Web and Database Development Environment Tutorial


webdev.cs.uiowa.edu is a web server that can run and serve perl scripts, php scripts, python scripts and java servlets in addition to standard html. In this tutorial, we'll create a simple html file as well as simple perl, php, python, and jsp files (NOTE: not all accounts will be configured for jsp). We'll then link them into the simple html file.

Mysql/psql username/password: A separate username/password has been randomly created for your mysql/psql database. DO NOT change your randomly generated password to your HawkID password. Keep them separate as this is a web development/learning platform and your development password may be exposed over the network in clear text without encryption.

Get an ssh client and log in

First, to log in to a managed linux workstation. There are many options to do this; you can sit at a Linux computer in one of the labs, log in via ssh, or access via FastX.

Go to your web development directory and look around

After you've successfully logged in to a linux workstation, you can open a terminal or the file browser to get to the directory /webdev/user/<divmsid>.

To use the file browser to access this directory go to Places > Computer, select File System on the left, scroll down and double-click on "webdev," and double-click on "user." Finally, find your username in the user directory and double-click on that.

Alternatively, In a terminal, type:

cd /webdev/user/<divmsid>

By default there is a single html file and a few directories. To see these directories, type the ls command in the command window:


The output of the ls command should look like:

[username@l-lnx101 username]$ ls
error_log  examples  index.html  mysql_db_info  psql_db_info  tomcat7  ssl_error_log

To see the contents of the examples directory, type ls followed by the name of the directory, in this case, "examples":

ls examples

You should see something like:

[username@l-lnx101 username]$ ls examples
databaseClass.pl  data.db  sample_mysql.php  sample_mysql.py  sample_psql.php  sample_psql.py  temp.txt

Examples Using Various Languages

HTML Example
JSP/Servlet Example
Perl Example
PHP Example
Python Example


I was working on my files on a computer that isn't managed by the CLAS Linux Group team. How do I copy them so the webdev.cs.uiowa.edu server can see them?

You can use any program that can use SCP/SFTP/SSH2 to transfer files. Log in to a managed linux workstation and browse to /webdev/user/<divmsid>.

From on campus, you can use your SCP/SFTP client to log in directly to a linux workstation and then change to the /webdev/user/<divmsid> directory and then transfer your files.

If you are off campus, you'll need to use your SCP/SFTP client to log in to linux.divms.uiowa.edu, change to /webdev/user/<divmsid> and then transfer your files.