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Catalyst::Engine::FastCGI - FastCGI Engine


This is the FastCGI engine.


This class overloads some methods from Catalyst::Engine::CGI.

$self->run($c, $listen, { option => value, ... })

Starts the FastCGI server. If $listen is set, then it specifies a location to listen for FastCGI requests;


listen via Unix sockets on /path


listen via TCP on port on all interfaces


listen via TCP on port bound to hostname

Options may also be specified;


Set to 1 to disable setting umask to 0 for socket open


Do not allow the listener to be interrupted by Ctrl+C


Specify a number of processes for FCGI::ProcManager


Specify a filename for the pid file


Specify a FCGI::ProcManager sub-class


Detach from console


Send STDERR to STDOUT instead of the webserver

$self->write($c, $buffer)


Performs the first part of daemon initialisation. Specifically, forking. STDERR, etc are still connected to a terminal.

$self->daemon_detach( )

Performs the second part of daemon initialisation. Specifically, disassociates from the terminal.

However, this does not change the current working directory to "/", as normal daemons do. It also does not close all open file descriptors (except STDIN, STDOUT and STDERR, which are re-opened from /dev/null).

$self->_fix_env( $env )

Adjusts the environment variables when necessary.


Standalone FastCGI Server

In server mode the application runs as a standalone server and accepts connections from a web server. The application can be on the same machine as the web server, on a remote machine, or even on multiple remote machines. Advantages of this method include running the Catalyst application as a different user than the web server, and the ability to set up a scalable server farm.

To start your application in server mode, install the FCGI::ProcManager module and then use the included fastcgi.pl script.

    $ script/myapp_fastcgi.pl -l /tmp/myapp.socket -n 5

Command line options for fastcgi.pl include:

    -d -daemon     Daemonize the server.
    -p -pidfile    Write a pidfile with the pid of the process manager.
    -l -listen     Listen on a socket path, hostname:port, or :port.
    -n -nproc      The number of processes started to handle requests.

See below for the specific web server configurations for using the external server.

Apache 1.x, 2.x

Apache requires the mod_fastcgi module. The same module supports both Apache 1 and 2.

There are three ways to run your application under FastCGI on Apache: server, static, and dynamic.

Standalone server mode

    FastCgiExternalServer /tmp/myapp.fcgi -socket /tmp/myapp.socket
    Alias /myapp/ /tmp/myapp.fcgi/

    # Or, run at the root
    Alias / /tmp/myapp.fcgi/

    # Optionally, rewrite the path when accessed without a trailing slash
    RewriteRule ^/myapp$ myapp/ [R]

The FastCgiExternalServer directive tells Apache that when serving /tmp/myapp to use the FastCGI application listenting on the socket /tmp/mapp.socket. Note that /tmp/myapp.fcgi MUST NOT exist -- it's a virtual file name. With some versions of mod_fastcgi or mod_fcgid, you can use any name you like, but some require that the virtual filename end in .fcgi.

It's likely that Apache is not configured to serve files in /tmp, so the Alias directive maps the url path /myapp/ to the (virtual) file that runs the FastCGI application. The trailing slashes are important as their use will correctly set the PATH_INFO environment variable used by Catalyst to determine the request path. If you would like to be able to access your app without a trailing slash (http://server/myapp), you can use the above RewriteRule directive.

Static mode

The term 'static' is misleading, but in static mode Apache uses its own FastCGI Process Manager to start the application processes. This happens at Apache startup time. In this case you do not run your application's fastcgi.pl script -- that is done by Apache. Apache then maps URIs to the FastCGI script to run your application.

    FastCgiServer /path/to/myapp/script/myapp_fastcgi.pl -processes 3
    Alias /myapp/ /path/to/myapp/script/myapp_fastcgi.pl/

FastCgiServer tells Apache to start three processes of your application at startup. The Alias command maps a path to the FastCGI application. Again, the trailing slashes are important.

Dynamic mode

In FastCGI dynamic mode, Apache will run your application on demand, typically by requesting a file with a specific extension (e.g. .fcgi). ISPs often use this type of setup to provide FastCGI support to many customers.

In this mode it is often enough to place or link your *_fastcgi.pl script in your cgi-bin directory with the extension of .fcgi. In dynamic mode Apache must be able to run your application as a CGI script so ExecCGI must be enabled for the directory.

    AddHandler fastcgi-script .fcgi

The above tells Apache to run any .fcgi file as a FastCGI application.

Here is a complete example:

    <VirtualHost *:80>
        ServerName www.myapp.com
        DocumentRoot /path/to/MyApp

        # Allow CGI script to run
        <Directory /path/to/MyApp>
            Options +ExecCGI

        # Tell Apache this is a FastCGI application
        <Files myapp_fastcgi.pl>
            SetHandler fastcgi-script

Then a request for /script/myapp_fastcgi.pl will run the application.

