online manual linux
Linux Manual :
You've obtained your BombayBiz.com Linux Web hosting account and have your web site already under construction. Now is the time to examine some of the resources available to you on BombayBiz.com , and see how you can take advantage of them to build a more powerful, efficient site. Our services are designed to facilitate the construction of web sites that do more than merely present static information to your visitors. Successful web sites use many technologies that provide 'behind the scenes' information processing, to create content that engages and involves your visitors. The following is a short overview of resources available on BombayBiz servers, and how you can make use of them to build a better web site.
APACHE WEB SERVER
The apache web server is the most widely implemented web server on the internet today. Fully 50% of all web sites are run from Apache, and the reasons are clear. Efficient programming has made a web server that can serve tens of thousands of web pages every minute, with stability and elegance. In all but the most massive web sites, apache is simply faster than the competition. Apache's noncommercial, flexible development methods mean that bugs are fixed, and distributed to end users mere hours after their discovery - so when a security problem is discovered within the Apache software, you wont be left waiting for a corporation to fix it while your web site lies vulnerable to hackers.
Apache's core abilities are powerful in themselves, and new abilities may be added to it in the form of plug-in modules. In the day to day running of your web site however, some of these functions will be used more often than others:
Server-side Includes - By including specific text in your HTML documents, you can pass instructions to the apache server for it perform various actions on your HTML, before it is actually sent out to a visitor on your site. A common usage of this is to include a 'footer' at the bottom of all web pages from your site. By including a "server side include" [a small extra tag] at the bottom of each HTML document, the web server will attach a file you specify to each page. In this manner, instead of wasting time and disk space adding this footer by hand [and checking to make sure you haven't missed it anywhere] you can have the web server perform this for you. If you're tired of adding that "copyright, your company, 2000, all rights reserved" at the bottom of every page, you'll appreciate that SSI is a serious tool.
HTTP logs - If you've come from a free web hosting service before BombayBiz.com , you've probably tried to use 'counters' to track the number of visitors to your web site - and likely discovered that counters are not a great way to monitor your site's traffic - they just aren't designed for the job. The Apache web server maintains its own HTTP Logs - blow-by-blow accounts of every file served up by your web site, who viewed them, with what browser, and when. With this raw information you can make use of Log Analysis Tools that can analyze your traffic patterns over certain times of the day, to certain areas of your site, and other trending information.
Secure Sockets Layer - Called SSL for short, this is the basis for the secure site - the https:// URL's you see on company order pages. SSL allows visitors to your site to both submit and view information over a cryptographicly secure link that renders 'wiretapping' of the data sent between you near impossible. For a business site, SSL is part of the foundation of good practice through which you can ensure the privacy and security of your customers.
CGI-BIN - For a site to be more than just a collection of static pages [the 'electronic brochure' syndrome] it must offer [to apply an overused buzzword] interactive content. For that to come about, your site needs to do things - to offer functionality to your visitor. This may be as simple as a guestbook or a message board, or a fully operational online ordering and tracking system. CGI is the path most taken to achieve this. CGI is Common Gateway Interface - a way to run programs on the web server itself, and send and receive information to your site's visitors. Alongside the preconfigured CGI applications we include with your account, we allow you much freedom to run other CGI scripts, should you write your own, or find them on the web. CGI programs can be written in many different computer languages however, so we support most of the common ones - PERL, Python, Tcl to name the top three.
Protected Directories - Apache can be configured to behave differently, depending on what directory within your site it is serving files from. One of these configuration options is to only serve pages from a selected directory if the visitor can provide a valid username and password [that you control] or if the user is from a certain location on the internet. More on this here.
Configurable error pages - '404 Error not found' - not only is this sight disheartening, its downright unhelpful. We all want to make our web sites accessible to our visitors, and custom error documents are one way to help achieve this. Instead of the dreaded '404' message, you can instead have the web server display a page that gives a set of links to major areas of your site, to get your visitors back on track. The same can be set up for other types of errors - pages that have moved, or when a login to a protected directory is denied. All of these pages can be edited in real time using your Control Panel.
Many contenders come and go, but e-mail remains as the true 'killer app' of the internet. Having a strong e-mail system behind your web site is one of the best ways to build communication with your site visitors. People make note of addresses that are easy to remember, and e-mail is often the first line of contact to your visitors after your home page. You most likely already have your own e-mail addresses through your internet service provider, so being able to incorporate your BombayBiz mail with your existing mail is important here too. Here are some of the tools available to you with BombayBiz.com .
POP Accounts - Like your e-mail account with your ISP, POP accounts are e-mail addresses that store received e-mail on the server, for you to collect later. Your account starts with one of these by default, and you may add extra addresses to your domain, so people within your organization can receive e-mail at your domain as well.
E-Mail Forwarding - When you need an extra address @ your domain, but do not require another place to store your e-mail before collecting it, a forwarder is the tool for the job. Forwarders are e-mail addresses that redirect mail they receive to another e-mail address to be collected there. A common example is to set up a 'email@example.com' address, that forwards e-mail to your e-mail address at your internet service provider.
Auto Responders - Let's face it, sometimes you don't have to to respond to every e-mail that arrives in your inbox by the same day - yet you know that if you don't get an answer back to them soon, they may wonder if they have the right address at all. Auto Responders are a great way to solve this, and other problems. Such as offering information on demand.
