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Choosing a Host

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Beginners Guide to Telnet

Basic UNIX Commands

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permissions Guide

Basic guide to CRONTAB

Basic Guide to Paths

Telnet A Basic Guide

This Guide is a basic guide to using telnet for the purpose of working on a Unix hosted website.
If you have never used telnet or worked on a computer in Dos
start here for the very basics.

If you do understand the basic DOS commands go here.

In the early days of computing instead of using a interface like Windows you used a command line interface like Dos.
When you started your computer you were presented with a screen with a prompt at which you typed commands to start a program instead of clicking a icon.
So where you see the reference to "command prompt" it is referring to the cursor normally a symbol that you start typing at just like the cursor in a text editor.
So you might of typed "windows" and pressed return to start a program called windows. Upon pressing return the computer would load the program ready for you to use.
Or you might of typed a command like "DIR" which would of listed all the files in that directory.
The other thing about this sort of operating system was the folders that you use in windows for example were called directories.
The directory structure was the same so if you have a folder named "messages" on your C drive and a folder inside it called "private" and in the folder you had a game named "poker.exe" to start the game poker you would of typed
and pressed return.
Your game would of loaded ready for you to play.
There is of course various commands that let you move around your folders (directory structure) and do various task's like deleting files renaming files and folders moving files.

Now we move on to telnet.

Welcome back to those who skipped the first section.........

Telnet is a method of connecting your keyboard to a internet host computer so you are in effect working at a terminal on that computer.
There are various uses for this but here we will only look at the use of working on a website.
The telnet interface we will deal with is connecting to a server that uses UNIX as it's operating system. It is very similar as using Dos on a PC but the commands are in UNIX.

( To save confusion Basic Unix Commands with their DOS equivalents are available by clicking here)

If you use Windows as your operating system it has a built in Telnet interface and in this guide this is what I shall use but most telnet software works in a very similar fashion.

Let us start !!

Click on "start" choose "run" and type telnet into the open box click on OK

Your telnet window should appear.
If this is the first time you have run it it might ask you for your preferences. Just choose VT-100/ANSI.
If not go to terminal/preferences and choose it.

Now we are ready to connect to your server.

Click on Connect choose remote system and click.
You will get a dialogue box.
Enter your hostname (this is just your domain name NO http etc ie "yourdomainname.com" eg netscape.com )
Select Telnet for Port and VT100 for Terminal Type.
Now click Connect (if not online go online)
You will get maybe a Welcome Message and a prompt asking for you to Login
Type in your Username (normally the same as your FTP one) and press Enter
Now you will get a request for your password Type this in and press Enter

You will now get some information and maybe a message saying you have mail and then a prompt
Great you are NOW on (connected to) your server!

Let us play a bit.

type pwd and press enter

You will get a path to the current directory (folder) where you are.
something like
usr/local/apache/yourname or usr/bin/yourdomain

NOTE: pwd your first command means print working directory

Let's try something else.

type ls (lowercase L ) and press return

You will get a list of all the files and directories (folders) in your current directory something like cgi-bin  htdocs stats  index.html   etc

NOTE:  ls  command means  list files and directories

Getting the hang of it ?

Now let us move around a bit
Choose a directory from the list above
for example cgi-bin if it is in the list

Now type  cd  cgi-bin and press enter

you will see just a prompt after doing this so let us see if you have actually changed directories so

type  pwd  and press enter

the result should be as before but with cgi-bin added on the end 
something like usr/local/apache/yourname/cgi-bin 

NOTE: cd  command means  change directory 

Now type  ls  and press enter 

okay now choose another directory and repeat above

ie  cd  anotherdirectory press enter
      ls   press enter 

Now have you got the hang of it ?
Lets move on

type cd and press enter 
type pwd and press enter

Now you can see you have moved back to where you were when you logged in !

Now type cd cgi-bin/anotherdirectory and press enter
type pwd and press enter 

you will see you have moved to anotherdirectory again without having to move through each one individually.

I hope by now you are getting the hang of it.

type cd and press enter
type which perl and press enter 

you should now get the path to perl on your server (maybe more than one if several versions are installed) something like /usr/bin/perl or /usr/local/bin/perl 

So this is the whole basis of telnet type a command and press enter to execute the command

Now you can log off by selecting connect menu and disconnect.

For a list of the most used commands when dealing with Unix for website applications go to the command glossary. (CLICK HERE)

REMEMBER: Type in the command and press return to execute it 

TIP:  When using the run dialog box to start telnet you may type in the domain name such as telnet yourdomain.com and click OK which will connect to your server straight away.

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