For more information on using FastCGI under Apache, visit http://www.fastcgi.com/mod_fastcgi/docs/mod_fastcgi.html

Authorization header with mod_fastcgi or mod_cgi

By default, mod_fastcgi/mod_cgi do not pass along the Authorization header, so modules like Catalyst::Plugin::Authentication::Credential::HTTP will not work. To enable pass-through of this header, add the following mod_rewrite directives:

    RewriteCond %{HTTP:Authorization} ^(.+)
    RewriteRule ^(.*)$ $1 [E=HTTP_AUTHORIZATION:%1,PT]


These configurations were tested with Lighttpd 1.4.7.

Standalone server mode

    server.document-root = "/var/www/MyApp/root"

    fastcgi.server = (
        "" => (
            "MyApp" => (
                "socket"      => "/tmp/myapp.socket",
                "check-local" => "disable"

Static mode

    server.document-root = "/var/www/MyApp/root"

    fastcgi.server = (
        "" => (
            "MyApp" => (
                "socket"       => "/tmp/myapp.socket",
                "check-local"  => "disable",
                "bin-path"     => "/var/www/MyApp/script/myapp_fastcgi.pl",
                "min-procs"    => 2,
                "max-procs"    => 5,
                "idle-timeout" => 20

Note that in newer versions of lighttpd, the min-procs and idle-timeout values are disabled. The above example would start 5 processes.

Non-root configuration

You can also run your application at any non-root location with either of the above modes. Note the required mod_rewrite rule.

    url.rewrite = ( "myapp\$" => "myapp/" )
    fastcgi.server = (
        "/myapp" => (
            "MyApp" => (
                # same as above

For more information on using FastCGI under Lighttpd, visit http://www.lighttpd.net/documentation/fastcgi.html


Catalyst runs under nginx via FastCGI in a similar fashion as the lighttpd standalone server as described above.

nginx does not have its own internal FastCGI process manager, so you must run the FastCGI service separately.


To configure nginx, you must configure the FastCGI parameters and also the socket your FastCGI daemon is listening on. It can be either a TCP socket or a Unix file socket.

The server configuration block should look roughly like:

    server {
        listen $port;

        location / {
            fastcgi_param  QUERY_STRING       $query_string;
            fastcgi_param  REQUEST_METHOD     $request_method;
            fastcgi_param  CONTENT_TYPE       $content_type;
            fastcgi_param  CONTENT_LENGTH     $content_length;

            fastcgi_param  SCRIPT_NAME        /;
            fastcgi_param  PATH_INFO          $fastcgi_script_name;
            fastcgi_param  REQUEST_URI        $request_uri;
            fastcgi_param  DOCUMENT_URI       $document_uri;
            fastcgi_param  DOCUMENT_ROOT      $document_root;
            fastcgi_param  SERVER_PROTOCOL    $server_protocol;

            fastcgi_param  GATEWAY_INTERFACE  CGI/1.1;
            fastcgi_param  SERVER_SOFTWARE    nginx/$nginx_version;

            fastcgi_param  REMOTE_ADDR        $remote_addr;
            fastcgi_param  REMOTE_PORT        $remote_port;
            fastcgi_param  SERVER_ADDR        $server_addr;
            fastcgi_param  SERVER_PORT        $server_port;
            fastcgi_param  SERVER_NAME        $server_name;
            # Adjust the socket for your applications!
            fastcgi_pass   unix:$docroot/myapp.socket;

It is the standard convention of nginx to include the fastcgi_params in a separate file (usually something like /etc/nginx/fastcgi_params) and simply include that file.

Non-root configuration

If you properly specify the PATH_INFO and SCRIPT_NAME parameters your application will be accessible at any path. The SCRIPT_NAME variable is the prefix of your application, and PATH_INFO would be everything in addition.

As an example, if your application is rooted at /myapp, you would configure:

    fastcgi_param  SCRIPT_NAME /myapp/;
    fastcgi_param  PATH_INFO   $fastcgi_script_name;

$fastcgi_script_name would be "/myapp/path/of/the/action". Catalyst will process this accordingly and setup the application base as expected.

This behavior is somewhat different than Apache and Lighttpd, but is still functional.

For more information on nginx, visit: http://nginx.net

Microsoft IIS

It is possible to run Catalyst under IIS with FastCGI, but only on IIS 6.0 (Microsoft Windows 2003), IIS 7.0 (Microsoft Windows 2008 and Vista) and hopefully its successors.

