fcgi_spawn - FastCGI server for CGI-like Perl applications effective multiprocessing, the executable daemon of FCGI::Spawn


Daemon enables you to launch Perl applications originally written for CGI environment. To accomplish POST input you should need to patch your with the patch supplied in the FCGI::Spawn distribution, or the application, in some rare cases (like the Bugzilla), the both. Daemon is intended to be launched as a root ( uid = 0 ) user, although you may run it as a target user itself. You need the FastCGI-capable web server capable to work with other ('external') daemons by a FastCGI protocol: the 'FastCGI requester'. Many features supported like the fine-tune on the number of processes, maximum number of requests served by the each process in its lifetime, more on this on FCGI::Spawn, also tested environments and comparison to the well-known Perl runtime environments. Main focus of the daemon is the system administration convinience and adaptation to the OS distribution(s), as it is seen from:


The necessary configuration for fcgi_spawn is to be located in the dedicated directory, specified by -c command line parameter (by default the /usr/local/etc for FreeBSD/Slackware packages; /etc for FHS-compatible Linux/Cygwin packages ( RedHat, Debian, etc. ) . This includes the configuration file fcgi_spawn.conf, and optional preload scripts aimed similarly as the of the mod_perl: to preload the modules before the process to fork, and perform necessary initialization steps like environment variables setup.

Command line options

Consider all of them to be mandatory:

  -c <config_path> Full path to the directory of configuration file, the
fcgi_spawn.conf ( See 'Configuration File' below );
  -p <pid_file>    Full path and name of the process ID file name;
  -l <log_file>    Full path and name  of the log file name;
  -u <user>        Name of the system user to run the FastCGI applications;
  -g <group>       Name of the system group to run the FastCGI applications;
  -s <socket>      Name of the local UNIX socket to be created by the daemon to
listen for incoming connections. You should try :number or address:number or
host:number as a value of this option in teh case the TCP connectivity is

Those are optional:

  -e               Redefine the exit() Perl builtin function to prevent the
spawned persistent processes from exiting and starting again when your
application(s) exit;
  -pl              Evaluate the:

Preload Scripts from the configuration directory

You can use preload scripts for modules preload and initialization, similarly to the what is the apache's is attended for in the mod_perl's world , although fcgi_spawn doesn't execute them from the root ( uid = 0 ) user. ( while apache does ). Typically, good results are achieved when you try to execute the dummy index page of the web aplication in them, because it loads the most necessary modules of the application. If you have no errors when execute that perl script ( obviously or index.cgi depending on your application ) as a fcgi_spawn's target user and group ( specified with -u and -g options ), you should give it a try. Thing to beware at this point is: environment variables cause fcgi_spawn clears the all of the environment for security purposes.

Preload scripts are to be located in the configuraion directory with the names and, respectively. The XX here means a number of the execution sequence, as you may wish to use SomeModule on the followed of scripts and have its functionality on the scripts following after those. The difference between non- and prepared scripts is: the multi-processing occurs to happen in between of them ( "prepare" in FCGI::Spawn ). That means that the 'nonprepared' scripts are the best place to pre-load your applications' modules, but the handles like the data files, sockets, database handles, etc. can exist only per single process and therefore should be established in the 'prepared' scripts.

Predefined symbols for preload scripts are:


the FCGI::Spawn object.

It is useful to do the trick like this for your CGI app:

        $FCGI::Spawn::fcgi = new CGI;
        $spawn->callout( '/path/to/your/CGI/', $FCGI::Spawn::fcgi );
        undef $FCGI::Spawn::fcgi;

( supplied in the source package is required for this to work best. ) This loads the most of your application's code into memory in the 'nonprepared' script before the daemon to fork() which is the main to know about what the FCGI::Spawn's prepare is.


the label to go to with the exit() Perl builtin redefined ( '-e' command line parameter ).