Mailing Lists - Mailing lists have a long history on the internet as an efficient way to facilitate communication between interested parties - and they work much like their real world counterparts, with the exception that people subscribed to the list may be given permission to send their own messages to the list, to be received by all other subscribers.
File Transfer Protocol [FTP] has around twenty years of history on the internet, so as standards go it is well established. Others come and go, but FTP is still the most commonly used and reliable method for file transfer across the internet, and this makes it the recommended tool for managing your site at BombayBiz - FTP clients are available for all network capable operating systems, and some elements of site management can only be performed with an FTP client.
FTP being such an important feature of the internet, it would be amiss if we didn't include features to enable you to make good use of FTP as part of your web site:
NOTE: Anonymous FTP and Extra FTP logins are only available with Professional web accounts. Basic accounts have only the primary login.
Anonymous FTP access - If you've ever downloaded a file from the internet, chances are you've used anonymous FTP. The 'anonymous' part indicates that you don't need to have an account on the system you're receiving the file from - its a public file server. Offering a public file server on your own site has many strong points in its favor - although you can make files available on your web site through HTTP, ftp is much faster and more reliable than HTTP for transferring files, and has additional features, such as the ability to resume a failed download. Used correctly, anonymous FTP can become another valuable part of your site design.
Extra FTP Logins - Chances are that you wont be the only person involved in the design and management of your web site, or you'd like to give some space on your server over to a friend or associate. Having extra FTP logins to your site means you can give people access to directories on your site, so they can manage their portion of the site themselves, without giving them access to your home directory or control panel.
If data is the heart of computing, then the SQL language could be the blood. For over twenty years, the
Structured Query Language [SQL] has been the defacto standard for accessing databases over a network. SQL servers provide data storage and management services that can be accessed conveniently from many scripting languages and CGI systems. Using SQL is both easier and quicker than storing and accessing data from a 'flat' text file.
BombayBiz.com implements the TCX MySQL database server; MySQL has a reputation for speed, stability and ease of use. While there are SQL servers that are much faster than MySQL, its accessibility and adherence to standards make it the perfect choice for web site database storage.
Database Storage/Processing - The basis of the SQL language is the concept of storing data in tables of related information, and retrieving this data according to certain criteria -
"show all inventory categories with less than ten units remaining"
"show all accounts whose payment is due in the next week"
This data could be customer accounts, product information, order records; the SQL language is extremely flexible in the kind of data that can be expressed and contained by it. There are many books and online tutorials for the
SQL language - its popularity as a business tool is unmatched.
commerce applications - If you are looking to create online commerce solutions, then the use of SQL services will likely be a high priority. Much of the work involved in a commerce site can be accomplished through the use of the SQL language, and the speed and security of data stored in SQL databases fulfills much of the criteria of a successful commerce site.
If you have encountered web development tools such as Cold Fusion or Active Server Pages, then the uses for PHP will be immediately apparent.
PHP [www.php.net] is a server-side scripting language, with built in methods to access database services through SQL, and is a powerful alternative to CGI applications for processing data before it is viewed by your sites visitors. The uses for PHP are too diverse to go into detail here, but here are some ideas to start off with:
Rapid Database Driven Site Generation - It used to be the case that database access was only possible through the use of a CGI application running on the server, this required extra modules and lengthy code. PHP, like other server-side script languages [ASP, Cold Fusion, etc.] speeds this process by providing fast, direct access to SQL databases in a very human readable syntax. Unless your needs are very specific or you have a pre built system, implementing your site with PHP is often the fastest way to build database services into your web site.
Dynamic Page Generation - Another common use of PHP with a SQL server, is the ability to create web pages on the fly. Using a template page written in PHP, you can retrieve images, text , etc. from an SQL server to construct the final HTML page that is seen by the web browser. A classic example of this is a product information page. Instead of generating hundreds of HTML pages, each describing a separate product and consuming much disk space, product descriptions, photographs and other information are stored in an SQL database, and a template PHP is generated. When a client requests information on a certain product number, the PHP template requests the corresponding information from the database, and constructs a completed web page of the product information that is presented to the client. This approach saves much work, especially when the time comes to alter product information, add/remove products and other site management tasks.
Other PHP Projects - php.net has a project portfolio here demonstrating many other practical applications for this language.
You can read more about PHP at http://www.php.net.
SHELL ACCESS - TELNET & SSH
Unix is a fully multiple user operating system, able to have many users logged into the system and running programs simultaneously [not just accessing files, but using the system as though they were actually at the machine's keyboard].
This remote access to run programs on the server is provided to BombayBiz customers through two methods - Telnet and Secure Shell [ssh]. Telnet is another long established standard on the internet, and telnet clients are available for all common operating systems. Being able to log into the system provides much greater flexibility in managing your web site - the Unix command line environment is extremely powerful, and a small amount of time learning it, delivers many skills that can reduce site management tasks down to a few minutes of work, instead of hours of manual alteration. Many of the more advanced aspects of site management can only be achieved within a telnet session, so time spent familiarizing yourself with Unix is well spent.
SSH is a a newer implementation of telnet - and addresses many of the problems of telnet - especially that of security. Telnet travels as plain text over the internet, easily listened into by people with access to the machines the connection travels over. SSH encrypts everything - from your initial login and password, to every byte of data send over the ssh session. SSH clients are less common than telnet clients however, and apart from the Unix versions, most are commercial software.