How to manage Web files at Radford using sFTP clients or

World Wide Web Publishing at Radford

NOTE: This page was current in spring 2013,
but some campus systems are changing.
See the RU Technology Assistance Center
for up-to-date information on
The New MyRU and using Connecting to RU!

Students and faculty at Radford University are issued network usernames that double as campus e-mail addresses ending in "" The single username and password also provides:

  1. Access to a campus portal called
  2. Space on a network storage disk, commonly referred to as the "H: drive." (Think of it as "H" for the school's Highlander mascot or for "Home" directory.)
  3. The ability to login on campus lab computers. Each lab computer creates a local home folder when the student uses that computer for the first time. The local home folder includes the "Desktop" folder, a Documents folder and other standard workspaces. However, lab computers may be erased or removed for service at any time, so you should never store your only copy of anything on them.
  4. Public space to publish Web pages on the network server. It is a folder named "public_html" in your username folder.

The server folder named "public_html" is created automatically for every student account on the Radford system. It contains an "index.html" home page that says, simply, that the person has not created a home page. To have a personal home page, all you need to do is edit that index.html page with any text editor or HTML page-design program, or replace it with a page of your own design called "index.html" -- and use to give the public permission to see it on the Web.

To build a Web site for a class or project, create a folder inside the public_html folder with an appropriate name ("coms226" or "coms326"). Do not use spaces or punctuation marks in folder names.

Names and addresses

The Web address or URL for personal home pages at the university is -- with "username" replaced by the person's I.D., such as

On some systems, personal folders are marked with a tilde symbol (~). Your Radford address will work with or without it:

You can connect to your personal network space with SFTP (Secure File Transfer Programs) or SSH (Secure Shell) programs, connecting to the network server as either "" or ""

Laboratory computers automatically "mount" the H:drive space when you login to the computer. It appears on Windows computers as drive "H:" and on Macintoshes as a network drive named with your user name.

Computers on the campus WiFi network or connected with a VPN (Virtual Private Network) client from off-campus can mount the H:drive space using SMB protocol with an address like smb:// (The word "homedir" is part of the address, but replace "username" with your I.D., such as "jjones99" or "jbrown55").

Instructions for copying documents to your Home drive,
or to your Web page space on

You may already use your Radford H drive to avoid computer disasters by keeping a backup copy of your work. Everyone who has an @radford e-mail address gets storage space on a file server that we call your "H" or "Home" drive. (Or think H for Highlander.)

In the School of Communication's Web production and "digital imaging" classes, you will use part of that H drive space, the "public_html" folder, for your personal Web site.

When you are using a computer on the Radford network, finding the H drive is similar to using the computer's internal disk (C drive), a USB drive or a Flash memory stick, or a folder in the Macintosh Dock. But what if you are off-campus, even off studying in London?

One solution is to connect to Radford's network using a Virtual Private Network or VPN program, if you have permission to do so on the computer you are using. See the ITEC help desk for assistance.

Another solution is to copy files to the H drive (your "file server share") with a secure File Transfer Protocol (sFTP) program, such as FileZilla, CyberDuck, Fugu or Fetch, or an sFTP system within HTML editor applications like Dreamweaver and TextWrangler.

Here is a basic file-transfer tutorial with the FileZilla sFTP client.

Radford students can access their server space with sFTP (or SSH) as "" or in some cases "" You login with your usual Radford name ("rstepno" in my case) and your usual password.

The 2012-13 MyRU portal had a built-in FTP page for making simple website uploads, which will not be part of the new MyRU. It also had a "My accounts" tab with an "Update Web Permissions" link to make new or revised Web pages public, as described below. That approach was much simpler than using the Unix operating system's change mode (chmod) approach, but it's always a good idea to know more than one way to accomplish a technical task. Watch the Technology Assistance Center pages for updated information.

CHMOD alternatives

File-transfer programs like FileZilla and Web-editing programs like Dreamweaver have their own approaches to setting public permissions for viewing of your site contents. Search the help files for whichever program you are using looking for the terms "chmod," "file permissions" or "file attributes." Or just search the Web for your program name and one or more of those keywords.

You may find tutorials intended for sites other than Radford's pages, but the basic concepts should transer. For example, here is a FileZilla FTP/CHMOD tutorial from ComputerHope, another from CubeCartForums and another from PHPJunkyard. And here are general FileZilla and Dreamweaver/FTP/CHMOD pages at the University of Kentucky.

Setting "worldwide" viewer permissions (Spring 2013 version)

  1. To publish something as a Web page, put it in your "public_html" folder using a computer on Radford's network or with any of the methods mentioned on this page.
    • Your "home page" (such as is always a document named "index.html" in the "public_html" folder.
    • The index.html file is what someone sees when they go to (with "yourname" replaced by your e-mail name).
    • Within your Web site, you can have many folders, each with its own index.html document, such as or
    • The Web address does not include the words "public_html"; instead it includes your login name ("yourname" in the examples).
  2. After you put an html document, PDF document, picture, or other file in a public folder, you have one more thing to do to really make it public. This step is needed whether you put the material there with MyRU or by directly copying to the H drive.
  3. From the MyRU portal page, click on the "My Accounts" tab to the left of "My Files"
  4. In the "Quick Links" section on the right, click "Update Web Permissions," then click the button that says "Click here to set file permissions."
    • Note: You only have to do this once, even if you have uploaded a number of documents. That one click resets the permissions for everything in your public_html folder and its subfolders.
    • If you don't want something to be public, delete it or move it out of that folder.
  5. When you're done, log out of the portal, especially if you are on a public-access computer in a lab. Otherwise someone else might access your files.

... last update Feb. 13, 2014