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If you want Mason to use most of SuSE's binaries and Apache2 structure try this:

We start from OpenSuse10.x with these packages:
(Use YaST2 to install them if they aren't already there)
apache2 Version 2.0.49-27.63 at the time of writing
apache2-devel Gives you apxs2
apache2-example-pages For a test static page
info2html For a test CGI script

We will try and bull through to

We'll do this largely using CPAN
In installing CPAN I'm a bit bullish,
I set prerequisites to "follow" and "UNINST=1"
ie: Give me what I asked for with all prerequisites
and blow away any old versions that get in the way.

So don't practice these recipies on a production machine!

Start CPAN by typing:
root> perl -MCPAN -e shell
install CPAN Upgrade CPAN itself FIRST
install Test::Pod
install Test::Pod::Coverage
install Module::Signature
install ExtUtils::ParseXS
install version
install Pod::Readme
install PAR::Dist
install IO::Compress::Bzip2
install HTML::Tagset libwww-perl will fail without this
install libwww-perl Even if it's not essential it's useful
install Bundle::CPAN Lots of goodness in the CPAN bundle

By now you will have seen a truly impressive amount of ``stuff''
all hopefully tested and installed without a hitch.
Now, where were we? Oh Yes, installing Mason.

install CGI Upgrade CGI
install mod_perl2 Tell it apxs is /usr/sbin/apxs2
install ExtUtils::MakeMaker
install ExtUtils::XSBuilder
install autoconf
install Apache2::Request It will fail testing, we have to go manual
look Apache2::Request Will dump you into the install dir
make clean Dump the earlier compile
./configure --with-apache2-apxs=/usr/sbin/apxs2 Magic!
make test Now it works?
^D Quit the shell
install Apache2::Request Should work this time

Now, where were we? Oh Yes, inside CPAN installing Mason.
install HTML::Mason The stupid thing will try and install G/GO/GOZER/mod_perl-1
Just hit it on the head with a ^C when it asks for your apache source
It should all go on, with a note to say mod_perl-1 failed. Good!

Some red herrings still exist in CPAN, they appear to have been abandoned long before they worked:
They talk of Apache2 and then "use" lots of mod_perl (Apache-1.3) stuff.
Correct me if I'm wrong but they seemed to be nothing but dead ends.

This is the one to go for
install MasonX::Request::WithApacheSession The prerequisites should go on but
will fail the subrequest1.

It needs patching. Thanks to this link for the patch

To fix it from inside CPAN
look MasonX::Request::WithApacheSession start a shell in the build dir
vi /lib/MasonX/Request/ or use your editor-of-choice
/is_subrequest Look for the first instance
return if $self->is_subrequest; The line should look like this
return $self if $self->is_subrequest; Change it to this
:wq Write and quit the editor
make test Should pass all tests now
^D Quit the shell back to CPAN
install MasonX::Request::WithApacheSession Should work this time
quit Exit CPAN

Hurrah! We have all the bits we need, now to put them together.
I assume you've got the default SuSE apache2 setup with some default pages.
Probably best to test it before we change anything.
/etc/init.d/apache2 start Should give you a green "done"
/etc/init.d/apache2 status Should report "running"
Can you get a page out of it? Maybe fight with Susefirewall2?

Activate mod_perl2
vi /etc/sysconfig/apache2 You could even use emacs
/^APACHE_MODULES Look for the active APACHE_MODULES line
add mod_perl I list them alphabetically Seems to work.
/etc/init.d/apache2 reload Reloading apache2 using the SuSE init script
puts the loadmodule statements into
/etc/init.d/apache2 restart Better re-test apache2, still starts?

DON'T add mod_apreq this way, IT WON'T WORK. See this explaination

Now let's set up a little Mason demo area.
Put this into the file /etc/apache2/conf.d/mason.conf

# /etc/apache2/conf.d/mason.conf
# This sets up a little Mason demo area in the suse default install
# Michael James works-at CSIRO Australia 2007-02-21
# SuSE stuff this up so put the LoadModule here
LoadModule apreq_module /usr/lib/apache2/ [ logo design]
PerlModule HTML::Mason::ApacheHandler
PerlModule CGI

<Directory /srv/www/mason/>
Options +Indexes
Allow from all

SetHandler perl-script
PerlHandler HTML::Mason::ApacheHandler

### configure Mason

PerlAddVar MasonCompRoot "main => /srv/www/htdocs
PerlAddVar MasonCompRoot "private => /srv/www/mason/m_bits

PerlSetVar MasonStaticSource 0

PerlSetVar MasonDataDir /srv/www/mason/cache
PerlSetVar MasonDeclineDirs 0
PerlSetVar MasonArgsMethod mod_perl

PerlSetVar MasonRequestClass MasonX::Request::WithApacheSession
PerlSetVar MasonSessionCookieDomain
PerlSetVar MasonSessionClass Apache::Session::File
PerlSetVar MasonSessionDirectory /srv/www/mason/sessions/data
PerlSetVar MasonSessionLockDirectory /srv/www/mason/sessions/locks
PerlSetVar MasonSessionUseCookie 1

# Can't do this, must figure out another way
# <LocationMatch "\.(m(html|pl)|dhandler|autohandler)$">
# SetHandler perl-script
# PerlInitHandler Apache::Constants::NOT_FOUND
# </LocationMatch>

To be Continued michaelj 2007-02-20