Installation Instructions

Last updated: 10.05.2001

To install one of the Perl scripts available from '', follow these instructions.


Download the script and all accompanying files to your computer.


Once you have downloaded the files, change the name of any file that ends with '_pl.txt' so that it ends with '.pl'. In other words, if you have a file called 'foo_pl.txt', change its name to ''. For security reasons, the server won't display the text of any file that contains '.pl', so it is necessary to give the Perl scripts an extension of '.txt' so that they can be downloaded.


Read the script to see if it contains any special instructions about configuration or placement of accompanying files.


If necessary, change the first line of the script so that it indicates the correct location for the Perl interpreter. By default, the first line of the script will read:


This is the usual location for Perl. If you have shell access on your server, you can check where Perl is installed by typing

which perl

at the prompt. If you do not have shell access, or your server is not a UNIX system, check with your system administrator to find out what you should enter here.


Read the script to see if any of the constants defined at the start of the script can or should be changed. If a constant must be changed to configure the script for your system, this will usually be noted in the comments. Similarly, if any constant must not be changed, this will also be noted. Other constants can be changed if you wish, but it is usually worth running the script at least once with the default values just to check that everything works properly.


Upload the script to your 'cgi-bin' directory (or to whichever other directory is used for running CGI scripts: again, if you don't know which this is, consult your system administrator or service provider). Upload any accompanying files: these will usually go in the same directory as the main script. If the accompanying files need to be placed anywhere special, this will usually be noted in the comments in the script or in a README file.


Change the permissions on the uploaded script to make it executable. If you have shell access on a UNIX system, you can usually do this by typing:

chmod a+x

(replace 'scriptname' by the real name of your script).

If you don't have shell access, you may be able to use your FTP client to set the permissions on the uploaded script. If in doubt, consult your system administrator or service provider.


Test the script. If you need to see how the script should be called, look at the sources of the page from which you downloaded the script.

If you find a bug in a script or have a comment or recommendation to make, please mail Please do not mail me with general questions about Perl, about other people's Perl scripts, or about the configuration of your server. The best places to find answers to these questions are through the links on the links pages, from the author of the script you are using, or from your system administrator or service provider. I regret that I don't have the time to do debugging or write custom scripts for free or to do your schoolwork for you; if you need custom scripts developed on a commercial basis, see the consulting page.

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