Take the 2-minute tour ×
Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

What is the history behind the ~ in subdomains/university hosting for students? Why not subdomain.site.edu or site.edu/subdomain. Any particular reason the ~ was chosen and not something else?

share|improve this question
3  
Do you mean www.site.edu/~username? If so, that's a Unix question, nothing really to do with universities, - and there are plenty of people who'll be able to give a much better response than me –  ChrisW Dec 12 '12 at 20:45
    
Its just *nix thing not really a matter for University. In unix ~ is a shorthand for home directory. ~username means the home folder for that user. –  Lenin Dec 12 '12 at 21:01
    
As providing domain name for everyone is not possible or out of scope. They provide the user with their home folder with web accessible address like this. –  Lenin Dec 12 '12 at 21:03
add comment

2 Answers

~ is usually short-hand for the user's home folder. Many HTTP web servers will interpret that as the user's home folder, then their public_html (or equivalent) folder, and serve up the page from there. This would allow companies to allow many people to host their own "sites" off their main site, without the need of extra permissions

share|improve this answer
add comment

Historical reasons:
In unix the tilde (~) refers to your home directory.

For files already on your computer:
~: Your home.
~someuser: The homedirctory of someuser.

It simply makes sense if you look at it like this:
http://university_domain.edu/ -> General homepage of the server
http://university_domain.edu/~user -> webpage of user on that server

share|improve this answer
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.