Chapter 3. Installing mod_perl
In Chapter 2, we presented a basic mod_perl installation. In this chapter, we will talk about various ways in which mod_perl can be installed (using a variety of installation parameters), as well as prepackaged binary installations, and more.
Chapter 2 showed you the following commands to build and install a basic mod_perl-enabled Apache server on almost any standard flavor of Unix.
First, download http://www.apache.org/dist/httpd/apache_1.3.xx.tar.gz and http://perl.apache.org/dist/mod_perl-1.xx.tar.gz. Then, issue the following commands:
panic% cd /home/stas/src panic% tar xzvf apache_1.3.xx.tar.gz panic% tar xzvf mod_perl-1.xx.tar.gz panic% cd mod_perl-1.xx panic% perl Makefile.PL APACHE_SRC=../apache_1.3.xx/src \ DO_HTTPD=1 USE_APACI=1 EVERYTHING=1 panic% make && make test panic# make install panic# cd ../apache_1.3.xx panic# make install
As usual, replace 1.xx and 1.3.xx with the real version numbers of mod_perl and Apache, respectively.
You can then add a few configuration lines to httpd.conf (the Apache configuration file), start the server, and enjoy mod_perl. This should work just fine. Why, then, are you now reading a 50-page chapter on installing mod_perl?
You're reading this chapter for the same reason you bought this book. Sure, the instructions above will get you a working version of mod_perl. But the average reader of this book won't want to stop there. If you're using mod_perl, it's because you want to improve the performance of your web server. And when you're concerned with performance, you're always looking for ways to eke a little bit more out of your server. In essence, that's what this book is about: getting the most out of your mod_perl-enabled Apache server. And it all starts at the beginning, with the installation of the software.
In the basic mod_perl installation, the parameter EVERYTHING=1 enables a lot of options for you, whether you actually need them or not. You may want to enable only the required options, to squeeze even more juice out of mod_perl. You may want to build mod_perl as a loadable object instead of compiling it into Apache, so that it can be upgraded without rebuilding Apache itself. You may also want to install other Apache components, such as PHP or mod_ssl, alongside mod_perl.
To accomplish any of these tasks, you will need to understand various techniques for mod_perl configuration and building. You need to know what configuration parameters are available to you and when and how to use them.
As with Perl, in mod_perl simple things are simple. But when you need to accomplish more complicated tasks, you may have to invest some time to gain a deeper understanding of the process. In this chapter, we will take the following route. We'll start with a detailed explanation of the four stages of the mod_perl installation process, then continue on with the different paths each installation might take according to your goal, followed by a few copy-and-paste real-world installation scenarios. Toward the end of the chapter we will show you various approaches that might make the installation easier, by automating most of the steps. Finally, we'll cover some of the general issues that new users might stumble on while installing mod_perl.