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Athabasca University

Student Project Server Documentation

Note: You may not be using all of the following options for your course. These instructions are listed for any courses requiring them.

  1. HowTo Videos
  2. Using the Linux System
  3. Accessing the MySQL Database
  4. Using Java and MySQL
  5. Using JSP
  6. Using PHP
  7. Using RMI

HowTo Videos



The Linux System

  • This documentation is for all students doing course projects on the server.

    You must use ssh to log in at (SSH Information Site) If you don't have a login name and password, please contact SCIS technical team. The IO server uses a Linux platform. (Linux is a version of UNIX.) (Help for basic UNIX commands)

  • You may also use an SCP program to transter your files to your home directory on the server.
  • Once you are logged in, you will be in your home directory. The path to this directory is /home/login. Note: In place of login, enter your own login name.
  • You will place any HTML documents in a subdirectory of your home directory called public_html (/home/login/public_html). To access these from the Web, the URL will be Note: Enter your login name and the filename you wish to access.
  • Your permissions are set to your home directory so that HTML files can be viewed from the Web, but other users on the server will not be able to change to your directory and read or write to your files. Do not copy from other students' directories! All student access is monitored and logged.
  • You may use the command line editors such as vi or pico to edit both your HTML and source code documents. If you edit documents on your windows machine and transfer them to the server, you need to ensure that your Windows editor has not added extra Windows return characters to your source code, as this will interfere with executing your files on the server.  You can use Notepad++ (Windows) or TextWrangler (Mac) to edit or create your HTML files or source code.

Accessing the MySQL Database

  • A database has been created, which has the same name as your login and home directory. Type
    mysql -p databasename
    to use the mysql command line monitor (where databasename is your database (login) name). You will be prompted for your password.
  • Once you are in your MySQL database, type \h (for HELP) to get the basic command list. \q is the command to quit. The other commands can be found in the MySQL Reference Manual below.
  • MySQL Reference Manual
  • To create tables and table entries, follow the instructions given in your course materials and in the reference materials above.
  • You are the only one who can read or write to your database from the command line.
  • Note: Due to connection issues, we no longer recommend using a graphical client to connect to your database, such as MySQL CC, via SSH tunneling.

    Warning: Do not attempt to change either your MySQL password or your user configuration in the mysql database. These have been set to enable access from both the Web and the command line and changes made can result in loss of that access. If you feel that permissions need to be changed, please contact the SCIS technical team.

Using Java and MySQL

  • To compile your Java programs, you should no longer need to set your PATH to java or CLASSPATH to servlet.jar and the jdbc connector. This should be set for you. If you encounter problems with this, email the SCIS Programmers.
  • The driver used is MM.MySQL, which is a Type-4 JDBC driver. It allows Java developers to make connections to MySQL servers from both Java applications and applets. On IO, you will be making your connections using Java servlets.
  • Servlets run on the Apache Tomcat 5 module, which is an implementation of the Java Servlet 2.2 and JavaServer Pages 1.1 Specifications.
  • The servlet development and production zone is under the path
    /usr/local/etc/httpd/htdocs/WEB-INF/classes/LOGIN (where LOGIN is your login name).
    The URL for servlets in this zone is
    You have your own subdirectory under this path, which has the same name as your login name. This requires that you start your program referencing your code as a package. For example, the demo code is in a subdirectory called 'db'. The program code starts out with:
    package db;
    The servlet is referenced using that package name as:
    In your home directory /home/LOGIN (where LOGIN is your login name) there is a symbolic link WEB_INF_classes_LOGIN which can be used to navigate to /usr/local/etc/httpd/htdocs/WEB-INF/classes/LOGIN directory.
  • MySQL Java Database Connect Demo
  • For more help and information, check out the following links. Note that most of these reference a different MySQL driver than the one on the IO server.
  • JDBCtm Guide: Getting Started
  • Sun Tutorial - Lesson: JDBC Basics
  • Sun Tutorial - Servlets
  • Writing JDBC Applications with MySQL

  • Using JSP on the Server
    • JSP will not work from your home directory because the Tomcat server does not recognize your directory as a context. You need to request a directory be created in the path /usr/local/etc/httpd/htdocs/html/LOGIN where you must run all JSP files from. The URL will be (Contact the SCIS technical team.)
    • JSP-MySQL Connect Demo
    • JavaServer Pages Fundamentals

    Using PHP on the Server

    • You will place any PHP files in the 'public_html' subdirectory of your home directory (/home/login/public_html). To access these from the Web, the URL will be Note: Substitute your login name and the filename you wish to access.
    • PHP Basic and MySQL Connect Demos
    • PHP Tutorial

    Using RMI

    • Because you must use RMI through the AU firewall, you will need to specify the ports for both the client and the server.
    • Contact the SCIS technical team to request the port numbers.
    • Note that the rmiregistry processes on will be periodically stopped. You may need to restart yours again.
    • RMI Through a Firewall

    Updated April 13 2016 by FST Technical Staff

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