Getting Your Feet Wet with mod_perl


This chapter gives you the bare minimum information to get you started with mod_perl 2.0. For most people it's sufficient to get going.


If you are a Win32 user, please refer to the Win32 installation document.

First, download the mod_perl 2.0 source.

Before installing mod_perl, you need to check that you have the mod_perl 2.0 prerequisites installed. Apache and the right Perl version have to be built and installed before you can proceed with building mod_perl.

In this chapter we assume that httpd and all helper files were installed under $HOME/httpd/prefork, if your distribution doesn't install all the files under the same tree, please refer to the complete installation instructions.

Now, configure mod_perl:

  % tar -xvzf mod_perl-2.x.xx.tar.gz
  % cd modperl-2.0
  % perl Makefile.PL MP_APXS=$HOME/httpd/prefork/bin/apxs

where MP_APXS is the full path to the apxs executable, normally found in the same directory as the httpd executable, but could be put in a different path as well.

Finally, build, test and install mod_perl:

  % make && make test && make install

Become root before doing make install if installing system-wide.

If something goes wrong or you need to enable optional features please refer to the complete installation instructions.


If you are a Win32 user, please refer to the Win32 configuration document.

Enable mod_perl built as DSO, by adding to httpd.conf:

  LoadModule perl_module modules/

There are many other configuration options which you can find in the configuration manual.

If you want to run mod_perl 1.0 code on mod_perl 2.0 server enable the compatibility layer:

  PerlModule Apache2::compat

For more information see: Migrating from mod_perl 1.0 to mod_perl 2.0.

Server Launch and Shutdown

Apache is normally launched with apachectl:

  % $HOME/httpd/prefork/bin/apachectl start

and shut down with:

  % $HOME/httpd/prefork/bin/apachectl stop

Check $HOME/httpd/prefork/logs/error_log to see that the server has started and it's a right one. It should say something similar to:

  [Fri Jul 22 09:39:55 2005] [notice] Apache/2.0.55-dev (Unix)
  mod_ssl/2.0.55-dev OpenSSL/0.9.7e DAV/2 mod_perl/2.0.2-dev
  Perl/v5.8.7 configured -- resuming normal operations

Registry Scripts

To enable registry scripts add the following to httpd.conf:

  Alias /perl/ /home/httpd/httpd-2.0/perl/
  <Location /perl/>
      SetHandler perl-script
      PerlResponseHandler ModPerl::Registry
      PerlOptions +ParseHeaders
      Options +ExecCGI
      Order allow,deny
      Allow from all 

and now assuming that we have the following script:

  print "Content-type: text/plain\n\n";
  print "mod_perl 2.0 rocks!\n";

saved in /home/httpd/httpd-2.0/perl/ Make the script executable and readable by everybody:

  % chmod a+rx /home/httpd/httpd-2.0/perl/

Of course the path to the script should be readable by the server too. In the real world you probably want to have a tighter permissions, but for the purpose of testing that things are working this is just fine.

Now restart the server and issue a request to http://localhost/perl/ and you should get the response:

  mod_perl 2.0 rocks!

If that didn't work check the error_log file.

For more information on the registry scripts refer to the ModPerl::Registry manpage. (XXX: one day there will a tutorial on registry, should port it from 1.0's docs).

Handler Modules

Finally check that you can run mod_perl handlers. Let's write a response handler similar to the registry script from the previous section:

  package MyApache2::Rocks;
  use strict;
  use warnings;
  use Apache2::RequestRec ();
  use Apache2::RequestIO ();
  use Apache2::Const -compile => qw(OK);
  sub handler {
      my $r = shift;
      print "mod_perl 2.0 rocks!\n";
      return Apache2::Const::OK;

Save the code in the file MyApache2/, somewhere where mod_perl can find it. For example let's put it under /home/httpd/httpd-2.0/perl/MyApache2/, and we tell mod_perl that /home/httpd/httpd-2.0/perl/ is in @INC, via a startup file which includes just:

  use lib qw(/home/httpd/httpd-2.0/perl);

and loaded from httpd.conf:

  PerlRequire /home/httpd/httpd-2.0/perl/

Now we can configure our module in httpd.conf:

  <Location /rocks>
      SetHandler perl-script
      PerlResponseHandler  MyApache2::Rocks

Now restart the server and issue a request to http://localhost/rocks and you should get the response:

  mod_perl 2.0 rocks!

If that didn't work check the error_log file.


If after reading the complete installation and configuration chapters you are still having problems, take a look at the troubleshooting sections. If the problem persist, please report them using the following guidelines.


Maintainer is the person(s) you should contact with updates, corrections and patches.

  • Stas Bekman []


  • Stas Bekman []

Only the major authors are listed above. For contributors see the Changes file.