[mod_python] Installing mod_python without root-permissions.

Jorey Bump list at joreybump.com
Fri Jan 7 21:45:24 EST 2005

Erik Billing wrote:

> Greetings. I wonder if it’s possible to install mod_python on a debian 
> system with Apache, without having root-permissions.

You are unlikely to be able to get it to work with your provider's 
instance of apache, but it *might* be possible to compile your own 
apache/python/mod_python and run it on an alternate port.

Potential problems:

- Necessary build tools and libraries inaccessible or not installed
- Provider may not like to see users run services on alternate ports
- Firewall may prevent incoming connections to unprivileged (high) ports
- Obviously, you will need to use http://host:1234/foo.py/bar syntax


- You can install the latest versions
- You can restart apache as needed (common when first using mod_python)
- You can configure/customize apache to your heart's content
- You don't have to use tomcat/JSP (hooray!)

With that said, Debian makes mod_python easy to install. I have 
production machines still using Woody, and the mod_python package works 
extremely well. It only requires a few edits to httpd.conf to get 
running after you apt-get it. It's a shame they won't install it for you 
(although it is nice to tweak httpd.conf yourself).

The truth is, you should build a server at home and get acquainted with 
mod_python before you commit yourself to a hosting arrangement. You may 
find server colocation more to your liking. I prefer to run mod_python 
in a tightly controlled (read "non-multiuser") environment.

> I’m currently developing a web-service using standard python-cgi 
> scripts, but my application is now getting too heavy for it to work well 
> as a cgi and I’ve started too look around for an alternative. Mod_python 
> clearly seams to be a great solution, but there is one problem. I intend 
> to host the service with a web-server provider that does not support 
> mod_python. I have a shell-account thaw, and I am allowed to compile and 
> install my own applications there, so I was hoping it would in some way 
> be possible to load install mod_python on a user-specific basis.
> As I half-expect this not to be possible, I still have too ask. And if 
> anybody knows any other way to achieve an alternative to python-cgi, 
> that doesn’t involve apache modules which requires root-permissions, it 
> would be greatly appreciated. I have access to Tomcat and have some kind 
> of thought of using JSP through JPython, but since I’m not so much into 
> JSP I would really need a kick in the right direction.
> Regards ..Erik Billing (erik at ekhagen.org)
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