Configuring CGI Applications (IIS 6.0)

IIS 6.0 supports Common Gateway Interface (CGI) applications. This topic provides administrative information on installing and configuring CGI applications on the Web server, and setting the timeout value for a CGI script.


To help minimize the attack surface of the server, IIS 6.0 is not installed on Windows Server 2003 by default. When you first install IIS 6.0, it is locked down -- which means that only request handling for static Web pages is enabled, and only the World Wide Web Publishing Service (WWW service) is installed. None of the features that sit on top of IIS are turned on, including ASP, ASP.NET, CGI scripting, FrontPageŽ 2002 Server Extensions from Microsoft, and WebDAV publishing. If you do not enable these features, IIS returns a 404 error. You can enable these features through the Enabling Web Service Extensions node in IIS Manager. For more information about how to troubleshoot 404 errors and other issues, see Troubleshooting in IIS 6.0.

CGI programs are executed when the Web server receives a URL that contains the CGI program name and any parameters that it requires. If your CGI program is compiled into an executable (.exe) file, you must give the directory that contains the program Execute permissions so that users can run the program. If your CGI program is written as a script, for example a Perl script, then you can give the directory either Execute permissions or Script permissions. To use Script permissions, the script interpreter must be marked as a script engine.


The IIS_WPG group does not have the right to start CGI processes by default. If you create a new account and add it to the IIS_WPG group to run a worker process identity, you still must grant this new account two user rights to start CGI processes. These user rights are Adjust memory quotas for a process and Replace a process level token. For more information on how to modify user rights, see "Edit local security settings" or "Edit a security setting on a Group Policy object" in Help and Support Center for Windows Server 2003.

If you want to develop new CGI applications, Microsoft provides several alternatives. For faster execution, consider developing an Internet Server API (ISAPI) extension instead. For ease of development, consider developing an ASP.NET application.

This section contains the following information:

Installing CGI Applications in IIS 6.0: Explains how to install CGI applications on your Web server.

Configuring the Maximum Number of Concurrent CGI Requests: Explains how to configure the maximum number of concurrent CGI requests.

Configuring CGI Application Timeouts: Explains how to configure timeout values for CGI applications.

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