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Adding Perl to your server

Perl can be added to Linux and Windows based web servers. Perl (practical extraction and reporting language) is similar to PHP, ASP or JSP. Adding Perl capabilities to your server is free and gives your clients more choice when it comes to web scripts they can use. Perl is popular because it is very powerful and one of the first web scripting languages. Perl scripts run through CGI (Common Gateway Interface), Perl is bar far the most popular CGI language, and CGI is often mistaken for Perl. Perl is open source and completely free. Perl can be installed on both Linux and Windows OS so you can take advantage of this package is you are running Apache or IIS. You'll find Perl is already installed on Linux boxes, but you may want to upgrade to the latest version.

Installing Perl

Although there are many Perl distributions, we recommend ActivePerl from ActiveState. Documentation is included on how to install and setup Perl. You can go straight to the download page:-
Perl download

Once you have downloaded an installed ActivePerl we strongly recommend you read the section Perl modules.

Notes for Windows users

By default the ActivePerl install will associate .pl files with Perl in IIS. As a large number a Perl scripts have the extension .cgi you'll want to associate this extension with Perl. This can be easily done by following these instructions:-

For Windows 2000:-

  1. Open the 'Internet Services Manager' (program opens with the title 'Internet Information Services').
  2. Right click on your server name and select properties.
  3. Under 'Master Properties' select 'WWW service' and click Edit.
  4. Select the tab 'Home Directory' and click the button 'Configuration' in the 'Application settings' section.
  5. Select the tab 'App Mappings', from this screen you should see an association for .pl files with the perl.exe program.
  6. Click the button 'Add'.
  7. In the section Executable: add the line "C:\Perl\bin\perl.exe "%s" %s" - (this will differ if you use Timeout.pm)
  8. In the section Extension: add ".cgi".
  9. Click the button 'Ok'
  10. Again Click the button 'Ok'.
  11. When a window pops up titled 'Inheritance Overrides' make sure you click the buttons 'Select All' Then 'OK'. Failure to do this will mean that you'll need to add this setting to each website individually.

For Windows 2003:-

  1. Open the 'Internet Services Manager' (program opens with the title 'Internet Information Services').
  2. Expand your server name and right click on Web Sites, select properties.
  3. Select the tab 'Home Directory' and click the button 'Configuration' in the 'Application settings' section.
  4. Select the tab 'Mappings', from this screen you should see an association for .pl files with the perl.exe program.
  5. Click the button 'Add'.
  6. In the section Executable: add the line "C:\Perl\bin\perl.exe "%s" %s" - (this will differ if you use Timeout.pm)
  7. In the section Extension: add ".cgi".
  8. Click the button 'Ok'
  9. Again Click the button 'Ok'.
  10. When a window pops up titled 'Inheritance Overrides' make sure you click the buttons 'Select All' Then 'OK'. Failure to do this will mean that you'll need to add this setting to each website individually.

For Windows 2008:-

  1. Open the 'Internet Services Manager' (program opens with the title 'Internet Information Services').
  2. Click on your servers name and double click on 'Handler Mappings' from the middle panel.
  3. Select the 'Add Script map' from the Actions panel on the right.
  4. In the section Request Path: add "*.pl".
  5. In the section Executable: add the line "C:\Perl\bin\perl.exe "%s" %s" - (this will differ if you use Timeout.pm)
  6. In the section Name: add "CGI Perl .pl"
  7. Click the button 'Ok'.
  8. When you get the message "Do you want to allow this ISAPI extension..." Click on 'Yes'.
  9. Repeat steps 3 to 8 with '*.cgi' rather than '*.pl'.
  10. Stop and start the server.

We strongly recommend that you follow the section Timeout.pm. We would also very much appreciate if you would contact ActiveState with regards to our ActivePerl campaign.

     
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