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Doug MacEachern


INSTALL - Apache mod_perl installation instructions


How to build, test, configure and install mod_perl


    Apache version 1.3.6+

    Perl version 5.004 or higher (5.005_03 or higher recommended)

    Win32 users, see INSTALL.win32

Build and install mod_perl

    In this current directory run:

      perl Makefile.PL
      make test (optional)  
      make install

    Makefile.PL will search for apache source trees to configure against, if no source trees are found, you will be prompted for a path to one.

    When asked:

      "Configure mod_perl with ../apache_xxx/src ?"

    answering 'y' just tells Makefile.PL where we can find src/*.h

    When asked:

      "Shall I build httpd in $adir for you?"

    answering 'y' will run ../apache_xxx/src/Configure and httpd will be built when running 'make'

    To avoid this prompt and default to the first apache source tree found to configure and build against, use the following command:

      perl Makefile.PL DO_HTTPD=1

    To avoid the prompts and avoid building httpd, use the following command:

      perl Makefile.PL NO_HTTPD=1

    You may wish see the instructions below on how to build by hand.

    In any case, you need to 'make install' so the perl side of mod_perl will be installed.

    By default, all callback hooks except for PerlHandler are turned off. You may edit src/modules/perl/Makefile, or enable when running Makefile.PL

    Possible arguments are:


    Example to enable PerlAuthenHandler and PerlFixupHandler:

      perl Makefile.PL PERL_AUTHEN=1 PERL_FIXUP=1

    To enable all callback hooks:

      perl Makefile.PL ALL_HOOKS=1 

    To enable _all_ of the above, set EVERYTHING=1

      perl Makefile.PL EVERYTHING=1

    To enable tracing set PERL_TRACE=1

      perl Makefile.PL PERL_TRACE=1

    If a file name `makepl_args.mod_perl' is found in the same directory as the mod_perl build location with any of these options, it will be read in by Makefile.PL


     % ls -1 .
     % cat makepl_args.mod_perl
     % cd mod_perl-1.12
     % perl Makefile.PL && make test && make install

    You'll see all options enabled and you will not be prompted for apache source location, it will default to ../apache_1.3

    There is a sample makepl_args.mod_perl in the eg/ directory, in which you might find a few options to enable experimental features to play with too! :-)

    Installation of Apache header files

    By default, the apache headers files are installed into $Config{sitearchexp}/auto/Apache/include

    The reason for installing the header files is to make life simple for module authors/users when building/installing a module that taps into some Apache C functions, e.g. Embperl, Apache::Peek, etc.

    If you wish not to install these files, tell Makefile.PL like so:

     perl Makefile.PL APACHE_HEADER_INSTALL=0

    Linking Perl extensions static with httpd

    Normally, if an extension is linked static with Perl it is listed in Config.pm's $Config{static_exts}, in which case, mod_perl will also link this extension static with httpd. However, if an extension is linked static with Perl after it is installed, it is not listed in Config.pm. You may either edit Config.pm and add these extensions, or configure mod_perl like so:

     perl Makefile.PL "PERL_STATIC_EXTS=Something::Static Another::One" 

Testing mod_perl

    Running 'make test' will start an httpd on port 8529 running under the uid and gid of the 'perl Makefile.PL' process, the httpd will be terminated when the tests are finshed.

    To change the default port say:

     perl Makefile.PL PORT=xxxx

    To simply start the newly build httpd before 'make install' run:

     make start_httpd

    To shutdown this httpd run:

     make kill_httpd

    See t/README on how to run the mod_perl test suite by hand

    NOTE to Ben-SSL users: httpsd does not seem to handle '/dev/null' as the location of certain files, you'll have to change these by hand. Tests are run with 'SSLDisable'

Using an alternative Configuration file

    If you wish to use a Configuration file without having mod_perl's Makefile.PL give it's copy to apache's Configuration, configure like so:

     perl Makefile.PL CONFIG=Configuration.custom

    Where Configuration.custom is the name of any file relative to the apache source tree you build against. See the "building apache and mod_perl by hand" instructions below on how to add the mod_perl information to your custom Configuration file.

