How to Install Perl on IIS 6 for Windows Server 2003

By Jason Faulkner on August 2nd, 2010

Perl is a very popular scripting language which is used to develop a wide variety of tools. One of it’s well know uses is web based CGI (Common Gateway Interface) applications which allow Perl scripts to be executed from a web server. With a little configuration, you can configure IIS 6 on your Windows Server 2003 system to serve Perl scripts via CGI.

Copying the Perl Binaries

Before any IIS setup can be done, the Perl binary files must be extracted to your system. Download the ActiveState Perl distribution package (get the AS zip file and not the installer) and extract them to a folder on your server (i.e. ‘C:perl’). We will map IIS to use the files located in this directory.

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Configuring IIS 6 to Run Perl Scripts

Open Internet Information Services Manager to the Web Service Extensions and select the option to add a new extension.

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Set the following properties:

  • Extension name: Perl CGI
  • Required files: C:perlbinperl.exe “%s” %s (assuming you extracted the files to ‘C:perl’)
  • Status set to allowed

Once finished, apply your changes.

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You should see the new extension in the Web Service Extension list with the status set to allowed.

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With the service extension installed, we have to create the Perl script file type mappings.

Right click on the Web Sites folder and go to the Properties dialog.

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On the Home Directory tab, open the Configuration dialog.

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To allow IIS to execute Perl script files (.pl), add an extension mapping with the following properties:

  • Executable: same as the “Required files” entered when creating the “Perl CGI” extension above
  • Extension: .pl
  • Verbs: GET,HEAD,POST
  • Check the box for script engine

Once finished apply your changes.

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Additionally, if Perl scripts will be deployed as CGI files (.cgi), an extension mapping will need to be configured for this file type as well:

  • Executable: same as the “Required files” entered when creating the “Perl CGI” extension above
  • Extension: .cgi
  • Verbs: GET,HEAD,POST
  • Check the box for script engine

Once finished apply your changes.

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After making the required configuration changes to IIS, run the “iisreset” command from the command prompt to ensure the changes are pushed through and active.

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At this point, IIS 6 should be able to successfully serve Perl scripts.

Testing Perl

At this point, your server is ready to go, but just to be sure we can confirm your Perl setup through IIS pretty easily. Create a couple of text files in the directory ‘C:Inetpubwwwroot’ named ‘test.pl’ and ‘test.cgi’ both containing the following:

#!c:perlbinperl.exe

use strict;
use CGI;
my $test = new CGI;

print $test->header(“text/html”),$test->start_html(“Perl Test”);
print $test->h1(“Perl is working!”);
print $test->end_html;

Finally, browse to the addresses: ‘http://localhost/test.pl’ and ‘http://localhost/test.cgi’ on your server and you should see a message stating that Perl is working. If the page loads successfully, Perl is now up and running on your machine.

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Conclusion

Once you have Perl up and running on your Windows system, you can deploy or develop your own Perl CGI applications.

Links

Download ActivePerl from ActiveState (AS Zip Package)

Jason Faulkner is a developer and IT professional who never has a hot cup of coffee far away. Interact with him on Google+

  • Published 08/2/10
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