Services Provided

  • Advanced and customizable web search capabilities
  • MySQL database hosting
  • Server backups
  • Web statistics and reporting
  • Secure hosting
  • FTPS, SFTP file transfers
  • SAMBA/Network Drive access
  • Shell access

CWS strives to provide the latest services and server capabilities to OSU while maintaining high levels of security and reliability. If you need a service that is not currently available, or if you are having difficulties with a server tool, please contact us.  


SSH, FTP*, SFTP, Samba/Network Drives
* ftp access to be discontinued after Fall Session and finals.  See the Hosting FAQ.

http://** ( see hosts list )* (for ONID Personal sites)


Our servers use the ONID system for authentication.

For password changes, please visit the ONID website.


CWS maintains an array of fast, redundant hardware. The majority of our equipment is comprised of Dell PowerEdge servers.


  • Debian/GNU Linux
  • PHP 5
  • MySQL 5
  • Apache HTTP Server 2


All server resources must be used in accordance with the OSU Acceptable Use Policy. Abuse is not taken lightly and will result in immediate revocation of services.


For support or information on CWS servers, please email us or call us at 541-737-1189.

Important server announcements for CWS systems and other campus departments can be found here or at the Network Engineering home page.

Hosting FAQ


  1. Do you provide free hosting?
  2. Can I get my own domain name?
  3. Do you provide ftp access?
  4. How do I access my site?
  5. I logged into the site and went to the site directory, but I cannot upload files.  What is wrong?
  6. My site is getting a 404 error or is not showing up.  What is wrong?
  7. I don't know how to write HTML, do you provide any software for creating a website?
  8. Will you back up my files for me?
  9. I'm using Dreamweaver, will that work with SFTP?

Q:  Do you provide free hosting

A:  Yes, the majority of our hosting is free.  Special hosting needs have charges.  See the Rates page for more information on services and charged services.

Q:  Can I get my own domain name?

A:  It depends on the purpose of the domain name.  Read the Domain Name Policy off the Network Engineering site to understand what is and is not possible.  All domain names are approved by the domain name committee.  See the Rates page for more information on charged services for domain names.

Q:  Do you provide ftp access?

A:  No longer.  FTP access may be available in limited capacity for specific applications, however for all of our users had to be turned off for security concerns.  FTP submits clear text passwords over the network, and that's not something people might want to do.  The recommended solution is to make use of the SFTP clients available.  The majority of FTP clients in use do have a setting to select SFTP as a method/protocol/configuration to use for transferring files.  Please check your ftp client settings for this, or reference the help or website for your ftp client application.

If you need a client that supports sftp, here are possible free clients to use:  WinSCP on Windows, and Cyberduck on Mac OS.  The SSH SFTP client (from is no longer supported and should not be used.

WinSCP is available on the OSUware CD or at

On Macintosh, Cyberduck is available for download at

Ensure that the configuration setting for SFTP is selected in the client.  For example, in Cyberduck, after clicking "Open Connection", you can select SFTP from the pull down menu.  In WinSCP there is a setting in Protocol, ensure SFTP is selected.


Q:  How do I access my site?

A:  See the Getting Access page.  For access to a group site at, login in to WebManage and go to your site and look at the path on disk.  Group sites will be under the virtual web path.

Q:  I logged into the site and went to the site directory, but I cannot upload files.  What is wrong?

A:  First check WebManage and verify you are listed as a Gatekeeper or Author to the site.  If you are listed there, then contact us to investigate.  If you are not listed there, or don't see the site in the Summary, then contact either the Gatekeeper listed in WebManage in the site details to add you as an author or Gatekeeper or contact us.  All authors will have to be approved by their site sponsor or Gatekeeper.  Please provide details, including what site is being accessed, what client and version of client you are using to upload files.

Q:  My site is getting a 404 error or is not showing up.  What is wrong?

A:  The  permissions on  your site may need to be rebuilt.  Gatekeepers can rebuild permissions on sites they own.  Or you can contact us.  Please provide us information about which site, what url and the specific error you are seeing.

Q:  I don't know how to write HTML, do you provide any software for creating a website?

A:  Under Campus Applications, we provide Drupal as a content management system for quickly and easily creating a new website.  In addition, we provide free training for Drupal.  We also provide blogs at  CWS recommends our solutions as we regularly maintain and patch the core software for security risks and other bugs.

Q:  Will you back up my files for me?

A:  Users are responsible for backing up their own material.  We recommend regular backups to storage media.  We do provide backups through Network Engineering of files for disaster recovery procedures, however, backups are not guaranteed to always be successful.  As a last resort we will provide recovery of files if they are available, and there may be applicable charges for recovery of files.

Q:  I'm using Dreamweaver, will that work with SFTP?

A:  Yes, reference Adobe's site and the information there on how to set up for SFTP.

Single Sign On (SSO) Library

The SSO Library is a collection of code written in PHP by Central Web Services to provide convenient ONID SSO authentication and session management functionality. It was developed for web applications being built by CWS, but anyone is free to use it.

ONID Single Sign on allows a user to authenticate to a web page using their ONID credentials. Once authenticated, they can then travel to another SSO enabled website and are logged in automatically. It is important to note that SSO only supplies authentication and not authorization

To use the SSO Library, you must:

  • Register your site with ONID SSO
  • Download the SSO Library.  Contact us for the SSO Library.
  • Extract the library files and place the sso folder created in your web directory.
  • Edit sso/sso.php file and change the $sso_site_config to suit your needs.

An API Documentation for the library is available for integration with your web application.  Contact us for the API Documentation.