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Keywords: Apache mandrake mod_perl proxy rewrite
Mandrake's Apache installation for later releases (I see it in my copies of 8.0 onwards; I'm running 8.1, 8.2 and 9.0) has a configuration known as the Advanced Extranet Server. (In the mandrake distribution it says its http://www.advx.com but its not .... try http://www.advx.org).

This is an arrangement where there are actually two servers. The main server is a regualr Apache server without mod_perl. The secondary server has mod_perl compiled in.

This topic discusses how I got this to work after much frustration with the other advice I received and found on the web.

Please Note -----> Everything else written on this site about mod_perl and most of what you will find on the web about mod_perl doesn't apply to this configuration. <----- Please Note

The first thing to realise is that there is no mod_perl to add to the list of modules in the server.

The second thing to realise is that all the examples in such topics as ModPerl and ModPerlUnix have absolutely nothing to do with this kind of configuration. Reding and trying them will just lead to frustration.

The third thing to realise is that while this configuration is called a "proxy", its not like any proxy you've met. Usually the proxy sites between the client and the application. In this case the proxy sits off to one side. Unless you want to call the main server the proxy and the "other" server the real server

I'm going to call the server that has mod_perl compiled in the perlproxy.

The idea is that the main server should recognise scripts that can be, should be or could better be executed by the perlproxy and send them over.

The fourth thing to realise - or that I had to realise - is that the configuration of the servers "out of the box" is somewhere on the spectrum of "confusing" to "unhelpful". But then I'm not an Apache Guru. There could be an easier way.

Out of the box the configuration read:

 ProxyPass              /perl/
 ProxyPassReverse       /perl/

Its a good clue but I couldn't get it to work. Probably my fault. YMMV. It does tell me, as I verified by looking at /etc/httpd/conf/httpd-perl.conf that the perlproxy listens on port 8200 of the local machine.

What I did get to work was the re-write mechanism.

I put the following in %SCRIPTURLPATH/.htaccess

    RewriteEngine on
    RewriteRule ^proxy:.* - [F]
    RewriteRule ^.(.*\/twiki\/bin\/.*.pl)$ http://%{HTTP_HOST}:8200$1

Please note that the %SCRIPTSUFFIX% is there and set to ".pl". I suppose I could have used a more general expression in the main httpd.conf file and grabbed all the "*.pl" files, but this was very localized.

It works. The speedup is noticable, the pages now snap back "instantly".

I'm sure someone can tell me how to make this work better or faster or simpler or more robustly. Please do.

My next step, while waiting for beijing to arrive, is to figure out how to make this into a virtual host so that it can be accessed from both the intranet and the extranet, which not only have different IP's but also use different domain names. Any advice on this would be welcome.

-- AntonAylward - 07 Jan 2003

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Topic revision: r3 - 2005-02-16 - CrawfordCurrie
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