What are CGI-bin Applications?

CGI stands for “Common Gateway Interface,” a name meaning computer programs running on the web server that can be invoked from a web page.

The “bin” part refers to the binary executables that result from compiled or assembled programs.

It is a bit misleading because cgi applicaions 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. So when you are uploading your cgi script to your server you must select ASCII mode on your ftp program or the script may not execute.

CGI, Common Gateway Interface, includes programs that run on the server to enhance the quality and functionality of a web site, such as form to email contact forms and guest books.

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We allow running of cgi scripts on the server, however they must conform to our acceptable server resource usage policy. If we deem that a script is using an excessive amount of server resources, it will be disabled.

Our web servers should be used only to upload the fully debugged final version of a cgi script so performance and uptime for other customers on the server is not compromised.

If you wish to write your own scripts or need to make changes to a downloaded script we recommend that you set up Linux as a second operating system on your own computer, as the more you familiarize yourself with this operating system, the better it will perform for you.

To keep our hosting prices as low as possible we do not debug or install CGI scripts under our free technical support.

We can install or debug a script if required, contact us for pricing.

We have provided below some general information that will find helpful when installing cgi scripts.

Before a cgi script will work certain modifications must be made to them.

Certain paths must be specified in some scripts. After the “#” in the first line of the perl script, the path to perl must be specified. /usr/bin/perl should suffice for this path.

Paths needed for cgi scripts include:

perl : /usr/bin/perl
SendMail : /usr/lib/sendmail

Also, often you will need to know the exact physical path to your root directory on the webserver your account exists upon.

The path to your root directory is:

The path to your CGI-bin is:

If you had a program called mail.cgi in your cgi-bin, the exact physical path to the script would be:

Change “username” to the log in user name given to you in your welcome email

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Setting Permissions

In order for the script to function you may need to change the scripts permissions, your perl scripts documentation should have more details on this

You can very easily change permission on your files in the File Manager option in your control panel or with your ftp program.

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