Connecting to SILS Servers

Access to Servers

Those who are affiliated with the School of Information and Library Science (e.g. students enrolled in particular courses) may need to access servers such as, SILS' Opal web server or Ruby server. Instructors will provide students with required login information but SILS students who need access for a project, thesis, or master's paper should contact the SILS ITS Help Desk.

Connecting to Servers

Use an SSH or SFTP client to connect to a server. If you have never used an SSH client before, there are several to choose from. Windows supports SSH clients including SSH Secure Shell, Windows 10 built-in SSH, Putty and Filezilla for SFTP.  MacOS has Terminal and Fetch is available for download.

Use the following connection settings:

Hostname: or
Connection Type: SFTP
Port: 22 
Username: your onyen
Password: your onyen password

*VPN connection is required to connect to servers while off-campus. More information on VPN connections can be found here.

FAQs and Troubleshooting

Why do I see a "Forbidden Error" message?

Before you (or anyone else) can view your files in a web browser, you must change the access permissions for your home directory on opal. If these permissions are set incorrectly, anyone trying to view your webpage will see a Forbidden error rather than your content. Follow these instructions to set the correct permissions:

1. Open an SSH connection to Opal or Ruby respectively. On Windows, you'll need to use an SSH client for this; on MacOS and Linux, you can open a Terminal window, enter "ssh your_onyen"at"" (without quotes) and then enter your password when prompted.

Once you've connected, you should see a command prompt like this:
[your_onyen"at"opal ~] $

2. Type chmod 711 . with both the space and the period and press Enter. If you get a "missing operand" error, make sure you included the space and the period at the end.


Your SSH client may have a permissions editor built in. If so, you can use it to set your home directory permissions as well. Be sure to change the permissions for your home folder and not public_html, and set them as below:
Permissions window

Still seeing an error?

Make sure your public_html folder, and any folders below it that you wish to have web accessible, are set to permission mode: 755. Below is a diagram of how your permissions should be set.

Note: chmod 711 command targets current folder. To change other folder permissions, navigate to that folder

Note: From command line ls -la will display permissions. For the basic website setup they should appear like drwx--x--x Root 711 --> drwxr-xr-x Public_html 755  -->  drwxr-xr-x Folder 755.

How to password protect your webpage

If you'd like, you can require users to log in with an Onyen to view your webpages. To configure Onyen authentication for your web space, follow the instructions in the ONYEN-AUTHENTICATION.txt file inside your home directory.

How to view your webpage

After you have uploaded your files and set the correct permissions, your webpage will be viewable at [replace "onyen" with your personal onyen]. This will take you to the index page in your public_html folder; you can also navigate directly to other pages or subfolders you've added, such as