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Understanding the file system layout

The MWS uses the Debian operating system, and the filesystem layout is similar to other Unix-like systems.

People with accounts on an MWS site will have home directories in /home on that site, e.g. a user with CRSid fjc55 will have a home directory /home/fjc55.  When you log into the MWS using ssh or sFTP you will initially be logged into your home directory. If you have accounts on several MWS servers, you will have a separate home directory for each server (this is different from the previous version of the MWS (MWS2), where home directories were common between all sites you had access to).

Your web sites are stored in the /var/www directory, each in a directory with a name matching the web site's name in the control panel. Every server has at least one site called 'default'. Within each site directory are five subdirectories:

  • docroot that contains the files making up the site
  • admindir that can contain site files which shouldn't be available via the web server (e.g. configuration files)
  • cgi-bin that can contain scripts for execution by the web server
  • log that contains the web server log files for the site
  • tls that contains any TLS keys and certificates used by sites that support TLS

For operational reasons, the /var/www directory is also available as /replicated/www, along with some other directories that belong to you or which need backing-up. It is probably easiest to ignore the existence of the /replicated directory.

See File System Permissions and Unix groups for the access control rules that apply to these directories and for how to change them.

Automatically-maintained snapshots of you website directories and other files appear in the /snapshots directory, in directories named after the date they were taken. These can be used to recover previous versions of files if needed. See snapshots for details.