Even if it is declared that FastCGI is supported on IIS 5.1 (Windows XP) it does not support some features (specifically: wildcard mappings) that prevents running Catalyst application.

Let us assume that our server has the following layout:

    d:\WWW\WebApp\                   path to our Catalyst application
    d:\strawberry\perl\bin\perl.exe  path to perl interpreter (with Catalyst installed)
    c:\windows                       Windows directory

Setup IIS 6.0 (Windows 2003)

Install FastCGI extension for IIS 6.0

FastCGI is not a standard part of IIS 6 - you have to install it separately. For more info and download go to http://www.iis.net/extensions/FastCGI. Choose approptiate version (32-bit/64-bit), installation is quite simple (in fact no questions, no options).

Create a new website

Open "Control Panel" > "Administrative Tools" > "Internet Information Services Manager". Click "Action" > "New" > "Web Site". After you finish the installation wizard you need to go to the new website's properties.

Set website properties

On tab "Web site" set proper values for: Site Description, IP Address, TCP Port, SSL Port etc.

On tab "Home Directory" set the following:

    Local path: "d:\WWW\WebApp\root"
    Local path permission flags: check only "Read" + "Log visits"
    Execute permitions: "Scripts only"

Click "Configuration" button (still on Home Directory tab) then click "Insert" the wildcard application mapping and in the next dialog set:

    Executable: "c:\windows\system32\inetsrv\fcgiext.dll"
    Uncheck: "Verify that file exists"

Close all dialogs with "OK".

Edit fcgiext.ini

Put the following lines into c:\windows\system32\inetsrv\fcgiext.ini (on 64-bit system c:\windows\syswow64\inetsrv\fcgiext.ini):

    ;replace 8 with the identification number of the newly created website
    ;it is not so easy to get this number:
    ; - you can use utility "c:\inetpub\adminscripts\adsutil.vbs"
    ;   to list websites:   "cscript adsutil.vbs ENUM /P /W3SVC"
    ;   to get site name:   "cscript adsutil.vbs GET /W3SVC/<number>/ServerComment"
    ;   to get all details: "cscript adsutil.vbs GET /W3SVC/<number>"
    ; - or look where are the logs located:
    ;   c:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\Logfiles\W3SVC7\whatever.log
    ;   means that the corresponding number is "7"
    ;if you are running just one website using FastCGI you can use '*=CatalystApp'

    Arguments="d:\WWW\WebApp\script\webapp_fastcgi.pl -e"

    ;by setting this you can instruct IIS to serve Catalyst static files
    ;directly not via FastCGI (in case of any problems try 1)

    ;do not be fooled by Microsoft doc talking about "IgnoreExistingDirectories"
    ;that does not work and use "IgnoreDirectories" instead

Setup IIS 7.0 (Windows 2008 and Vista)

Microsoft IIS 7.0 has built-in support for FastCGI so you do not have to install any addons.

Necessary steps during IIS7 installation

During IIS7 installation after you have added role "Web Server (IIS)" you need to check to install role feature "CGI" (do not be nervous that it is not FastCGI). If you already have IIS7 installed you can add "CGI" role feature through "Control panel" > "Programs and Features".

Create a new website

Open "Control Panel" > "Administrative Tools" > "Internet Information Services Manager" > "Add Web Site".

    site name: "CatalystSite"
    content directory: "d:\WWW\WebApp\root"
    binding: set proper IP address, port etc.
Configure FastCGI

You can configure FastCGI extension using commandline utility "c:\windows\system32\inetsrv\appcmd.exe"

Configuring section "fastCgi" (it is a global setting)
  appcmd.exe set config -section:system.webServer/fastCgi /+"[fullPath='d:\strawberry\perl\bin\perl.exe',arguments='d:\www\WebApp\script\webapp_fastcgi.pl -e',maxInstances='4',idleTimeout='300',activityTimeout='30',requestTimeout='90',instanceMaxRequests='1000',protocol='NamedPipe',flushNamedPipe='False']" /commit:apphost
  appcmd.exe set config "CatalystSite" -section:system.webServer/handlers /+"[name='CatalystFastCGI',path='*',verb='GET,HEAD,POST',modules='FastCgiModule',scriptProcessor='d:\strawberry\perl\bin\perl.exe|d:\www\WebApp\script\webapp_fastcgi.pl -e',resourceType='Unspecified',requireAccess='Script']" /commit:apphost

Note: before launching the commands above do not forget to change site name and paths to values relevant for your server setup.


Catalyst, FCGI.


Catalyst Contributors, see Catalyst.pm


Bill Moseley, for documentation updates and testing.


This library is free software. You can redistribute it and/or modify it under the same terms as Perl itself.