Perl on IIS 4

This FAQ is mainly about issues arising from using Perl on IIS4. It strays into other territory occasionally.

I don't really update these pages any more, as you can see by the date just below. There are several reasons for this:

  1. First and foremost, I now work for someone else, in a different capacity. Instead of web server interfaces in Perl, I'm writing compiler optimisers in C. Therefore, my job no longer entails working with IIS. I'm quite pleased with this.
  2. Since I don't have IIS at home (heck, this is on Linux), I no longer have access to an IIS server. That means I'm now relying on memory...
  3. I don't read the IIS newgroups any more. For the above two reasons.
  4. Finally, I'd guess that the IIS world should have moved on by now. I mean, it's been several years, folks. How many of you are still using IIS3/4? (that's a rhetorical question; I'm not conducting a survey here).

Please consider the disclaimer, consider the poor folks who sweated blood for this, and if you're thinking of asking for help, please see if you can help yourself first.

Last update: 21 March 1999


  1. Running perl
    1. Isn't Perl a security risk?
    2. IIS4 won't invoke Perl on my scripts.
    3. Perl can't run .cgi files
    4. Perl can't call other Perl scripts.
  2. I/O redirection
    1. Perl can't run external commands.
    2. I can't start a background command from perl
    3. It doesn't work when Perl is embedded in a C program
    4. My script isn't producing any output.
    5. The registry settings don't work anymore.
  3. Mail
    1. Perl can't send mail with Blat.
    2. What else can I use to send mail?
  4. IIS3
    1. Perl can't run external commands.
    2. How do I enable SSI on IIS3?
    3. Can't run authenticated perl scripts from a link
  5. IIS4
    1. There aren't any logging options.
    2. I get cgi-bin2 when trying to set up my cgi-bin directory.
    3. What's the difference between PWS and IIS4?
    4. Can PWS/W95 run Perl?
    5. I get "Cannot detect OS type" when installing
    6. Any hotfixes for IIS4? What about Service Pack 4?
  6. NT stuff
    1. I installed SP3; now IE4 is dead.
    2. My processes won't die, and I can't kill them.
  7. File locking
    1. My script hangs
    2. I can't delete files
  8. Debugging scripts
    1. It still won't work. What else can I do?
    2. Can you help me..?
    3. How do I determine what the problem is?
  9. Microsoft and Perl
    1. What is Microsoft's attitude to Perl?
    2. Does this mean that IIS5 will support Perl?
    3. What are the alternatives?
  10. Acknowledgements


I don't take any responsibility for the accuracy of the information in this document; I'm just collecting personal experience and comments from the net, so use at your own risk. Given that some of the people listed posted advice to the net, rather than to me directly, some of them don't even know their pearls are listed here, so you definitely can't blame them.

Basically, if there's something wrong, (a) sorry, and (b) please let me know, so that I can correct it. 'Course, given how often I've updated recently, the latter may never happen.

Steve Kilbane. Whitecrow home.