CGI stands for "Common Gateway Inferface," a fancy name meaning computer programs running on the webserver that can be invoked from a www page at the browser. The "bin" part alludes to the binary executables that result from compiled or assembled programs. It is a bit misleading because cgi's can also be Unix shell scripts or interpreted languages like Perl. CGI scripts need to be saved in ASCII format and uploaded to your server's cgi-bin in ASCII or text format. This is very important.
provide free support for CGI scripts which we did not install on your
server. So if you are not already familiar with CGI scripting, you may
want to read a book on the subject or find places on the Internet with
CGI scripting information. There are many good resources for CGI scripts
found on the web. The scripts at Matt's Script Archive found
at http://www.worldwidemart.com/scripts/ are very good. Many of our
scripts come from here. Another excellent resource is The CGI Resource
Index found at http://www.cgi-perl.com/ -- if you are not an expert,
look for scripts that are very well documented and come with step-by-step
instructions, or contact us for help or installation.
cgi-bin scripts in the www subdirectory named "cgi-bin". If
you have given full POP/FTP/Telnet accounts to other people, each of
them will have their own separate cgi-bin inside the main cgi-bin. When
they login with their username and password, they will only have access
to their own cgi-bin.
Here are your paths to the common server resources that CGI scripts often require:
Look at the window in your FTP or Telnet client to see whether your site resides on /home/ or /home2/.
The following is a simple explanation of file permissions in Unix. To list the access permissions of a file or directory, telnet to your server, then:
to change the directory until you are either in the directory above the file you are interested in, or above the directory you are checking.
Type: ls -l filename
and you will see what the current permission settings are for that file, along with a bunch of other stuff.
of using chmod:
permissions for a file named filename.cgi, you need to chmod the file
(change mode). For example, when you type this:
chmod u=rwx,g=rx,o=rx filename.cgi
Some scripts will tell you to chmod 775 (for example). Doing the above is the same thing as typing chmod 775. You can use either method with our Unix servers. Let me explain:
When using the numeric system, the code for permissions is as follows:
r = 4 w = 2 x = 1 rwx = 7
7 of our chmod775 tells Unix to change the user's permissions to rxw
(because r=4 + w=2 + x=1 adds up to 7. The second 7 applies to the group,
and the last number 5, refers to others (4+1=5).
When doing an ls -l on the file, telnet always shows the permissions this way:
Ignore the first dash, then break up the above into three groups of letters. If there's a dash where a letter should be, it means that there is no permission for those people.
Remember: the first 3 apply to user, the second 3 apply to group, and the third 3 apply to others.
clients support changing permissions in a more graphical way. If you
have Fetch for the Mac, you have an easy way to change permissions.
Go to the file you want to change the permissions on, and highlight
it. Under the Remote menu, select Change Permissions. A window will
pop up showing the current permissions for the file you had highlighted,
as in Figure 3A below. Click on the boxes to change permissions
accomplishes the same task as above. Just highlight the file you want
to check, and right-click on it. A menu will pop up, then select CHMOD.
You will see the window below, as in Figure 3B.
solutions to some of the more common CGI script problems, in question
and answer format.
I activate my CGI program, I get back a page that says "Internal
Server Error. The server encountered an internal error or misconfiguration
and was unable to complete your request."
This is generally
caused by a problem within the script. Log in via Telnet and test your
script in local mode to get a better idea of what the problem is. To
do this, go into the directory in which your script is located, then
execute the script. To execute the script, you can do it by two ways:
1) Type "perl myscript.pl" (Perl being the language interpreter in this case).
2) Or simply type
"myscript.pl" alone, that will work if the first line is well
written to indicate the location of Perl.
The first one is
useful to see if there's any error IN your script. The second one is
useful to test if your "calling line" (the first line of the
script) is okay, i.e. if you entered the right location of Perl.
am being told "File Not Found," or "No Such File or Directory."
Upload your Perl
or CGI script in ASCII mode, not binary mode.
I test my Perl script in local mode (by Telnet), I have the following
error: "Literal @domain now requires backslash at myscript.pl line
3, within string. Execution of myscript.pl aborted due to compilation
This is caused by
a misinterpretation by Perl. You see, the "@" sign has a special
meaning in Perl; it identifies an array (a table of elements). Since
it cannot find the array named domain, it generates an error. You should
place a backslash (\) before the "@" symbol to tell Perl to
see it as a regular symbol, as in an email address.
am getting the message "POST not implemented."
You are probably
using the wrong reference for cgiemail. Use the reference /cgi-bin/cgiemail/mail.txt.
Another possibility is that you are pointing to a cgi-bin script that
you have not put in your cgi-bin directory. In general, this message
really means that the web server is not recognizing the cgi-bin script
you are calling as a program. It thinks it is a regular text file.
saying I don't have permission to access /
This error message means that you are missing your index.htm file. Note that files that start with a "." are hidden files. To see them, type ls -al. If you wish to FTP this file in, go to the home/yourdomain directory.
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