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CGI::Easy - simple and straightforward helpers to make CGI easy


This document describes CGI::Easy version v2.0.1


    use CGI::Easy::Request;
    use CGI::Easy::Headers;
    use CGI::Easy::Session;

    my $r    = CGI::Easy::Request->new();
    my $h    = CGI::Easy::Headers->new();
    my $sess = CGI::Easy::Session->new($r, $h);

    # -- access basic GET request details
    my $url = "$r->{scheme}://$r->{host}:$r->{port}$r->{path}";
    my $param_name  = $r->{GET}{name};
    my @param_color = @{ $r->{GET}{'color[]'} };
    my $cookie_some = $r->{cookie}{some};

    # -- file upload
    my $avatar_image    = $r->{POST}{avatar};
    my $avatar_filename = $r->{filename}{avatar};
    my $avatar_mimetype = $r->{mimetype}{avatar};

    # -- easy way to identify visitors and get data stored in cookies
    my $session_id  = $sess->{id};
    my $tempcookie_x= $sess->{temp}{x};
    my $permcookie_y= $sess->{perm}{y};

    # -- set custom HTTP headers and cookies
    $h->{Expires} = 'Sat, 01 Jan 2000 00:00:00 GMT';
        name    => 'some',
        value   => 'custom cookie',
        domain  => '',
        expires => time+86400,

    # -- easy way to store data in cookies
    $sess->{temp}{x} = 'available until browser closes';
    $sess->{perm}{y} = 'available for 1 year';

    # -- output all HTTP headers and html page
    print $h->compose();
    print "<html>...</html>";

    # -- output redirect
    print $h->compose();

    # -- output custom reply
    $h->{Status} = '500 Internal Server Error';
    $h->{'Content-Type'} = 'text/plain; charset=utf-8';
    print $h->compose(), "Please try again later\n";


This documentation is an overview of CGI::Easy::* modules. For detailed information about corner cases and available features you should consult corresponding module documentation: CGI::Easy::Request, CGI::Easy::Headers, CGI::Easy::Session. If you wanna work with CGI/HTTP on lower level, you can look at CGI::Easy::Util. There also some other useful modules available separately: CGI::Easy::URLconf, CGI::Easy::SendFile.

CGI::Easy designed to help you do what you want with CGI/HTTP without forcing you to learn one more huge and complex API specific to some module, or limiting you to do your tasks only in way provided by this module. With CGI::Easy you got all you need in simple hashes, and you're free to do anything you like with this data, because it's your data.

CGI::Easy consist of three main parts:

CGI::Easy::Request object

This object actually is simple hash populated with all data related to current CGI request - GET/POST parameters, cookies, url path, … When you create this object with new(), current request will be parsed (from %ENV and STDIN ), all useful things will be stored in that object/hash, and now you're free to do anything you want with this object/hash - modify it contents in any way, etc. You don't need special methods to access trivial data like some GET parameter or cookie anymore.

Here is list of keys in that hash prepared for you:

    # -- URL info
    scheme       'http' OR 'https'
    host         ''
    port         80
    path         '/' OR '/index.php' OR '/articles/2008/'
    # -- CGI parameters
    GET          { name => 'powerman', 'color[]' => ['red','green'], … }
    POST         { name => 'powerman', avatar => '…binary image data…', … }
    filename     { name => undef, avatar => 'C:\\Documents\\avatar.png', … }
    mimetype     { name => undef, avatar => 'image/png', … }
    cookie       { somevar => 'someval', … }
    # -- USER details
    REMOTE_PORT  12345
    AUTH_TYPE    Basic
    REMOTE_USER  'powerman'
    REMOTE_PASS  'secret'
    # -- original request data
    ENV          { REQUEST_METHOD => 'POST', … }
    STDIN        'name=powerman&color[]=red&color[]=green'
    # -- request parsing status
    error        '' OR 'POST body too large' etc.
CGI::Easy::Headers object

This object is also very simple hash - keys are HTTP header names and values are HTTP header values. When you call new() this hash populated with few headers (notably 'Status'=>'200 OK' and 'Content-Type'=>'text/html; charset=utf-8'), but you're free to change these keys/headers and add your own headers. When you ready to output all headers from this object/hash you should call compose() method, and it will return string with all HTTP headers suitable for sending to browser.

There one exception: value for key 'Set-Cookie' is ARRAYREF with HASHREF, where each HASHREF keep cookie details:

    $h->{'Set-Cookie'} = [
        { name=>'mycookie1', value=>'myvalue1' },
        { name=>'x', value=>5,
          domain=>'', expires=>time+86400 }

To make it ease for you to work with this key there helper add_cookie() method available, but you're free to modify this key manually if you like.

There also some helper methods in this object (like redirect()), but they all just modify some keys/headers in this hash.

CGI::Easy::Session object

This object make working with cookies even more ease than already provided by CGI::Easy::Request and CGI::Easy::Headers way:

    my $somevalue = $r->{cookie}{somename};
    $h->add_cookie({ name => 'somename', value => $somename });

If you will use CGI::Easy::Session, then it will read/write values for three cookies: sid, perm and temp. Cookie sid will contain automatically generated ID unique to this visitor, cookies perm and temp will contain simple perl hashes (automatically serialized to strings for storing in cookies) with different lifetime: perm will expire in 1 year, temp will expire when browser closes.

