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Actinic 11, WAMP Server, PERL and FileZilla Server

In order to trial the 'new' features of Actinic 11, I decided to set up a development site in WAMP1) server on Windows Vista, which I'll document here for anyone else looking to do something similar. The information is already 'out there' on the web, but I'll collate it here for ease of use. This is assuming you want to run a local copy to test Actinic; you can of course opt to go with the free Actinic hosting to save performing these steps. Another alternative is to use one of the many free web hosting servers currently available accross the web (eg.,, etc.)

In order to achieve the requirements (to test Actinic 11 functionality) I was required to perform the following steps:

  • Create a WAMP site - I already had WAMP setup on my PC
  • Install PERL - Actinic operates by running Perl scripts on the webserver
  • Install and configure FileZilla Server - to allow Actinic to connect via FTP to my development PC
  • Install Actinic Business Enterprise version 11 - free 30 day trial from Actinic website

Create a WAMP site

As mentioned, I already had WAMP Server ( running on my PC, but installation is straightforward and I have it installed with the default settings. A number of install guides here, here on youtube, etc. Obviously the version numbers of software you download will be different to those shown in the tutorials, so be aware of various visual differences over time.

Wamp server is by default configured so that the website sits in: c:\wamp\www

With WAMP installed, you can browse to the website by typing http://localhost into your web browser.

Two addtional WAMP steps for Actinic testing

  1. Create an ActinicTest folder
    For our purpose, we want to put Actinic into a sub-folder within our website. Click the WAMP icon in the system tray, then click www directory to open up the folder in Windows Explorer. Right click in the blank folder, choose New > Folder and set the name to actinictest

  2. Create a new cgi-bin folder
    As mentioned below, we will use a custom cgi-bin folder to hold the Actinic related pearl scripts to keep them separate from the standard Apache ones. After performing step 1 above, Right click on c:\wamp in the list of folders, choose New > Folder and set the name to cgi-bin

Install PERL

First step is to download the ActivePerl for Windows package from the ActiveState website. When installing Perl, I recommend that it is installed into your Wamp folder (at c:\wamp\bin\Perl) instead of its default location of c:\Perl. This is just a preference to keep everything related to WAMP in a consistent location.

After installation, you should confirm that Perl has updated your system PATH variable to ensure it can find the Perl binaries. The easiest way to do this is to open a command prompt (Start > Run > enter the word cmd and hit Enter). At the command prompt, type: perl -v and Perl should report its version number.

Configure WAMP to recognise Perl

Configuring WAMP simply involves editing the Apache configuration file (named httpd.conf) to tell it to recognise file extensions .pl and .cgi and to pass them over to Perl for processing. By default, httpd.conf should be located at c:\wamp\bin\apache\ApacheX.X.XX\conf\httpd.conf but you can access it by clicking: WAMP icon in the system tray > Apache > httpd.conf

You will have to do a bit of hunting to find the various parts that need changing…

  1. Look for the definition: <Directory "c:/wamp/www">
    1. Within this directory section, you will see a line containing: Options Indexes FollowSymLinks
    2. Add to the end of this line so that in now says: Options Indexes FollowSymLinks Includes ExecCGI
      This will allow Apache to run CGI scripts from within your www folder.

  2. Look for the line: #AddHandler cgi-script .cgi (note the space between cgi-script and .cgi).
    1. We need to un-comment this line to tell Apache to recognise .cgi extensions
    2. We also need to add a second line below this one to tell Apache to recognise .pl file extensions.
    3. After these changes, the lines should read:
      AddHandler cgi-script .cgi
      AddHandler cgi-script .pl

  3. Although not strictly necessary, but advisable for consistency, look for the line:
    DirectoryIndex index.php index.php3 index.html index.htm (normally inside the <IfModule dir_module> section)

    1. Add index.cgi and to the end of this list, which should now read:
      DirectoryIndex index.php index.php3 index.html index.htm index.cgi

      This simply allows Apache to recognise index.cgi and as files to run if only a folder is specified in the URL (which isn't necessary for testing Actinic).

  4. Also not necessary for testing Actinic, but there is an additional step to allow Perl to interact with mySQL databases. You can see some installation details on in step 4.

  5. Note: Although Apache has a cgi-bin folder in which to store the Actinic perl scripts, which could be configured in httpd.conf, I preferred to keep the Actinic installation totally separate, therefore I created an additional cgi-bin folder (see below under configuring the FileZilla Server) for this purpose and to make configuration in FileZilla simpler.

  6. Perl configuration in WAMP Apache is now complete, so restart WAMP to make it effective: WAMP menu > Restart All Services

Install and configure FileZilla Server

With WAMP up and running (it is running, right?), we need to install an FTP Server on the same PC so that Actinic can upload its website.

Download FileZilla Server from the website and install using default options. If you prefer, you can choose to run FileZilla Server manually each time you need to provide FTP access rather than have it start automatically. NOTE and take appropriate precautions in regard to the security implications of running an FTP server on your PC.

Open up the FileZilla Server Interface; the Server Address should be and the Port 14147. Unless you configure additional security settings, the default FileZilla Server settings are fine for our purpose.

To create an FTP user for Actinic, click Edit > Users in the FZ Server Interface

In the General Page, click Add under the Users section. Enter an appropriate FTP username (eg. actinictest) and leave the Group as <none>. Click OK. (You may also wish to set a Password for this user, but ticking the Password checkbox under account settings and entering a password.)

Give our FTP user access to the two folders that Actinic required (webroot and cgi-bin):

  1. Click the Shared folders page, then click the Add button below the Shared folders area. Navigate to: c:\wamp\www\actinictest and click OK
    Click Set as home dir which sets the home FTP directory for the actinictest user.
  2. To set up the cgi-bin folder, click the Add button once again. Navigate to: c:\wamp\cgi-bin (which we created earlier) and click OK
  3. The cgi-bin folder needs to be given an Alias. Right click on the c:\wamp\cgi-bin entry and choose Edit Aliases, then enter /cgi-bin and click OK
  4. Finally, to grant full access rights for this user, tick All boxes in both Files (Read, Write, Delete, Append) and Directories (Create, Delete, List, +Subdirs), for BOTH the c:\wamp\cgi-bin and the c:\wamp\www\actinictest folders.
  5. Click OK to close the Users dialog. (You can also close the FZ Server Interface application now.)

FileZilla Server is now configured to allow Actinic to FTP its files into WAMP.

Install Actinic Business Enterprise version 11

Coming soon (possibly).

1) Windows, Apache, mySQL, PHP
guides/quad/actinic-11-wamp-server-perl-and-filezilla-server-management.txt · Last modified: 14/08/2013 12:07 by harpanet