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Old 04-14-2013, 08:41 AM   #1
Registered: Dec 2009
Posts: 38

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Cool Run bash command taking input from HTML page - CGI script


I am trying to get input from my browser using a text box and submit button and trying to create a file in the server with the same name as the input. I am also printing the value of the input to the browser.

Though, the browser is displaying the input I gave, the file is not getting created in the server.

PS: None of the bash commands I am giving in the script is running :/

HTML form:
<form action="cgi-bin/" method="get">
Enter a username: <input type="text" name="username"></input><br>
<input type="submit" name="subbtn" value="Submit">
Bash script:
echo "Content-type: text/html"
echo ""
USERNAME=`echo "$QUERY_STRING" | sed -n 's/^.*username=\([^&]*\).*$/\1/p' | sed "s/+/ /g"`
echo "<html><head><title>What You Said</title></head>"
echo "<body>Here's what you said: <br>"
echo "You entered $USERNAME"
touch /tmp/$USERNAME.txt
echo "</body></html>"
Even if I replace touch /tmp/$USERNAME.txt with touch /tmp/haha , it does not work.
I have also tried putting the touch command after the USERNAME parsing line.

Please help.
Old 04-14-2013, 11:14 AM   #2
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Have you checked the httpd logs for errors?
Does have the proper permissions?

What linux distribution/version are you running?
Old 04-14-2013, 11:50 AM   #3
David the H.
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BTW, as a quick comment on your script, you should be able to at least reduce the two sed commands to one with multiple "-e" options.

Or even better, replace them with shell built-in parameter expansion or other string manipulations.

$(..) is highly recommended over `..`, too.

Finally, the variable setting and touch commands are not part of the printed output, so for clarity set them apart from the rest.



echo "Content-type: text/html"
echo ""
echo "<html><head><title>What You Said</title></head>"
echo "<body>Here's what you said: <br>"
echo "You entered $USERNAME"
echo "</body></html>" 

touch "/tmp/$USERNAME.txt"

If the output were longer, I might go for a here document instead of a bunch of echos, but since that requires the external cat command, it's not really worth it here.

Last edited by David the H.; 04-14-2013 at 11:53 AM.
Old 04-14-2013, 03:24 PM   #4
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Moved: This thread is more suitable in <PROGRAMMING> and has been moved accordingly to help your thread/question get the exposure it deserves.
Old 04-15-2013, 09:21 AM   #5
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The file is probably not being created as result of security measures enforced by the web server configuration &/or the OS configuration. Check for selinux configuration preventing this. Beware that removing the restriction opens up a significant security hole. Use great prudence and defensive programming tactics to prevent creation of dangerous files. Don't assume that user input is 'friendly' or follows expected patterns.
--- rod.
Old 04-15-2013, 02:00 PM   #6
Registered: Dec 2009
Posts: 38

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 6

Thank you all for the replies

Here are the wanted information :-
Apache error logs:
[Tue Apr 16 00:17:06 2013] [error] [client] File does not exist: /var/www/
[Tue Apr 16 00:17:13 2013] [error] [client] File does not exist: /var/www/

Fedora release 17

-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 774 Apr 14 19:04

[root@vickyfedora cgi-bin]# selinuxenabled && echo enabled || echo disabled

Anymore ideas ?

I will surely take care of all scripting and security recommendations
Old 04-15-2013, 11:36 PM   #7
Registered: Dec 2009
Posts: 38

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 6
I solved the problem ! I forgot that apache user was running apache :-/ Hence, I created a directory and gave it 755 permission with ownership of apache and now files are getting created in it. It is just my test VM so no security worries. Also, I thought /tmp is world writable !

Thank you all for your valuable inputs


cgibin, shell scripting

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