The University of Vermont's Silk hosting service allows affiliates to develop and share web content using a wide variety of programming languages and application stacks. This guide will explain the common configurations and provide examples.

This documentation is a work in progress.


This document will contain examples using the UVM NetID mynetid or the placeholder <netid>. You should replace these with your silk account's NetID as appropriate.

Quick Start

You can obtain a silk account by emailing a request to Systems Architecture & Administration.

Your silk site is http://<netid> Access your site with ssh <netid>

Host names

By default, all silk sites end with and are prefixed with the silk account's NetID, as in Some silk accounts have sub-sites: the sub-site name is prefixed to the silk hostname, such as

File locations

Your silk web site's resources and records are all contained within the account's home directory. We'll refer to your home directory as ~/; your shell will interpret ~/ the same way.

These folders can be cleaned out, but require special SELinux security contexts for proper use. Deleting and/or replacing them may require that you restore their security contexts (see Find/Repair Broken SELinux File Contexts).

This folder is your site's document root. Files placed within will be directly mapped onto the root of your web site. This folder also needs to be readable by the apache user to allow the web server to serve non-executable files like images and CSS.
This folder contains the web server's access and error logs for your site. It has special permissions to allow the apache user to write to files within.
PHP defaults to using this folder to store session data and uploaded files.

Publishing for the web

Files placed into your ~/www-root folder will be published by the web server for your site.

Publishing for Git

Git repositories placed in a folder directly under ~/git-root can be reached at git://<netid><repository-name>. More information about git's simple protocol can be found in git-daemon(1).

Disk usage

Silk users have been assigned disk quotas to make sure that people do not accidentally fill up the system disks. You can find out what is using up disk space by logging into your account via SSH and executing a command such as du -ah | sort -h, which will display a list of files, sorted by size. Web server logs can often use up a lot of disk space; you are free to compress or remove those that you no longer need.

If you find that you need additional disk space, feel free to contact Systems Architecture & Administration.