Building apache and mod_perl by hand

    ** Only if you did not let Makefile.PL take care of this already **

    mod_perl Makefile

    When Makefile.PL is run $APACHE_SRC/modules/perl/Makefile will be modified to enable options (e.g. ALL_HOOKS=1)

    You may also edit mod_perl-x.xx/src/modules/perl/Makefile before or after running Makefile.PL if you wish


    Edit apache_xxx/src/Configuration, adding:

      AddModule modules/perl/libperl.a

    We suggest you add this entry at the end of the Configuration file if you want your callback hooks to have precedence over core handlers.

    Add the following to EXTRA_LIBS:

      EXTRA_LIBS=`perl -MExtUtils::Embed -e ldopts`

    Add the following to EXTRA_CFLAGS:

      EXTRA_CFLAGS=`perl -MExtUtils::Embed -e ccopts` 

    mod_perl source files

    Copy the source files into the apache build directory:

     % cp -r src/modules/perl apache_xxx/src/modules/


     % perl Makefile.PL DYNAMIC=1 && make install

    When prompted, you must tell Makefile.PL where to find apache sources (for header files), answer 'n' when asked "Shall I build httpd in ../apache_x.x.x/src for you?"

    Follow the apache install docs from there

Configuring and building with Stronghold

    You must first build and install Stronghold without mod_perl, following Stronghold's install procedure.

    Then, you may rebuild following the instructions above to:

     Build and install mod_perl
     Building apache and mod_perl by hand

    Before running `make test', you must add your `StrongholdKey' to t/conf/httpd.conf

    I you are configuring by hand, be sure to edit src/modules/perl/Makefile and uncomment #APACHE_SSL

    For Solaris 2.5 users, there has been a report related to the REGEX that comes with Stronghold, after building Apache with mod_perl would produce core dumps. To get around this:

    In STRONGHOLD/src/Configuration, Change:

      Rule WANTHSREGEX=default


      Rule WANTHSREGEX=no

Installing on multiple machines

    You may wish to build httpd once, then copy it to other machines. The Perl side of mod_perl needs the apache headers files to compile, to avoid dragging and build apache on all your other machines, there are a few Makefile targets to help you out:

       'make tar_Apache'

    This will tar all files mod_perl installs in your 'site_perl' directory, into a file called 'Apache.tar'. You can then unpack this under 'site_perl' on another machine.

       'make offsite-tar'

    This will copy all header files from the apache source directory you configured mod_perl against, then it will 'make dist' where you'll a mod_perl-x.xx.tar.gz created, ready to unpack on another machine to compile and install the Perl side of mod_perl.



On most systems, both Perl and Apache+mod_perl must be built using the same compiler. Sometimes Perl's configuration will choose one compiler, e.g. cc, but Apache's configuration chooses a different one, e.g. gcc. If you run into this problem, consult Perl's and Apache's INSTALL documents on how to ensure both are built with the same compiler.

BSDI users

Gary Shea <shea@xmission.com> discovered a nasty BSDI bug (seen in versions 2.1 and 3.0) related to dynamic loading and two workarounds:

Turns out they use argv[0] to determine where to find the link tables at run-time, so if a program either changes argv[0], or does a chdir() (like apache!), it can easily confuse the dynamic loader. The short-term solutions to the problem are pitifully simple. Either of the following will work:

1) Call httpd with a full path, e.g. /opt/www/bin/httpd

2) Put the httpd you wish to run in a directory in your PATH before any other directory containing a version of httpd, then call it as 'httpd' -- don't use a relative path!

more info

Type 'perldoc mod_perl' for info on configuring, running and writing Apache/Perl scripts and modules.


See the SUPPORT file.

2 POD Errors

The following errors were encountered while parsing the POD:

Around line 23:

You can't have =items (as at line 130) unless the first thing after the =over is an =item

Around line 204:

You can't have =items (as at line 208) unless the first thing after the =over is an =item