Should be contained in the code reference supplied as a callout property of the $spawn, the FCGI::Spawn object. This is to keep the exit()'ed CGI application from exiting the FastCGI connection accept() loop before max_requests processed. The code use this label like this:

        $spawn->{ callout } =  sub{ do shift;
        CALLED_OUT: eval ' $Bugzilla::_request_cache = { }; '
          if defined( $Bugzilla::_request_cache ) and scalar keys %{ $Bugzilla::_request_cache };

Hash reference to keep scalar variables in between preload eval()s. Those are to be restored in preload scripts like this:

                                map{ ${ $main::{ $_ } }
                                                = $OURS->{  $_ } ;
                                } qw/webguiRoot bugzillaRoot skybillRoot/;

All of the preload scripts, if any exist, are eval()'ed after the $spawn is initialized with the values from:

Configuration File

fcgi_spawn.conf, to be read from the configuration directory specified with -c command line parameter, should contain the values of the FCGI::Spawn object constructor, method "new", if those need to differ from the defaults. The exception is the callout parameter which is not a constant but the CODE reference and should be set up in the preload_noprepared scripts.

Syntax is: spaces and tabs at the begin of the line are ignored, the # symbol before the rest means this line is ignored as a comment too, key and value are separated with the space(s) or tab(s) all on the same line, and if the value is multiple ( same way separated ) values, it is treated as an array reference ( wanted for sock_chown parameter ).

Sample configuration file, fcgi_spawn.conf.sample, is provided in the source distribution.

Typical CGI Applications with fcgi_spawn

FCGI::Spawn, and therefore fcgi_spawn, are able to work in Unix and Cygwin environments, with 'properly' written CGI applications, which the most of the well-known CGI applications are. This means: no much assign of the global variables, incapsulation of the code in the Namespace::sub()s at least, and so on.

Care should be taken about file and database handles closing and networking sockets disconnection because the END{} block of your Perl application is unlikely to be executed automatically, like it does in true CGI application. You should refer to Mod_Perl code guides in Chapter 6 of Practical mod_perl book: Commonly, if your CGI application runs well with the typical PerlRun and Registry environments of the Mod_Perl, it should with the fcgi_spawn ( and supplied ), too. At least as the examples below do:

Till version 6.9 supported CGI mode, requires the 'date' system command to be present in the PATH. Fix this in preload script. You should preload_nonprepared your with the $spawn's ->callout, too. Demo is:


Traffic accounting system was rewritten a bit, as you can see from It was ( and in many aspects is ) my old dummy code but it's to show that even that is able to be fcgi_spawn-friendly. You may want to use the "FCGI::Spawn/xinc" feature not only to cache the XSLT object between request but to share it among fork()ed processes, it is accomplished with callout of the on your preload_nonprepared script automatically. Demo is:


Got to know satisfaction: this was probably a worst evil code ever seen. Despite it has no problems with mod_perl, that required many tricks to perform and here is the scoop:

Many exit()s on the blocks

Requires the exit() to be redefined with -e command line switch for fcgi_spawn, and the CALLED_OUT label to be crafted like it is already described here. ancesting

Requires the both patches to be applied, on amd Bugzilla/ .

Request caching

Bugzilla's own request cache cleans only if the mod_perl is used specifically. Same about the CALLED_OUT here.

Environment cleaning

As an evil of Date::Manip ( I myself hate it too, since the infrastructure is much better ), and thus the too, the Bugzilla can make your system commands unavailable from your applications on your PATH environment variable. This is why you should also enable the save_env feature on fcgi_spawn.conf, if it is not enabled in FCGI::Spawn by default.

Also, in some cases the Bugzilla's CGI programs use to take $0 instead of $ENV{ SCRIPT_NAME } which makes the URLs generated pointless.

Demo is located at:


Adequate reports are accepted.

Runtime Control

Daemon is supplied with POSIX signal handling: USR1 makes it to reopen the log file, and every other signal is passed as is to the actual FCGI::ProcManager process.


LGPL, as of the MANIFEST file in FCGI::Spawn's CPAN distribution. More info on fcgi_spawn at:

1 POD Error

The following errors were encountered while parsing the POD:

Around line 92:

'=item' outside of any '=over'