Another hindrance to using mod_perl on Windows is that current
versions of Perl are not thread-safe on Win32. As a consequence,
mod_perl calls to the embedded Perl interpreter must be serialized
(i.e., executed one at a time). For these reasons, we recommend that
mod_perl on Windows be used only for testing purposes, not in
Building mod_perl from source on Windows is a bit of a challenge.
Development tools such as a C compiler are not bundled with the
operating system, and most users expect a point-and-click
installation, as with most Windows software. Additionally, all
software packages need to be built with the same compiler and compile
options. This means building Perl, Apache, and mod_perl from source,
which is quite a daunting task.
Fortunately, Randy Kobes maintains a Windows distribution of mod_perl
that includes all the necessary tools, including Perl, Apache, and a
host of useful CPAN modules. Using this distribution provides an
out-of-the-box Apache + mod_perl combo in minutes.
The distribution comes with extensive documentation. Take the time to
read it, particularly if you want to install the software in a
location different from the default. In the following installation,
we'll use the default locations and options.
Here are the steps for installing mod_perl:
Download the Windows distribution. Download
perl-win32-bin-x.x.exe from https://perl.apache.org/download/binaries.html.
This self-extracting archive yields four directories:
openssl/, and readmes/.
Install the software. Move the Apache/ and
Perl/ directories to C:\.
Edit C:\AUTOEXEC.BAT to install the Perl
executable directories in your system's search path:
Then restart Windows for this change to take effect.
Test the Perl installation. Open a DOS prompt window to verify that
Perl is installed correctly and learn the version number:
C:\> perl -v
This is perl, v5.6.1 built for MSWin32-x86
Copyright 1987-2000, Larry Wall
Start Apache. The distribution comes with a ready-made configuration
file for mod_perl, which we'll use to start Apache.
From the C:\Apache directory, start Apache:
C:\Apache> apache.exe -f conf\httpd.conf
Now, issuing a request for https://localhost/
displays the usual Apache "It
Test mod_perl. The distribution comes with a preconfigured mod_perl
handler and Apache::Registry directory. We can
test our mod_perl-enabled server by issuing the following requests:
We now have a fully functional mod_perl server. The example scripts
described in the rest of this chapter can be used with minor
modifications to file paths and URIs. In particular, change all
instances of /home/stas to
C:\Apache\, and change all instances of
2.4.1. Installing mod_perl with the Perl Package Manager
If you are already a Perl developer on Windows,
it is likely that you have ActivePerl (see https://www.activestate.com/) installed. In
that case, you can get a mod_perl distribution that takes advantage
of your existing Perl installation.
First of all, you will need to get the latest
Apache distribution. Go to https://www.apache.org/dist/httpd/binaries/win32/
and get the latest version of
apache_1.3.xx-win32-no_src.msi, which is a
graphical installer. Read the notes on that page about the MSI Binary
distribution carefully if you are using Windows NT 4.0 or Windows 9x,
as there may be some prerequisites.
There is a lot of documentation at https://httpd.apache.org/ about installing
Apache on Windows, so we won't repeat it here. But
for the purposes of this example, let's suppose that
your Apache directory is C:\Apache, which means
you chose C:\ as the installation directory
during the installation of Apache, and it created a subdirectory
named Apache there.
Once Apache is installed, we can install mod_perl. mod_perl is
distributed as a PPM file, which is the format
used by the ActivePerl ppm command-line utility.
mod_perl isn't available from ActiveState, but it
has been made available from a separate archive, maintained by Randy
Kobes. To install mod_perl, do the
following from a DOS prompt:
See the Preface for more information about PPM
PPM> install mod_perl
When install mod_perl completes, a
post-installation script will run, asking you where to install
mod_perl.so, the mod_perl dynamic link library
(DLL) that's used by Apache. Look over the suggested
path and correct it if necessary, or press Enter if
it's correct; it should be the
C:\Apache\modules directory if you used
C:\Apache as an installation directory.
Please note that the version of mod_perl provided in that archive is
always the latest version of mod_perl compiled against the latest
version of Apache, so you will need to make sure you have the latest
Apache (of the 1.3.x series) installed before
proceeding. Furthermore, you will need an ActivePerl installation
from the 6xx series, based on Perl 5.6.x, or mod_perl
The next step is to enable mod_perl in your
httpd.conf file. If you installed Apache in
C:\Apache, this will be
Add this line together with any other
LoadModule perl_module modules/mod_perl.so
Furthermore, if you have a ClearModuleList
directive in the same file, add the following line with the other
For more information, see the Apache documentation for these two
directives, and see Chapter 3 for more information
on using mod_perl as a dynamic shared object (DSO).
With this installation, you can start Apache as described in its
documentation, and try out the examples in this book. However, the
mod_perl test scripts cited above aren't provided,
and you will have to configure mod_perl yourself. See Chapter 4 for more information about configuring
mod_perl. For example:
Alias /perl/ C:/Apache/perl/
Allow from all
This will allow you to run Apache::Registry
scripts placed in the directory C:\Apache\perl.
As you may have noticed, we use forward slashes instead of the
backslashes that are used on Windows (i.e.,
C:/Apache/perl/ instead of
C:\Apache\perl\), to be compatible with Unix