Setting Up a Personal Site


Connect to

First, follow these instructions:

Create the Web Folder

Once you have a mason> prompt, enter the following commands:

  1. mason> chmod 711 .
  2. mason> mkdir public_html
  3. mason> chmod 755 public_html

NOTE: Please use spaces in between like: chmod <space> 711 <space> . <enter>

Once you are done with these three steps succesfully, the mason prompt should look the screenshot to the right.

Uploading Files and Folders

When uploading files and folders to your web folder, DO NOT upload compressed files (.zip, .rar, .tar.gz, etc). Extract your files and folders before uploading to your web folder. Click here for more info on Uploading Files.


Common Issues

I get an error when I run the first command

mason> chmod 711

 usage:  chmod [-fR] <absolute-mode> file ...
       chmod [-fR] <ACL-operation> file ...
       chmod [-fR] <symbolic-mode-list> file ...
 where <symbolic-mode-list> is a comma-separated list of
 where <ACL-operation> is one of the following
 where <acl-specification> is a comma-separated list of ACEs

Explanation: The command needs to include the period. It also has spaces between chmod, 711, and the period. chmod<space>711<space>.

I get an error when I try to run the mkdir command

mason> mkdir public_html
mkdir: Failed to make directory "public_html"; File exists

Explanation: You have already created a public_html folder, skip step 2 and move on to step 3.

Nothing happens when I run the commands

Explanation: If the commands run properly you should be returned to the mason> prompt. Here is an example of commands that ran successfully
mason> chmod 711 .

mason> mkdir public_html
mason> chmod 755 public_html

I ran all the commands but I still don’t see my website

Explanation: Ensure you have uploaded at a minimum an index.html folder into your public_html directory only after you Fix Server Upload Permissions. If you do not have an index.html file, the section below details the steps for creating one. You should also double check that you are uploading your files INTO your public_html directory and not directly into your home drive. Finally, please ensure you are trying to go to the correct URL. It should be (tilde and then your username)

The first command changes the permissions on your home directory so your public_html directory can be viewable. The second command creates a public_html folder. The third assigns appropriate permissions to it.

Note: The webserver is case sensitive. If you create files or folders with capital letters, you must enter these in your URL. It is recommended NOT to capitalize file or folder names.

Create an Index file

Your public_html folder must contain an index.html file. Without an index.html file, you will be unable to view your content. The steps below detail the easiest and quickest way to create/upload an index.html file.

  1. Open Notepad.
  2. Select File > Save As.
  3. Enter index.html for File name.
  4. Select All Files for Save as type:
  5. Select Save.
  6. Upload the index.html file to your public_html folder. Instructions for uploading files

Fix Server Upload Permissions

By default, newly uploaded files aren’t available through the web browser. Follow this tutorial to adjust this setting:

Note: Changing the upload permissions will affect any files uploaded to If you have files that should be private, be sure to give those files proper permissions after uploading.

Upload Files

Files can be placed in the public_html folder, and they will be available at

Opening Your Website on the Server

Once you have uploaded your files, all you need to do is to go to your browser and enter “<username>“.

If you have followed all of the above steps successfully, then you should be able to view your website.

Last Updated: February 21, 2018