Frequently Asked Questions
Questions in this section are of an "emergency" nature. They
represent the most common and frantic support inquiries we receive.
I can't login to my account!
Please make sure you are doing the following:
I uploaded files, but my Web site is still empty!
- Using a Telnet or FTP client. Common applications on the Macintosh
are NCSA Telnet and Fetch; on a PC, most TCP/IP stacks (such as
Trumpet) include some sort of basic Telnet and FTP clients. If you
have a Unix shell account, the commands telnet and
ftp should be immediately available to you (if not, you may
have a restricted shell; ask your local administrator).
- Using the one-word account name when prompted. Do not use your
Virtual Domain. Do not attach "@lstar.net" to the account name. Use only your simple, two to eight letter, account name.
- Typing your password correctly. Case is significant for almost
everything in Unix (a notable exception is domain name resolution),
including passwords. Also, make sure you aren't using a "1" (numeral one) in place of a "l" (lowercase L), or interchanging a zero and a
- If all else fails, contact us.
Your files need to be uploaded to the htdocs subdirectory, under your home directory. This means that after logging in via FTP, you need to issue the command cd htdocs before uploading files.
My Virtual Domain name won't resolve!
If your name has been freshly registered, it may take a couple of days for
its information to become visible at the root nameservers and in the caches of systems around the world. If the problem persists, or you are unable to receive e-mail at your domain (the most common bounce error is "mail loops back to myself"), please let us know as soon as possible.
My imagemap just returns "Server Error"!
Unfortunately, imagemap handling doesn't provide very good error response.
For a walkthrough and some hints about possible causes of the problem,
please visit the
How-To Guide for Imagemaps.
When I try to run a CGI script, I get "Server Error" or "Permission Denied"!
The most common cause of this is a CGI script that doesn't actually execute successfully. If your CGI script won't run at all, the Web server just throws up its hands and gives out this generic, unhelpful error.
When I try to run a CGI script, I get "Method Not Implemented"!
The most common causes of this problem are:
- Uploading a text CGI script (ie, a Perl script) in binary mode from a PC or Macintosh. These systems use a different linefeed convention from Unix, and you must set your FTP client to ASCII or text mode when uploading them. If you do not, the script simply will not work.
- Failing to set the executable bits on the script. This is done with the command chmod 755 filename via Telnet or the more complex quote site chmod 755 filename via FTP (your client may have its own interface for this).
- Using the wrong URL to reach your script. The URL should resemble
- Run-time or interpreter errors.
For further details on debugging your CGI scripts, please visit our
How-To Guide on the subject.
This is the result of trying to use a POST method form to submit
data to a CGI script that does not exist (or in some cases, cannot be
executed due to permissions). The server's error is completely misleading.
Your form probably contains something like:
When I try to run a CGI script, I see the contents of the script!
<FORM METHOD="POST" ACTION="http://www.yourcompany.com/cgi_bin/results.cgi">
In this case, note the typo: cgi_bin instead of cgi-bin.
There are two ways to make sure a CGI script is executed as CGI rather than
sent to the browser as text:
When I try to show the contents of a script, it runs as CGI instead!
- Use an extension of .cgi or .pl (which indicates a
Perl script). These extensions are always executed as CGI by the
Web server. This is the best way to protect your scripts.
- Place the CGI program in a special cgi-bin directory for your
Virtual Domain, and mark it as executable with the
chmod command. Programs in these directories must be executable in order to run, and they are never returned as text.
If you're trying to provide a script for people to download, you cannot use
the .cgi or .pl extension for the file. Rename the file
to, for example, filename.pl.txt for downloading purposes, or
better yet, create a
tar archive for your users to download; such archives can include README files and other useful support material.
I transferred my account from another provider, and some things don't work anymore!
Certain aspects of system setup vary from provider to provider. Here are a
few things that may be different:
- Our Web server is Apache, a descendant of NCSA. Other providers may
be using CERN, NCSA itself, Netscape, or others. The most obvious
differences are usually in .htaccess (the access control and
configuration file) and how imagemaps are handled.
- We run Linux. Other providers may be using Sun's Solaris,
SGI's Irix, Microsoft's Windows NT, or many others. Although most
commands and system features are essentially the same between Unix
variants, many things are radically different in, for example, Windows NT.
- Other things... who knows? Please
let us know of any other
differences you encounter.
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