink:

If you’re willing to learn about Apache userdir module and write about it in the manual page, you’re welcome to do so.