Accessing Files via WebDAV

WebDAV stands for "Web-based Distributed Authoring and Versioning". It is a set of extensions to the HTTP protocol which allows users to collaboratively edit and manage files on remote web servers. What that means is that you can store files in your home directory on the server and securely access them via standard https links for both upload and download. This allows you to store a ICS Calendar file for use with applications like Apple's iCal, Mozilla Sunbird, Evolution, KOrganizer, or any other WebDav enabled calendering application. Furthermore, it provides a method for mounting your home directory via the web on your home machine or laptop. Full instructions are listed below.

Using WebDAV as a Calendar Server

  1. You should first choose a directory in your home directory where you wish to keep your calendar file(s). ~/cal or ~/.cal are good choices.
  2. Next tell your calendar program you wish to Create/Open a Remote Calendar. This is dependany on the calendar program, but most will have documenation on accessing a remote calendar via WebDAV
  3. For both the UPLOAD and DOWNLOAD URLS for the calendar, enter (for example) :

https://www.math.duke.edu/home/faculty/user/cal/calendar.ics

substituting Your Unix USERNAME for USER in the example above.

  1. This example assumes you chose ~/cal for your calendar directory and calender.ics for the filename of your calendar (which are reasonable choices).
  2. To grant permission for others to read/write your calendar, see the FAQ documenting the use of Access Control Lists, also known as ACLs.

Mounting WebDAV as Windows Drive

    Mounting WebDAV on MacOSX

    1. You can only mount our WebDAV server securely from MacOSX Tiger or later. Earlier versions do no support SSL WebDAV access directly. You can tunnel your connection, but that configuration is not documented here.
    2. Switch to the MacOSX Finder Application and then to the Menu Go and select Connect to Server from the menu.

     

    1. Enter https://www.math.duke.edu/FULLHOMEDIRECTORY in the field for Server Address where Your FULLHOMEDIRECTORY should look something like /home/faculty/username and click Connect.

     

    1. The system will now prompt for your unix username and password as below, enter those and click on Ok:

     

    1. This will create a Share Point on your desktop that will behave just like a hard drive on your Mac System. You can use this icon to Disconnect from the WebDav server when you want to close your connection.

    Mounting WebDAV on Linux

    1. Under Linux, secure access to the department is more efficiently accomplished using the sshfs Fuse module. See this link for info on mounting a directory via ssh.
    2. But if you want to use WebDAV, it can be done with another FUSE module called fusedav. If it is not installed, try to install it from the network with the command yum -y install fuse-fusedav.
    3. To use fusedav, bring up a command prompt and run the following commands :

      mkdir -p ~/webdav
      fusedav https://www.math.duke.edu/FULLHOMEDIRECTORY ~/webdav

    4. where Your FULLHOMEDIRECTORY should look something like /home/faculty/username.
    5.  
    6. The WebDAV for your home directory should now be accessible under ~/webdav on your home system. The fusedav command will not return automatically, as long as it is running, you have access to the WebDAV.
    7. To unmount your WebDAV directory, use either fusermount -u ~/webdav or, in a pinch, kill the fusedav process with CTRL-C or with killall fusedav.