MENDELU environment

This section is dedicated to description of MENDELU environment, especially to the usage of Akela server.

Connecting to Akela server via SSH

You can use SSH - Secure Shell to transfer files and to actually execute commands on remote computer. Read technical support section where you can find more about required software, here is just a list:

The important address is Login and password is same as your UIS credentials.

Akela server is not suitable as serious application hosting because anybody can read your database credentials from source files. Static or database-less presentations are OK.

Accessing your web presentation on Akela server

Each student has a profile folder on Akela server. Let’s say, that your surname is “Smith”, the university assigned you with a login xsmith12. Therefore your home folder on Akela server is /export/home/xsmith12.

To create a public WWW presentation, you have to create a folder public_html in your home folder. The final path is /export/home/xsmith12/public_html. Anything placed into this folder is public and is eventually crawled by Google.

To access your public presentation use this address:

The disadvantage is, that all uploaded files and folders are publicly visible. You have to configure Apache HTTP server to hide folders and disable access to .env file.

Do not reject read access to this folder for other users of Akela server. It would block Apache HTTP server and your presentation would stop working.

Using devel folder

You can create a subfolder called devel in your public_html folder. Devel folder is used for your development purposes and is not accessible publicly from internet (you have to know your UIS password to access it).

The public HTTP path is

You do not have to worry about .env file inside this folder, nobody can open it using web browser.

Accessing other students’ or teachers’ folders

It is possible to browse other users’ folders and files. You can block others by setting the read/write/execute permissions using WinSCP/FileZilla or chmod command.

Using database administration tools on Akela server

There are actually two installed DB administration tools:

Current version of Adminer is a bit old and is updated irregularly. You can download your own copy of Adminer and place it into your public_html folder if you wish. Remember to select PostgreSQL database type when logging in with Adminer.

There is network tunnel between Akela server and real database server – therefore the hostname of database server is localhost.

The database account is created separately when you start to study APV course and the password is NOT same as UIS password. The default password is disclosed to you by the teacher in the beginning of the course. Database login is same as your UIS login and also the name of your dedicated database.

Do not change the default password to UIS password because source files which contain the password are readable by your classmates and other Akela server users. Use unique password which you do not use anywhere else.

You can change database password with this SQL command: ALTER USER your_login WITH PASSWORD 'new_password'

Accessing database from PHP scripts

The credentials and configurations are (for user xsmith12 with database password garfield):


The database name is same as your login.

Running Composer on Akela server

This is currently impossible as Akela server has some problem with accessing HTTPs resources.

If you do not have Composer installed on your own PC (you also need to install PHP as command line script interpreter and it can be a bit difficult for beginners), you can execute Composer on Akela server:

  • Download composer.phar file from their site in the “Manual Download” section.
  • Upload the file using WinSCP/FileZilla to your project root (where composer.json and composer.lock files are located).
  • Connect to Akela using SSH (use putty on Windows or ssh command on Linux).
  • Use cd to access your project folder.
  • Execute php composer.phar install or php composer.phar require lib or whatever. You are actually telling PHP to execute that phar file. Other options and switches are interpreted by Composer application.
  • Your vendor folder should be updated.

The phar file extension stands for “PHP archive” and is actually a bundle of multiple PHP scripts executable with PHP interpreter. It means, that Composer itself is written in PHP.