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SME Server V5 Virtual Domains

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The Mitel Networks SME Server (formerly E-Smith) is a friendly web server and e-mail gateway. Here we cover creating a virtual domain and giving a user or users ftp access to it.

Virtual Domains

The server can handle multiple domain names. For example, I own two domains: aplawrence.com and aplawrence.com. Although in my case both domains serve the same content, I could have them be different if I wished. Understand that you must register a domain for this to work. All of your domains will use the exact same IP address ( the address of your SME server), so the only way the server can tell which pages you want is by the domain name you used in your browser.

For the purpose of this example, I’m going to pretend that you own the domain jimbobob.com and that it properly points to your SME server. Your brother-in-law owns the domain bestcartooning.com and you have kindly offered to host his web site for him.

The very first thing you need to do is create a user account for your brother-in-law. We’ll call it “cartoon”. Add the user “cartoon” under “Collaboration->User Accounts” in the SME Server Web Manager. Don’t forget to set a password after you create the account.

Now add a new group. We’ll call it “cartoongroup”. Add the group “cartoongroup” under “Collaboration->Groups”. Make “cartoon” a member of the group. You can add as many other users as you need to be members of this group. The purpose of this is that only people who are in “cartoongroup” will be able to use ftp to write files into this domain- they will be the only people who can update “bestcartooning.com”‘s web pages.

Now create an I-Bay. We’ll call it “cartoonbay”. Give the “cartoongroup” read and write access to this, and set the public access to “Entire Internet, no password”. The purpose of this is that virtual domains use I-Bays to store their html files. Until you have an I-Bay, there’s no place to point a Virtual domain other than your primary web site.

Create the Virtual Domain “bestcartooning.com” and point it at the I-Bay “cartoonbay”. If you had already created this before making the I-Bay, you can go back and modify the Virtual domain to point it at “cartoonbay”. We’re almost done.

All the above is done from the web interface, but one final touch from the command line will make this easier for your brother-in-law. Log in as root on the SME Server console. Hold ALT and press F2 if you don’t already have a login prompt. The root password is the same as the “admin” password. After logging in as root, do:

cd ~cartoon
ln -s ../../ibays/cartoonbay bestcartooning.com

The “cd ~cartoon” takes you to “cartoons” home directory. The “ln” command creates a symbolic link that points to the I-Bay.
You can see how this works by ftp’ing to the server and logging in as “cartoon”:

220 e-smith.pcunixx.com FTP server ready.
Name (10.1.36.248:apl): cartoon
331 Password required for cartoon.
Password:
230 User cartoon logged in.
Remote system type is UNIX.
Using binary mode to transfer files.
ftp> dir
227 Entering Passive Mode (10,1,36,248,4,8).
150 Opening ASCII mode data connection for file list
drwxr-xr-x   5 cartoon     cartoon         4096 May 13 19:21 Maildir
drwxr-xr-x   2 cartoon     cartoon         4096 May 13 19:42 home
lrwxrwxrwx   1 root     root           16 May 15 22:15 bestcartooning.com -> ../../ibays/cartoonbay
226-Transfer complete.
226 Quotas off
ftp> cd bestcartooning.com
250 CWD command successful.
ftp> dir
227 Entering Passive Mode (10,1,36,248,4,9).
150 Opening ASCII mode data connection for file list
drwxrwx---   2 root     cartoongroup          4096 Jul 16  1999 cgi-bin
drwxrwx---   2 root     cartoongroup          4096 Jul 16  1999 files
drwxrwx---   2 root     cartoongroup          4096 May 15 22:20 html
226-Transfer complete.
226 Quotas off
ftp> quit
221 Goodbye.

He simply cd’d to “bestcartooning.com”. If he wanted to put html pages, he’d then “cd html” or “cd cgi-bin”.

IMPORTANT: If you haven’t allowed ftp access in the SME Server Remote Access panel, none of this will work. The Remote Access panel controls overall use of ftp to the SME Server.

The final thing to be done is that your brother-in-law needs to have his DNS for “bestcartooning.com” changed to point at your server.

Please read this disclaimer
Copyright and reprint info

A.P. Lawrence provides SCO Unix and Linux consulting services http://www.pcunix.com

SME Server V5 Virtual Domains
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