Catalyst::Manual::Deployment::IIS::FastCGI(3) Deploying Catalyst with Microsoft IIS

Microsoft IIS

Probably the best way to deploy a Catalyst application on IIS is by using IIS as a front end proxy. However if you positively must use FastCGI (say due to internal IT policies) then this manual shows you how.

It is possible to run Catalyst under IIS with FastCGI, but only on IIS 6.0 (Microsoft Windows 2003), IIS 7.0 (Microsoft Windows 2008 and Vista), and (hopefully) its successors.

FastCGI is sometimes said to be supported on IIS 5.1 (Windows XP), but some features (specifically, wildcard mappings) are not supported. This prevents Catalyst applications from running on the server.

Let us assume that our server has the following layout:

    d:\WWW\WebApp\                   path to our Catalyst application
    d:\strawberry\perl\bin\perl.exe  path to perl interpreter (with Catalyst installed)
    c:\windows                       Windows directory

Setup IIS 6.0 (Windows 2003)

Install FastCGI extension for IIS 6.0
FastCGI is not a standard part of IIS 6 - you have to install it separately. For more info and the download, go to <>. Choose the appropriate version (32-bit/64-bit); installation is quite simple (in fact no questions, no options).
Create a new website
Open ``Control Panel'' > ``Administrative Tools'' > ``Internet Information Services Manager''. Click ``Action'' > ``New'' > ``Web Site''. After you finish the installation wizard you need to go to the new website's properties.
Set website properties
On the tab ``Web site'', set proper values for: Site Description, IP Address, TCP Port, SSL Port, etc.

On the tab ``Home Directory'' set the following:

    Local path: "d:\WWW\WebApp\root"
    Local path permission flags: check only "Read" + "Log visits"
    Execute permitions: "Scripts only"

Click ``Configuration'' button (still on Home Directory tab) then click ``Insert'' the wildcard application mapping, and in the next dialog set:

    Executable: "c:\windows\system32\inetsrv\fcgiext.dll"
    Uncheck: "Verify that file exists"

Close all dialogs with ``OK''.

Edit fcgiext.ini
Put the following lines into c:\windows\system32\inetsrv\fcgiext.ini (on 64-bit system c:\windows\syswow64\inetsrv\fcgiext.ini):

    ;replace 8 with the identification number of the newly created website
    ;it is not so easy to get this number:
    ; - you can use utility "c:\inetpub\adminscripts\adsutil.vbs"
    ;   to list websites:   "cscript adsutil.vbs ENUM /P /W3SVC"
    ;   to get site name:   "cscript adsutil.vbs GET /W3SVC/<number>/ServerComment"
    ;   to get all details: "cscript adsutil.vbs GET /W3SVC/<number>"
    ; - or look where are the logs located:
    ;   c:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\Logfiles\W3SVC7\whatever.log
    ;   means that the corresponding number is "7"
    ;if you are running just one website using FastCGI you can use '*=CatalystApp'
    Arguments="d:\WWW\WebApp\script\ -e"
    ;by setting this you can instruct IIS to serve Catalyst static files
    ;directly not via FastCGI (in case of any problems try 1)
    ;do not be fooled by Microsoft doc talking about "IgnoreExistingDirectories"
    ;that does not work and use "IgnoreDirectories" instead

Setup IIS 7.0 (Windows 2008 and Vista)

Microsoft IIS 7.0 has built-in support for FastCGI so you do not have to install any addons.
Necessary steps during IIS7 installation
During IIS7 installation, after you have added role ``Web Server (IIS)'' you need to check to install the role feature ``CGI'' (do not be nervous that it is not FastCGI). If you already have IIS7 installed you can add the ``CGI'' role feature through ``Control panel'' > ``Programs and Features''.
Create a new website
Open ``Control Panel'' > ``Administrative Tools'' > ``Internet Information Services Manager'' > ``Add Web Site''.

    site name: "CatalystSite"
    content directory: "d:\WWW\WebApp\root"
    binding: set proper IP address, port etc.
Configure FastCGI
You can configure FastCGI extension using commandline utility ``c:\windows\system32\inetsrv\appcmd.exe''
Configuring section "fastCgi" (it is a global setting)
  appcmd.exe set config -section:system.webServer/fastCgi /+"[fullPath='d:\strawberry\perl\bin\perl.exe',arguments='d:\www\WebApp\script\ -e',maxInstances='4',idleTimeout='300',activityTimeout='30',requestTimeout='90',instanceMaxRequests='1000',protocol='NamedPipe',flushNamedPipe='False']" /commit:apphost
Configuring proper handler (it is a site related setting)
  appcmd.exe set config "CatalystSite" -section:system.webServer/handlers /+"[name='CatalystFastCGI',path='*',verb='GET,HEAD,POST',modules='FastCgiModule',scriptProcessor='d:\strawberry\perl\bin\perl.exe|d:\www\WebApp\script\ -e',resourceType='Unspecified',requireAccess='Script']" /commit:apphost

Note: before launching the commands above, do not forget to change the site name and paths to values relevant for your server setup.

Setup of your application

Note that you MUST have the config setting "use_request_uri_for_path" set to true to work in IIS7 - if you do not have this then all sub paths in your application (e.g. /foo/bar) will resolve to the root path, i.e. /


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This library is free software. You can redistribute it and/or modify it under the same terms as Perl itself.