This is a compilation of questions frequently asked about web-based services on Grex.

Can I create a home page on Grex?

Yes, Grex permits users to have free use of our web server under certain conditions.

  1. We do not permit bandwidth intensive tasks

    This generally involves downloading large amounts of GIF, JPEG, WAV, AU, AIFF, MPEG, MOV, and possibly other file formats.

  2. We do not permit CPU intensive tasks

    This means that you cannot write scripts, process forms, or implement gateways or counters, that hog the Grex processor.

  3. No commercial use.

    We do permit incidental commercial use such as an individual selling shareware, as long as it does not generate too much traffic.

  4. There is a traffic limit due to our small link.

    If activity on your site starts to approach 10 MB/day, we will ask you to look for another site or start paying. Our link can only stand so much. It is very slow. You will get plenty of warning in such an event.

  5. No violation of copyright and pornography laws.

    You must not break the laws of the United States of America. Grex will report any violations to the proper authorities with all details available to us (your name, address, files on Grex, IP address, etc)

In short: a user home-page with your resume and a few of your pics, music, programs and art-work, with a few friends and family visiting won't get you in any trouble with our staff.

Please note: we want to make Grex as useful to the general public as possible, but our activities are curtailed by resources available to us (money, staff time, volunteers). Please consider donating and volunteering to help with day to day activities.

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How do I get started?

First, you must create an account for yourself on Grex. Just SSH to Grex and log in as newuser, or else create your account on the web. You may also be able to use our MindTerm Java Client to connect from a web browser.

Once you have your account, and you can log in to Grex via SSH, then you run the mkhomepage program. This program gives you the option of creating a prototype home page. If your shell is not a unix shell, you must type a !mkhomepage in order to run it.

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What if I don't know HTML?

If you don't know HTML, you are not going to be able to write a web page. HTML is the language used to produce web documents, and no one is going to convert your documents to HTML for you.

Fortunately, it is rather simple to learn the basics of HTML, and there is a wealth of information on the net. Just do a few searches for HTML Tutorial to get started.

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How many pages / how much space can I have in my website?

You can put any pages that you wish to be visible on the web into your www directory. Your home page should be named index.html (or index.htm), but you may have as many pages with as many different names as you like, so long as you do not exceed the 100 MB disk space limit for your account.

Each page will have a different URL. Your home page can be found at and any other page can be found at

For links between the pages of your site, it is best to use relative links in your hypertext links. This means you should not link to a file using the full URL, like this: <a href="">, but rather you should use the much simpler form <a href=filename>. Of course you must use the full link in a pointer from another site.

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Why can't I find my page when I look from the net?

There are three possible problems:

  1. You didn't put it in your www directory.

    If you use lynx on Grex, you can view any page with it that you have read access to. That is because lynx is reading the page directly. If you try to access the page via Grex's web server, the page must be located in the www directory or it will not be visible.

  2. You are not using the proper URL for your page.

    If a page named foo.html is in your www directory, its full path is ~youraccount/www/foo.html, but the URL for it has no "www" because it is assumed by the web server that files must be in the www directory. So its URL would be

    URLs of the form do not work.

  3. Your permissions are not correct.

    If you have changed the permissions on either your home directory or your www directory to "700", the web server will not be able to see your files. Both your home directory and www directory must have at least the "x" bit set, or your pages will not be visible on the web. Use permissions of "711" on each directory if you do not wish to allow other people to see what files are there, and use "755" if you do. "700" will render your files inaccessible.

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Why can't I edit my page using the "e" command in Lynx?

There are two possible problems:

  1. You must specify to lynx which editor you want to use. You do this by typing the "o" command to bring up the options page, then select "editor" and specify which unix editor you want to use (examples, pico, vi, joe, emacs).
  2. You must be accessing the page you want to edit locally, and not through the web server. Lynx cannot edit pages it fetches through the web server. Thus, if you are pointing to the page with an http URL, you will not be able to edit it. You can solve this problem by starting lynx with an argument on the linend (for example lynx www/index.html) or by using a local file URL (for example, type the "g" command in lynx, and specify file://localhost/a/y/o/youraccount/www/index.html to bring up your page. If your page has a file: URL, it will be editable in lynx. You can save this URL in your bookmarks file so you do not have to type it in each time.

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How can I put my pages on Grex if I make them on my computer?

If you are connecting to Grex from the internet, you should use ftp to transfer your file to Grex. If you have a direct internet connection, you should be able to run an ftp client on your PC. If you are dialing into a remote host to gain access to the net, you must first transfer your files to your host system using a file transfer protocol supported by your terminal emulator software, and then use ftp to move them from there to your grex account.

Remember to log into grex with your account and password. Grex does not support anonymous ftp.

Also remember to put the files into your www directory, not your home directory.

If you dial into grex directly, use a file transfer protocol such as sz or kermit to move the files to your www directory.

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Can I have HTML Forms on my page?

In order to support HTML forms, you must provide a CGI script or program to process the form. Grex's web server does not support CGI programs written by Grex users if they consume lots of CPU time. Therefore the only way you could have a form on your Grex page is if it is pointed to a cgi program on some other server, or if it is written in such a way as to reduce the work our CPUs have to do; write your CGI in such a way that the process exits and make sure it cannot be misused by other Grex users. Without that, the answer is no.

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How do I get my page listed in the Grex Users directory?

If you have pages on Grex which are correctly set up and visible on the internet, You just have to write mail to and ask to be listed.

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If I have a page elsewhere, can I be listed on Grex?

Yes, as long as you maintain a Grex account, you are a Grex user. Just send mail to, requesting this. Be sure to include the URL you wish it point to.

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How do I know how many "hits" my page is getting?

Grex's web server keeps statistics. This information is published weekly, and it contains hit counts for all user pages with 10 or more hits per week. Look on the statistics page.

Information is only available in summary form. The detail records in the log file are not published or available.

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How can I put a counter on my page?

The answer to this question keeps changing. Have a look at the Yahoo directory of free web counters. You should be able to use one of the counters described there on your Grex web pages without violating any rules.

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Can I put links to conference items on my page?

Yes, if you want to put a pointer to your favorite Grex item or conference on your web page, you can do it. A link to the Agora conference would have the URL:

Just replace the name Agora with whatever conference you want to link to.

This will put anyone who clicks it into the conference via Backtalk. They will be in read-only mode, so people without Grex accounts will be able to look at the conference. If they are using a non-graphical browser like lynx, it will put them in the vanilla interface. Otherwise the pistachio interface is used.

You can also link to a specific item in a conference. Below is the URL for a link to item 2 in the agora conference:

Or you can link to a specific response to a specific item. Here is a link to response 8 of item 1 in the agora conference:

You can also link to ranges of responses. The following URL links to responses 0 (that's the item text), 3, and 7 through 12 of item one of the agora conference:,3,7-12

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Help, I forgot my Grex password!

For issues that aren't specificly related to the web or Grex's web server, you would be much better off sending mail to, instead of webmaster. While a Webmaster can probably help you out, or answer your questions, there are many more staffers reading the staff mailbox.. So mail sent to staff is more likely to be read and answered quickly than mail sent to webmaster.

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