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Users

The way that the Managed Web Service (MSW) handles users is different from the way that many commercial web hosts work. On many commercial services you get a single login ID which is shared between all administrators of the site. this is often also used by the web server when running CGI and PHP scripts. On the MWS, each authorised user logs in using their standard UIS account, and the web server runs CGI and PHP scripts using its own username which is www-data.

You can only add people with UIS accounts as users of MWS servers. You should talk to UIS user administration () if you need to grant access to people not normally entitled to accounts, such as contractors and external developers.

The MWS's arrangement is more secure and easier to manage, but can mean that the standard instructions for some web applications aren't directly applicable. 

Managing users

The top level of the control panel has a section to 'Manage authorised users and groups'.

mws cp users

Users can be:

  • Administrators, who have access to all the features of the control panel and can connect to the server via SSH to login and transfer files.
  • SSH-only users, who only have access to the server via SSH to login and transfer files and who can't access the control panel.

You can add users:

  • by selecting individual CrsIDs - start typing a name or crsid and select entry required.
  • by selecting lookup groups (see https://www.ucs.cam.ac.uk/lookup/groups) - start typing a group name or ID and select the entry you want.

It can be convenient to use Lookup groups if you want to use the same list of people for several purposes, for example as the administrators of several MWS servers.

The list of group members is automatically refreshed from Lookup every 24 hours. You can force an immediate update with the button on the right.

See File System permissions and Unix group for information on how to control file system access by administrators and SSH-only users.

Web-based content management systems will probably have their own concept of 'users'. You will probably manage these yourself within the content management system. They are entirely separate from the MWS users described here.