MIT SIPB Script Services for Athena

Can my group obtain a shorter URL?

If you have a reasonable reason for wanting a short URL (in specific technical jargon, a DNS CNAME pointing to the script server and a corresponding virtual host configuration on the server), you can request one using our hostname management system. Note that this step is absolutely not required to use; the default URL is usually sufficient.

There are several types of hostname you can request:

  • By default, you are assigned a host name; you can request arbitrary subdomains of this address (for example, These host names are activated instantaneously, and do not require approval.
  • If you own an external hostname (e.g., you can point it at the Scripts server. Configure your hostname with your registrar or DNS hosting as an A record for, then add your hostname using the online interface as usual. Alternatively, you can configure it as a CNAME for “”, which is less cryptic but interferes with using your hostname with mail_scripts, and also doesn’t work for top-level URLs (i.e., you won’t be able to do it for, but you could for
  • For high visibility websites, you can request a hostname. You can use the stella command on Athena or via the web to check if the hostname you would like is available. You can also transfer hostnames that you or your group owns. These host names must be manually approved, and we recommend they be requested sparingly.

If our hostname management system doesn’t work for some reason, you can also request a hostname by e-mailing Please include the name you would like, and the directory you would like the host to point to (e.g., or

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