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Re: Suggestions for solution - command shell web interface ??

__/ [Dave] on Sunday 20 November 2005 18:54 \__

> Can anyone suggest a way to run a UNIX interactive command line program
> (normally run at the shell prompt), on a web server, so a web interface
> is presented? (I want to be able to run it form a Windoze box).

Have a look at PHP Shell:


I installed it on my domain a few weeks ago. You can restrict it accordingly
by tweaking the source code, I guess.

> It has a shell escape,, but I suspect with a bit of effort I can run it
> in the restricted shell (/usr/lib/rsh) which would stop someone changing
> directories or redirecting output.

Yes, if it is made public, also make sure that the CPU cannot be misused
(e.g. automated requests in the name of vandalism).

> This is how it is normally run (by me anyway):
> sparrow /export/home/drkirkby % someprog
> In[1]:= 25! (* 25 factorial *)
> Out[1]= 15511210043330985984000000
> It will accept input on the standard input, which is how it is used in
> client/server appliations.
> sparrow /export/home/drkirkby % echo "Integrate[Tan[y^2],x]" | someprog
> In[1]:=
>                 2
> Out[1]= x Tan[y ]
> So perhaps creating a form that copies the form's contents to stdin of
> the program and collects stdout will do. But whilst I need to be able to
> type arbitray commands into the program, I will probably need to restict
> the damage it can do.

How about making it password-protected and available only to trusted people?

> I can see several ways of doing this
> 1) Webmin - but a sledgehammer to crack a wallnut, and surely a security
> nightmare.
> 2) Form as mentioned.
> 3) A web based ssh client - any suggestions?

MindTerm, e.g. the free access via Duke university:


> 4) Run the ssh client putty from the Putty site on a Windoze box. (I
> think the chacces of me wanting to run this from a Mac are pretty small
> and from a UNIX box I would just use SSH).

Only yesterday I wrote about SSH access from just about any device including


> I will have to put it on a secured server (probably Basic Apache and an
> SSL server), so perhaps the security risk is pretty low, especially if
> its runs on its own server, which does nothing else.

Be very, very careful. These things /will/ get misused if it is made

> Any general thoughts on how *best* to tackle this.

I hope my advice and pointers are generally helpful...


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