This chapter is about getting started with mod_perl, for the very impatient. If all you want is to run your existing CGI scripts in a mod_perl-enabled environment, we'll try to make this as easy for you as possible. Of course, we hope that you'll read the rest of the book too. But first, we want to show you how simple it is to harness the power of mod_perl.
On a decent machine, it should take half an hour or less to compile and configure a mod_perl-based Apache server and get it running. Although there are binary distributions of mod_perl-enabled Apache servers available for various platforms, we recommend that you always build mod_perl from source. It's simple to do (provided you have all the proper tools on your machine), and building from source circumvents possible problems with binary distributions, such as those reported for the RPM packages built for Red Hat Linux.
The mod_perl installation that follows has been tested on many mainstream Unix and Linux platforms. Unless you're using a very nonstandard system, you should have no problems when building the basic mod_perl server.
For Windows users, the simplest solution is to use the binary package available from http://perl.apache.org/download/binaries.html. Windows users may skip to Section 2.4.
Before we continue, however, we have one important bit of advice: while you're learning mod_perl, be sure that you experiment on a private machine and not on a production server.