Author image Michael De La Rue

README for LinkController 0.033

LinkController is a package which is designed to allow the checking of links in sophisticated ways. If you have ever noticed that link checkers spend more time sending you to sites which just happen to be down for the day due to maintenance problems than to real broken links, this should be for you.

It was written for and helps in the maintenance of the Scottish Climbing Archive ( ) but has deliberately gone a bit beyond the needs of a normal web page maintenance script.


Get LinkController installed. The file INSTALL should help.

Read the reference manual (in the docs directory as link-controller.* or in docs/HTML in HTML format).

Documentation is available online at

Try the configuration commands; default-install if you are a system administrator or configure-link-control if you are not.

Try each of the commands (test-link link-report etc.). Use the --help option to the commands to find out how they work. Use the --not-perfect option to link-report to get early output.


  • Link checking

    Link controller includes tools for extracting links from web pages and then testing them.

  • rapid link repair

    LinkController includes systems for repairing all files which need repaired based on databases it builds up which.

  • network efficient

    LinkController does requests at a very slow (and configurable) rate over time and mostly uses HEAD requests to verify documents exist.

  • works in network low usage time

    under configuration from your own crontab.

  • obeys robot exclusion rules

    in configurable ways.

  • has features for intranet usage

    Use of authentication tokens. Fast checking of particular domains.

  • source code included and protected under the GPL

    Guaranteed possibility to maintain the software, even if I go bust.


LinkController normally works by checking all of your links to a database at times triggered from cron (you should choose low usage times). After a few days, it will have built up a list of those links which are really broken and you can then examine them and do what repairs and changes are needed. The time delay saves work in examining links which aren't really broken.

Once you have the database built, you can selectively report problems with your links across all of your pages and repair broken ones rapidly, either using LinkControllers direct substitution system, or by directly opening the page up in your favorite editor (direct Emacs support is provided).

LinkController includes a system for rapidly changing links through your HTML pages. To do this it uses the database that it has already built up and only edits those files which need to be edited. This can save much time if you have many pages to look after.

Link controller is based over the World Wide Web capabilities provided by LibWWW-Perl and as such should be easy to modify and extend. It should also be reliable and safe to use.

GPL Protection

Link Controller is available under the GNU Public License to protect your rights as a user of the software.

That the source code is under the GPL means that your right to modify it is protected and that you can be sure that if you come across a version of this software in use somewhere, and have to do maintenance on it, you will at least have access to the source code. That means that even if you can't fix it yourself, you can hire someone who can. The Perl consultants list will be a good place to start (go to <> ).

Link controller is user supported software, and no warantee is provided, no support is guaranteed. Bugs and patches are gratefully accepted ( no response is guaranteed, but I'll do my best.

See the file INSTALL included in the distribution for information on how to install it.

You can download LinkController from

in various formats or

via the Perl modules system


Thanks must go to various people and institutions which provided access or help.

  • Esoterica Internet Portugal

  • IPPT PAN Institute in Poland and in particular

  • Piotr Pogorzelszi there

  • The Tardis Project at the University of Edinburgh CS Department

Please see the LinkController user guide included with the distribution.