CGI::Easy::Session object will provide you with three keys:

    id          undef OR '…unique string…'
    perm        { x=>5, somename=>'somevalue', … }
    temp        { y=>7, … }

Field id will contain undef() in case user has no cookie support. To serialize hashes in fields perm and temp to cookies you'll have to call save() method before $h->compose(). Example:

    if (!defined $sess->{id}) {
        warn "user has no cookie support";
    $sess->{perm}{x} = 5;
    $sess->{perm}{somename} = 'somevalue';
    print $h->compose();

You don't have to use all these three parts - for example, you can use only CGI::Easy::Request and output HTTP headers manually, or use only CGI::Easy::Headers and parse CGI parameters using standard CGI module, etc.


These modules by default support Unicode with UTF8 encoding. If you need another encoding or wanna disable Unicode look at raw option for CGI::Easy::Request->new() and modify default 'Content-Type' header provided by CGI::Easy::Headers->new().


CGI with Session

    use CGI::Easy::Request;
    use CGI::Easy::Headers;
    use CGI::Easy::Session;

    my $r = CGI::Easy::Request->new();
    my $h = CGI::Easy::Headers->new();
    my $sess = CGI::Easy::Session->new($r, $h);

    $sess->{perm}{create_time} ||= time;
    $sess->{temp}{counter} ||= 0;

    print $h->compose();

    if ($sess->{id}) {
        printf "<p>Your ID is: %s</p>\n", $sess->{id};
        printf "<p>Your session was created at: %s</p>\n",
            scalar gmtime $sess->{perm}{create_time};
        printf "<p>This is your %d page view</p>\n",
    } else {
        printf "<p>You browser doesn't support cookies</p>\n";

FCGI with cookies

    use FCGI;
    use CGI::Easy::Request;
    use CGI::Easy::Headers;

    my $count = 0;

    my $request = FCGI::Request();
    while($request->Accept() >= 0) {
        my $r = CGI::Easy::Request->new();
        my $h = CGI::Easy::Headers->new();

        $h->{Expires} = 'Sat, 01 Jan 2000 00:00:00 GMT';
            name    => 'counter',
            value   => ($r->{cookie}{counter} || 0) + 1,
            expires => time+10,

        print $h->compose();

        printf "<p>This is request number: %d</p>\n", ++$count;
        printf "<p>This is your %d page view</p>\n", $r->{cookie}{counter};

FCGI::EV with manual Basic HTTP auth

    # -- you'll need something like this in .htaccess
    #    to catch any url with your FastCGI script
    #    and handle Basic HTTP auth manually in script
    RewriteEngine On
    RewriteBase /
    RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} !(fcgi_std)
    RewriteRule ^(.*)$ /fcgi_std/$1 [L]
    RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} (fcgi_std)
    RewriteRule .* - [E=HTTP_AUTHORIZATION:%{HTTP:Authorization},L]

    # -- mod_fastcgi should be configured like this
    FastCGIExternalServer /var/www/ -socket /tmp/fcgi_std.sock

    # -- standard code from FCGI::EV documentation
    use Socket;
    use Fcntl;
    use EV;
    use FCGI::EV;
    use FCGI::EV::Std;
    use CGI::Easy::Request;
    use CGI::Easy::Headers;
    my $path = '/tmp/fcgi_std.sock';
    socket my $srvsock, AF_UNIX, SOCK_STREAM, 0;
    unlink $path;
    my $umask = umask 0;   # ensure 0777 perms for unix socket
    bind $srvsock, sockaddr_un($path);
    umask $umask;
    listen $srvsock, SOMAXCONN;
    fcntl $srvsock, F_SETFL, O_NONBLOCK;
    my $w = EV::io $srvsock, EV::READ, sub {
        accept my($sock), $srvsock;
        fcntl $sock, F_SETFL, O_NONBLOCK;
        FCGI::EV->new($sock, 'FCGI::EV::Std');

    # -- most interesting part: handle FastCGI requests
    sub main {
        my $r = CGI::Easy::Request->new();
        my $h = CGI::Easy::Headers->new();

        my $reply = q{};
        if ($r->{path} =~ m{\A/private/}xms) {
            if ($r->{REMOTE_USER} ne 'powerman' || $r->{REMOTE_PASS} ne 'secret') {
                $h->require_basic_auth('Private Area');
            else {
                $reply = sprintf "<p>Welcome to private area, %s</p>\n",
        else {
            $reply = "<p>Welcome to public area, guest</p>\n";

        print $h->compose(), $reply;


CGI::Easy::Request, CGI::Easy::Headers, CGI::Easy::Session, CGI::Easy::Util, CGI::Easy::URLconf, CGI::Easy::SendFile.


Bugs / Feature Requests

Please report any bugs or feature requests through the issue tracker at You will be notified automatically of any progress on your issue.

Source Code

This is open source software. The code repository is available for public review and contribution under the terms of the license. Feel free to fork the repository and submit pull requests.

    git clone



Alex Efros <>


This software is Copyright (c) 2009- by Alex Efros <>.

This is free software, licensed under:

  The MIT (X11) License