Webmaster in a Nutshell

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CERN Server Configuration

24.6 Directory Indexing

This section discusses the directives used to determine exactly how the server will respond when a user makes a directory request.


AddBlankIcon icon_path

Specifies an icon that is the same size as the other directory index icons, but is entirely transparent, i.e., a blank icon. This is used to properly align the column headings with the columns of information in the file listing.


AddDirIcon icon_path alt_text

Specifies an icon to be used for subdirectories in a file listing. The second argument specifies alternate text for the icon. For example:

AddDirIcon /icons/directory.xbm   DIR


AddIcon icon_path alt_text mime_type

Specifies an icon and alternate text to be associated with a given MIME type or encoding of a file in a directory listing. For example, to use the icon /icons/compass.gif and the alt text "MAP" for Netcarta webmaps (MIME type application/webmap), use the following setting:

AddIcon /icons/compass.gif MAP application

The CERN server does have some default icon mappings (and includes the icons with the server distribution), but these are all wiped out if you use AddIcon directives to add mappings of your own.


AddIconToStd icon_path alt_text mime_type

The AddIconToStd directive acts just like AddIcon, except that your icons augment the mapping list rather than replace it.


AddParentIcon icon_path alt_text

The AddParentIcon directive specifies an icon and alt text for the parent directory ("..") in a directory listing. For example:

AddParentIcon /icons/back.xbm UP


AddUnknownIcon icon_path

The AddUnknownIcon directive specifies an icon to be used for files of unknown type or encoding.


AlwaysWelcome On|Off

Specifies whether requesting a directory without its trailing slash returns a directory listing or a "welcome" document (see the Welcome directive). The default is On, in which case the "welcome" document is returned whether or not the trailing slash is included.


DirAccess On|Off|Selective

Specifies whether, and under what conditions, the server should generate its own directory indices. Options are:


The server may build an index for any requested directory. (Default)


The server may never build a directory index.


Allows you to pick and choose which directory the server may index and which it will not. The server will first look in the directory for a file named www_browsable. If this file exists, regardless of size or contents, the server is allowed to generate an index for the directory. If the file is not present, the server generates a 403 (Access Denied) error. There is no provision for changing the name of this file.


DirAddHref filename suffix

Links a resource to the icon of specified file types in a file listing. For example, you could have an icon reference a CGI script on your server that could unpack the contents of a listed tar file and return a listing of the archive:

DirAddHref /cgi-bin/untar .tar


DirReadme Top|Bottom|None

When a directory index is generated, the server looks in the directory being indexed for a file named README. If this file exists, its contents are included in the directory index as an explanation of the contents of the directory. The DirReadMe directive specifies if and where this file should be included. Values are:


Include the file before the file listing


Include the file after the file listing


Don't include the file at all


DirShowBrackets On|Off

Specifies whether alternate text of MIME type descriptions will have square brackets around them. The default setting is:

DirShowBrackets On

which means the descriptions will be placed within brackets. If icons are not included, this directive has no effect.


DirShowBytes On|Off

Specifies whether file size should be shown in a file listing when sizes are turned on with DirShowSize.


DirShowCase On|Off

Determines whether the server notices case when ordering the files for the listing. If case is noticed, then all files with uppercase names will be listed before their lowercase neighbors (i.e., normal ls order). If case is not noticed, upper- and lowercase names will be interleaved. The default setting is Off.


DirShowDate On|Off

Specifies whether the last-modified time should be included for each file.


DirShowDescription should

Specifies whether a description of the file should be shown in a directory listing. The server looks for a file named .www_descript in the directory to act as a description database. The format of this database is one entry per line, where an entry consists of the word "DESCRIBE," the filename or template, and the description, with whitespace acting as the delimiter. Here are some example entries:

DESCRIBE    techspecs.html technical docs
DESCRIBE    adcopy.html    advertising copy


DirShowGroup On|Off

Specifies whether the group of the file should be included. The group name is used if it is available; otherwise, the group id is used. The default is Off.


DirShowHidden On|Off

Specifies whether hidden files (i.e., those whose names begin with ".") should be included in the file listing. The default is Off.


DirShowIcons On|Off

Specifies whether icons indicating the MIME types of the files should be included on each line. The default is On.


DirShowMaxDescrLength length

If descriptions of the files in a listing are shown, the length of the description is determined by the number of characters specified with the DirShowMaxDescrLength directive. The default is 25.


DirShowMaxLength length

Specifies the maximum number of characters used for filenames in a listing. The file listing will always use at least the minimum number of characters (from DirShowMinLength), but will never show more than the maximum, truncating filenames that are too long. The default is 25.


length The

Specifies the minimum number of characters used for filenames in a listing. The default is 15.


DirShowMode On|Off

Specifies whether permissions of the file should be included. The mode is written in mnemonic form, such as "rw-rw-rw-", rather than numeric form, such as "666". The default is Off.


DirShowOwner On|Off

Specifies whether the owner of the file should be included in the directory listing. The user name is used if it is available; otherwise, the user id is used. The default is Off.


DirShowSize On|Off

Specifies whether the size should be included for each file in a listing. The default is On.


IconPath prefix

Specifies a server path prefix to be attached to all icon paths. For example, for the Add*Icon directives, the /icons/ part of the filenames could have been left off the icon path by adding the following line before them in the configuration file:

IconPath /icons/

Remember that this will be prefixed to every path, so only use it if you are sure that you will put all of your icons within a single directory or tree.


Welcome filename

Specifies the name of the file in a directory to use when a directory is requested rather than a specific document. If multiple Welcome directives are specified, they are searched for in order, and the first one located is returned. By default, the files are Welcome.html, welcome.html, and index.html.

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